University of Vermont AAHS

Indiana Cruelty to Animals Statutes


INDIANA STATUTES
TITLE 35. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE
ARTICLE 46. MISCELLANEOUS OFFENSES
CHAPTER 3. OFFENSES RELATING TO ANIMALS


35-46-3-3 "Animal" defined

Sec. 3. As used in this chapter, "animal" does not include a human being.


35-46-3-5 Exceptions from chapter; electrocution

Sec. 5. (a) Except as provided in subsections (b) through (c), this chapter does not apply to the following:

(1) Fishing, hunting, trapping, or other conduct authorized under IC 14-22.

(2) Conduct authorized under IC 15-5-7.

(3) Veterinary practices authorized by standards adopted under IC 15-5-1.1- 8.

(4) Conduct authorized by a local ordinance.

(5) Acceptable farm management practices.

(6) Conduct authorized by the Indiana Meat and Poultry Inspection and Humane Slaughter Act, IC 15-2.1-24, and rules adopted under IC 15-2.1-24 for state or federally inspected livestock slaughtering facilities.

(7) A research facility registered with the United States Department of Agriculture under the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.).

(8) Destrauction of a vertebrate defines as a pest under IC 75-3-3.6-2 (22).

(b) Section 1 of this chapter applies to conduct described in subsection (a).

(c) Destruction of an animal by electrocution is authorized under this section only if it is conducted by a person who is engaged in an acceptable farm management practice, by a research facility registered with the United States Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act, or for the animal disease diagnostic laboratory established under IC 15-2.1-5-1, a research facility licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture, a college, or a university.


35-46-3-6 Impoundment of animals for chapter violation; probable cause hearing; penalties; award of custody of animals

Sec. 6. (a) This section does not apply to a violation of section 1 of this chapter.

(b) Any law enforcement officer or any other person having authority to impound animals who has probable cause to believe there has been a violation of this chapter or IC 15-5-12-3 may take custody of the animal involved.

(c) The animal shall be properly cared for pending disposition of charges under this chapter or IC 15-5-12.

(d) If the owner requests, the court having jurisdiction of criminal charges filed under this chapter or IC 15-5-12 shall hold a hearing to determine whether probable cause exists to believe that a violation of this chapter or IC 15-5-12 has occurred. If the court determines that probable cause does not exist, the court shall order the animal returned to its owner.

(e) This subsection applies only to livestock animals. Whenever charges are filed under this chapter, the court shall appoint the state veterinarian under IC 15-2.1-2-50 or the state veterinarian's designee to:

(1) investigate the condition of the animal and the circumstances relating to the animal's condition; and

(2) make a recommendation to the court under subsection (f) regarding the confiscation of the animal.

(f) The state veterinarian or the state veterinarian's designee who is appointed under subsection (e) shall do the following:

(1) Make a recommendation to the court concerning whether confiscation is necessary to protect the safety and well-being of the animal.

(2) If confiscation is recommended under subdivision (1), recommend a manner for handling the confiscation and disposition of the animal that is in the best interests of the animal.

The state veterinarian or the state veterinarian's designee who submits a recommendation under this subsection shall articulate to the court the reasons supporting the recommendation.

(g) The court:

(1) shall give substantial weight to; and

(2) may enter an order based upon;

a recommendation submitted under subsection (f).

(h) If a person is convicted of an offense under this chapter or IC 15-5- 12, the court may impose the following additional penalties against the person:

(1) A requirement that the person pay the costs of caring for an animal involved in the offenses that are incurred during a period of impoundment authorized under subsection (h).

(2) An order terminating the person's right to possession, title, custody, or care of an animal that was involved in the offense.

(i) If a person's right to possession, title, custody, or care of an animal is terminated under subsection (b), the court may:

(1) award the animal to a humane society or other organization that has as its principal purpose the humane treatment of animals; or

(2) order the disposition of the animal as recommended under subsection (f).


35-46-3-7 Abandonment or neglect of vertebrate animals

Sec. 7. A person having a vertebrate animal in the person's custody who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally abandons or neglects the animal commits cruelty to an animal, a Class B misdemeanor.


35-46-3-11 Law enforcement animal; mistreatment or interference
Sec. 11. (a) A person who knowingly or intentionally:
(1) strikes, torments, injures, or otherwise mistreats a law enforcement animal; or
(2) interferes with the actions of a law enforcement animal while the animal is engaged in assisting a law enforcement officer in the performance of the officer's duties;
commits a Class A misdemeanor.

(b) It is a defense that the accused person:
(1) engaged in a reasonable act of training, handling, or discipline; and
(2) acted as an employee or agent of a law enforcement agency.

(c) In addition to any sentence or fine imposed for a conviction of an offense under this section, the court may order the person convicted to make restitution to the person or law enforcement agency owning the animal for reimbursement of:
(1) veterinary bills; and
(2) replacement costs of the animal if the animal is disabled or killed.


35-46-3-12 Torture or mutilation of a vertebrate animal
Sec. 12. (a) A person who knowingly or intentionally tortures, beats, or mutilates a vertebrate animal commits cruelty to an animal, a Class A misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class D felony if the person has a previous, unrelated conviction under this section.

(b) It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that the accused person:
(1) reasonably believes the conduct was necessary to:
(A) prevent injury to the accused person or another person;
(B) protect the property of the accused person from destruction or substantial damage; or
(C) prevent a seriously injured vertebrate animal from prolonged suffering; or
(2) engaged in a reasonable and recognized act of training, handling, or disciplining the vertebrate animal.


Amended in 1997, 1998, 2000.
Reviewed by AAHS in September 2001.


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