2361. Horses and mules which may not be sold
No person shall sell either at private sale or public auction, or offer or receive for sale any horse or mule which by reason of debility, disease, or lameness, or for any other cause could not be worked in the city in which it is offered for sale without violating the laws against cruelty to animals. This section shall apply only in cities in this state having a population of ten thousand or more.
2362. Penalty for illegal sale
Whoever violates this Part shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months.
2391. Agents of corporation as special police officers; compensation; aid from regular police force
Whenever, in any incorporated city or town or in any parish, a corporation for the prevention of cruelty to animals shall be organized, the mayor of the city or town and the police jury of the parish, respectively, as the case may be, shall appoint and commission as special police officers such agents as the corporation for the prevention of cruelty to animals may nominate; and agents being so commissioned shall have the usual power of policemen and peace- officers. No city, town, or parish shall be liable hereunder for any compensation to the special officers, and the police force of all incorporated cities and towns in the State shall aid any such corporation, its members or agents, in the enforcement in its respective locality of all laws enacted for the protection of dumb animals.
2392. Municipalities to provide punishment for cruelty to animals
Municipal corporations shall provide by ordinance for the punishment of cruelty to animals, when committed in any street, park, levee, or other public place in the limits of the corporation, by fine or imprisonment, or both, as a police offense.
2393. Corporation to receive one half of fines
Whenever a fine is imposed on any person as a penalty for violation of any law of this state or municipal ordinance respecting cruelty to animals, and the prosecution shall have been initiated, conducted, assisted, or appeared in by any officer, member, agent, or counsel of any society for the prevention of cruelty to animals in the parish where the offense is committed, incorporated under the general law of this state, one half of the fine shall be paid to the society and the receipt of its treasury shall be a full acquittance to the officer collecting the fine.
2431. Humane society may arrange for care of animals
All officers of incorporated humane societies, in cities over twenty-five thousand and under one hundred thousand inhabitants, and all officers of the law in the cities, who are hereby made special officers of the societies, when in their judgment cruelty is being practiced towards any animal or the animal is bruised, wounded, crippled, abrased, sick, or diseased, may remove the animal whenever found to any stable designated by the humane society, for care and treatment, there to remain until sufficiently recovered to resume service.
2432. Arrangement with stable for care of animals
Before any humane society can avail itself of the provisions of this Part, the humane society shall arrange with some stable for the care of animals and charges shall be fifty cents per day, provided however, the medical attendance shall be extra. If the society maintains its own stable the charges shall be as above set out.
2433. Employment of veterinary
The humane society after complying with R.S. 3:2432 shall arrange with some veterinary surgeon, and agree upon a scale of uniform charges, and the society may employ the surgeons to attend any animals that in their judgment need treatment.
2434. Stable to register animals cared for
The stable designated or owned by the humane society shall keep a special book for the purpose of registering any animal entrusted to their care under this Part, and the book shall be open to inspection at all times.
2435. Determination whether animal may leave stable
Animals removed to stables in accordance with this Part shall remain until pronounced suitable to resume service by the humane society's officer, and in case the owner of the animal disagrees with the society's officer on this point, the president of the society shall call in a veterinary surgeon, and if the officer and the surgeon cannot agree, the president shall call in a disinterested experienced person whose decision as to the condition of the animal shall be final.
2436. Sale of animal on owner's failure to pay for treatment
After the animal has been cared for and treated the owner of the stable as well as the veterinary treating the animal, shall notify the president of the society by sending a statement of their charges, and the president of the society shall cause a registered notice to be sent to the owner of the animal, apprising him of the fact that the animal is ready to resume service and advising him as to the amount of the charges. Should the owner not take the animal and pay the charges within five days after the receipt of the notice the society may sell the animal at public auction in the manner now provided by law for judicial sales; the excess of the charges and expenses shall go to the owner of the animal.
2437. Liability of society to stable or veterinary; privilege upon animals
The humane society shall be liable to the stable or veterinary for their expenses and services under this Part, but only as per the scale of charges agreed upon, and the society may remove the animals and change surgeons at its pleasure. A privilege is created upon all animals treated as above set out, in favor of the humane society, and it shall be superior to any other privilege on the animals.
2438. Opportunity to owner to treat animal if proper treatment is given
No officer of any humane society, or other officer, shall remove any animal to their stable or one designated by them, or to engage any veterinary to treat any animals as provided herein, without first giving the owner the privilege of removing the animal to his own stable or a stable designated by him; the owner may furnish his own treatment or veterinary surgeon, at all times, but the officer of the humane society may inspect the animal at all times, and if in his opinion the treatment accorded the animal is not proper or beneficial, the officer may place him in the society's stable or designated stable and under the care of their own surgeon as herein above set out. Should there be a disagreement as to the merits of the treatment of the animal it shall be decided as set out in R.S. 3:2435.
2439. Court review of humane society's treatment of animal; damages limited to costs
Any person feeling himself aggrieved at the action of the humane society or its officers may try the issues before a court of competent jurisdiction, but the issues meant herein shall only be as to whether the animal's condition is such as to warrant action by the society or whether the animal is in condition to be used, before or after treatment, or whether the treatment accorded the animal by the owner, as set out in R.S. 3:2438 is proper or beneficial; no damages except the actual court costs shall be assessed against the society.
2440. Resisting officers; penalty
Whoever resists the officers empowered herein, in carrying out the provisions of this Part, shall be fined not less than five nor more than twenty-five dollars, or imprisoned not less than five nor more than twenty-five days, or both.
2451. Short title
This Part may be referred to as the Louisiana Abandoned Animals Act.
2452. Abandoned animals
A. An animal shall be considered abandoned when the owner thereof has not paid the charge for veterinarian services, including medical, or for boarding, within thirty days after rendition to the owner of the invoice for such services or boarding and no other agreement with the owner has been reached for the payment of such charge for services or boarding. The person to whom the charges are due may then give notice, as provided in R.S. 3:2453.
B. The owner of an abandoned animal shall be deemed to have relinquished all rights and claims to such animal by virtue of such abandonment, except as provided in R.S. 3:2454(B).
2453. Notice requirements; freedom from liability
A. The notice required in R.S. 3:2452(A) above shall be given to the owner of the animal or the owner's agent at his last known address by registered mail or by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall contain a statement that if the animal is not claimed within ten days after receipt of the notice, the animal may be sold, donated, turned over to the nearest humane society or dog pound, or otherwise disposed of as the person having custody of the animal may deem proper.
B. In the event that the notice described in R.S. 3:2453(A), above, cannot be delivered for any reason, or in the event that such notice is returned as "refused", "addressee unknown", "not at this address", or other similar designation, then the person having custody of the animal shall cause to be published once in a newspaper of general circulation in the parish where such custodian is doing business, a notice directed to the owner of the animal or such owner's authorized agent, stating that if the animal is not claimed within ten days after publication of the above described notice, the animal may be sold, donated, turned over to the nearest humane society or dog pound, or otherwise disposed of as the person having custody of the animal may deem proper.
C. The receipt of notice by the owner or his agent, or the publication, whichever is applicable, shall relieve the custodian of any liability for the sale, donation, euthanasia, or other disposal of the animal.
2454. Sale or disposal of animal; disposition of sale proceeds
A. If, in accordance with the notice, the animal is sold at public or private sale, the proceeds shall be applied to the amount, if any, due the custodian for any goods or services furnished to the animal, including all reasonable charges of notice, advertisement, and sale. The balance, if any, shall be paid to the owner of the animal, and the custodian shall retain the right to proceed against the owner for any deficiency.
B. Prior to the time of sale of such animal or transfer thereof to the nearest humane society or dog pound, or other disposal thereof, any person claiming the right of property or possession of such animal may pay the amount necessary to satisfy the charges for services rendered to the animal, or on behalf of the animal, including all reasonable charges of notice, advertisement, and sale. Upon payment of this amount, the animal shall be delivered to the person making the demand, if he is entitled to possession. Otherwise the animal shall be retained according to the terms of the notice, and shall be sold, or otherwise disposed of.
102. Definitions; cruelty to animals
The following words, phrases, and terms as used in R.S. 14:102.1 through R.S. 14:102.4 shall be defined and construed as follows:
(1) "Cruel" means every act or failure to act whereby unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted.
(2) "Abandons" means to completely forsake and desert an animal previously under the custody or possession of a person without making reasonable arrangements for its proper care, sustenance, and shelter.
(3) "Proper food" means providing each animal with daily food of sufficient quality and quantity to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering by the animal.
(4) "Proper water" means providing each animal with daily water of sufficient quality and quantity to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering by the animal.
(5) "Proper shelter" means providing each animal with adequate shelter from the elements as required to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable suffering by the animal.
(6) "Proper veterinary care" means providing each animal with veterinary care sufficient to prevent unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering by the animal.
(7) "Livestock" means cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, burros, asses, other livestock of all ages, farm-raised cervidae species, and farm- raised ratite species.
(8) "Public livestock exhibition" means any place, establishment, or facility commonly known as a "livestock market", "livestock auction market", "sales ring", "stockyard", or the like, operated for compensation or profit as a public market for livestock, consisting of pens, or other enclosures, and their appurtenances, in which livestock are received, held, sold, or kept for sale or shipment. "Public livestock exhibition" also means any public exhibition or sale of livestock or a livestock show.
(9) "Tampers" means any of the following:
(a) The injection, use, or administration of any drug or other internal or external administration of any product or material, whether gas, solid, or liquid, to livestock for the purpose of concealing, enhancing, transforming, or changing the true conformation, configuration, condition, natural color, or age of the livestock or making the livestock appear more sound than they actually are.
(b) The use or administration, for cosmetic purposes, of steroids, growth stimulants, or internal artificial filling, including paraffin, silicone injection, or any other substance.
(c) The use or administration of any drug or feed additive affecting the central nervous system of the livestock, unless administered or prescribed by a licensed veterinarian for the treatment of an illness or an injury.
(d) The use or administration of diuretics for cosmetic purposes.
(e) The surgical manipulation or removal of tissue so as to change, transform, or enhance the true conformation, configuration, or natural color of the livestock unless the procedure is considered an accepted livestock management practice.
102.1. Cruelty to animals; simple and aggravated
A. (1) Any person who intentionally or with criminal negligence commits any of the following shall be guilty of simple cruelty to animals:
(a) Overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, or overworks a living animal.
(b) Torments, cruelly beats, or unjustifiably injures any living animal, whether belonging to himself or another.
(c) Having charge, custody, or possession of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, unjustifiably fails to provide it with proper food, proper drink, proper shelter, or proper veterinary care.
(d) Abandons any animal. A person shall not be considered to have abandoned an animal if he delivers to an animal control center an animal which he found running at large.
(e) Impounds or confines or causes to be impounded or confined in a pound or other place, a living animal and fails to supply it during such confinement with proper food, proper drink, and proper shelter.
(f) Carries, or causes to be carried, a living animal in or upon a vehicle or otherwise, in a cruel or inhumane manner.
(g) Unjustifiably administers any poisonous or noxious drug or substance to any domestic animal or unjustifiably exposes any such drug or substance, with intent that the same shall be taken or swallowed by any domestic animal.
(h) Injures any animal belonging to another person without legal privilege or consent of the owner.
(i) Mistreats any living animal by any act or omission whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain, suffering, or death is caused to or permitted upon the animal.
(j) Causes or procures to be done by any person any act enumerated in this Subsection.
(2)(a) Whoever commits the crime of simple cruelty to animals shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
(b) In addition to any other penalty imposed, a person who commits the crime of cruelty to animals shall be ordered to perform five eight-hour days of court-approved community service. The community service requirement shall not be suspended.
B. (1) Any person who intentionally or with criminal negligence tortures, maims, or mutilates any living animal, whether belonging to himself or another, shall be guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals.
(2) Any person who tampers with livestock at a public livestock exhibition or at a private sale shall also be guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals.
(3) Any person who causes or procures to be done by any person any act designated in this Subsection shall also be guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals.
(4) Whoever commits the crime of aggravated cruelty to animals shall be fined not less than five thousand dollars nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than one year nor more than ten years, or both.
(5) For purposes of this Subsection, where more than one animal is tortured, maimed, mutilated, or maliciously killed or where more than one head of livestock is tampered with, each act comprises a separate offense.
C. This Section shall not apply to the lawful hunting or trapping of wildlife as provided by law, herding of domestic animals, accepted veterinary practices, and activities carried on for scientific or medical research governed by accepted standards.
D. For purposes of this Section, fowl shall not be defined as animals. Only the following birds shall be identified as animals for purposes of this Section:
(1) Order Psittaciformes-parrots, parakeets, lovebirds, macaws, cockatiels or cockatoos.
(2) Order Passeriformes-canaries, starlings, sparrows, flycatches, mynah or myna.
102.2. Seizure and disposition of animals cruelly treated
A. When a person is charged with cruelty to animals, said person's animal may be seized by the arresting officer and held pursuant to this Section.
B. (1) The seizing officer shall notify the owner of the seized animal of the provisions of this Section by posting written notice at the location where the animal was seized or by leaving it with a person of suitable age and discretion residing at that location within twenty-four hours of the seizure.
(2) The seizing officer shall photograph the animal within fifteen days after posting of the notice of seizure and shall cause an affidavit to be prepared in order to document its condition in accordance with R.S. 15:436.2.
(3) The seizing officer shall appoint a licensed veterinarian or other suitable custodian to care for any such animal. The custodian shall retain custody of the animal in accordance with this Section.
(4) The seized animal shall be held by the custodian provided for in Paragraph (3) for a period of fifteen consecutive days, including weekends and holidays, after such notice of seizure is given. Thereafter, if a person who claims an interest in such animal has not posted bond in accordance with Subsection C, the animal may be humanely disposed of by sale, adoption, or euthanasia.
C. A person claiming an interest in any animal seized pursuant to this Section may prevent the disposition of the animal as provided for in Subsection B by posting a bond with the court within fifteen days after receiving notice of such seizure in an amount sufficient to secure payment for all reasonable costs incurred in the boarding and treatment for any seized animal for a thirty-day period commencing on the date of initial seizure. Such bond shall not prevent the department, agency, humane society, or other custodian of the animal from disposing of the animal in accordance with Subsection B at the end of the thirty-day period covered by the bond, unless the person claiming an interest posts an additional bond for such reasonable expenses for an additional thirty- day period. In addition, such bond shall not prevent disposition of the animal for humane purposes at any time, in accordance with Subsection E of this Section. The amount of the bond shall be determined by the department, agency, humane society or other custodian of the animal as authorized by the court in accordance with the current rate for board and on the condition of the animal after examination by a licensed veterinarian.
D. Upon a person's conviction of cruelty to animals, it shall be proper for the court, in its discretion, to order the forfeiture and final determination of the custody of any animal found to be cruelly treated in accordance with this Section and the forfeiture of the bond posted pursuant to Subsection C as part of the sentence. The court may, in its discretion, order the payment of any reasonable or additional costs incurred in the boarding or veterinary treatment of any seized animal prior to its disposition, whether or not a bond was posted by the defendant. In the event of the acquittal or final discharge without conviction of the accused, the court shall, on demand, direct the delivery of any animal held in custody to the owner thereof and order the return of any bond posted pursuant to Subsection C, less reasonable administrative costs.
E. Nothing in this Section shall prevent the euthanasia of any seized animal, at any time, whether or not any bond was posted, if a licensed veterinarian determines that the animal is not likely to survive and is suffering, as a result of any physical condition. In such instances, the court, in its discretion, may order the return of any bond posted, less reasonable costs, at the time of trial.
102.3. Search warrant; animal cruelty offenses
If the complaint is made, by affidavit, to any magistrate authorized to issue search warrants in criminal cases, that the complainant has reason to believe that an animal has been or is being cruelly treated in violation of R.S. 14:102.1, in any building or place, such magistrate, if satisfied that there is reasonable cause for such belief, shall issue a search warrant to any law enforcement officer authorized by law to make arrests for such offenses, authorizing any such officer to make a search of said building or place, and to arrest any person found violating R.S. 14:102.1. Said warrant may also authorize said officer to seize any animal believed to be cruelly treated and to take custody thereof. This section shall not be construed as a limitation on the power of law enforcement officers to seize animals as evidence at the time of the arrest.
Amended in 1997.
Reviewed by AAHS in September 2001.
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