University of Vermont AAHS

Wyoming Cruelty to Animals Statutes

WYOMING STATUTES
TITLE 6. Crimes and Offenses
CHAPTER 3. Offenses Against Property
ARTICLE 2. Property Destruction and Defacement


6-3-203 Cruelty to animals; penalties; limitation on manner of destruction.
(a) A person commits cruelty to animals if he knowingly and with intent to cause death, injury or undue suffering:
(i) Overrides, drives when overloaded, tortures or torments an animal or deprives an animal of necessary sustenance; or
(ii) Unnecessarily or cruelly beats, injures, mutilates or kills an animal; or
(iii) Carries an animal in a manner that poses undue risk of injury or
death.

(b) A person commits cruelty to animals if he has the charge and custody of
any animal and unnecessarily fails to provide it with the proper food, drink or
protection from the weather, or cruelly abandons the animal, or in the case of
immediate, obvious, serious illness or injury, fails to provide the animal with
appropriate care.

(c) A person commits aggravated cruelty to animals if he:
(i) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 91, 2.
(ii) Owns, possesses, keeps or trains fowls or dogs with the intent to allow the dog or fowl to engage in an exhibition of fighting with another dog or fowl;
(iii) Repealed by Laws 1987, ch. 91, 2.
(iv) For gain causes or allows any dog or fowl to fight with another dog or fowl;
(v) Knowingly permits any act prohibited under paragraphs (ii) or (iv) of this subsection on any premises under his charge or control; or
(vi) Promotes any act prohibited under paragraphs (ii) or (iv) of this subsection.

(d) A person shall not destroy an animal by the use of a high-altitude decompression chamber or a carbon monoxide gas chamber utilizing a gasoline engine. This subsection is uniformly applicable to all cities and towns.

(e) Cruelty to animals is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both except that a subsequent offense, or aggravated cruelty to animals as defined by paragraphs (c)(ii), (iv), (v) and (vi) of this section is a high misdemeanor punishable by not more than one (1) year imprisonment, a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), or both.

(f) Nothing in subsection (c) of this section may be construed to prohibit:
(i) The use of dogs in the management of livestock by the owner of the livestock, his employees or agents or other persons in lawful custody of the livestock;
(ii) The use of dogs or raptors in hunting; or
(iii) The training of dogs or raptors or the use of equipment in the training of dogs or raptors for any purpose not prohibited by law;
(iv) through (vi) Repealed by Laws 2000, ch. 86, 2.

(g) A person commits cruelty to animals if he is knowingly present at any place where an exhibition of fighting of fowls or dogs is occurring for amusement or gain.

(h) If a person convicted of cruelty to animals under this section is also the owner of the animal, the court may require the person to forfeit ownership of the animal to the county in which the person is convicted. This subsection shall not affect the interest of any secured party or other person who has not participated in the offense.

(j) In addition to any sentence and penalties imposed under subsections (e) and (h) of this section, the court may:

(i) Require the defendant to pay all reasonable costs incurred in providing necessary food and water, veterinary attention and treatment for any animal affected; and
(ii) Prohibit or limit the defendant's ownership, possession or custody of animals, as the court deems appropriate.

(k) Each animal affected by the defendant's conduct may constitute a separate count for the purposes of prosecution, conviction, sentencing and penalties under this section.

(m) Nothing in subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be construed to prohibit:
(i) A person from humanely destroying an animal;
(ii) The use of industry accepted agricultural and livestock practices on
livestock;
(iii) Rodeo events, whether the event is performed in a rodeo, jackpot or
otherwise; or
(iv) The hunting, capture or destruction of any predatory animal or other wildlife in any manner not otherwise prohibited by law.

TITLE 11. Agriculture, Livestock and Other Animals
CHAPTER 29. Protection of Domestic Animals


11-29-101 Definitions.

(a) As used in this act:

(i) "Animal" means every living dumb creature;

(ii) "Owner" or "person" means any individual including the agents and employees of corporations;

(iii) "Torture," "torment" or "cruelty" means every act, omission or neglect whereby the willful and malicious infliction of pain or suffering is caused, permitted or allowed to continue when there is a reasonable remedy or relief;

(iv) "This act" means W.S. 11-29-101 through 11-29-113.


11-29-103 Animals to be fed while impounded; penalties.

(a) Every person who impounds or causes to be impounded any animal in any pound or corral, under the laws of this state, shall supply to the animal during confinement a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and water.

(b) Any person convicted of violating this section shall be imprisoned not exceeding six (6) months, or fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), or both.


11-29-104 Furnishing food to impounded animals.

When any animal impounded is without food or water for more than twelve (12) successive hours, it is lawful for any person to enter into any pound or corral in which the animal is confined and supply the animal with food and water as often as necessary so long as the animal remains confined. Any person entering property to supply food and water to an impounded animal is not liable in any action for the entry and the reasonable cost of the food and water may be collected by him from the owner of the animal.


11-29-105 Livestock board; certificates or badges to be provided.

Officers and agents of the Wyoming livestock board shall be provided with a certificate by the board that they are officers and agents of the board, in such form as the board may choose, or with a badge bearing the name or seal of the board, and if requested, shall show the certificate or badge when acting officially.


11-29-106 Livestock board; authority to prevent cruelty; penalty for interference with officer.

Any officer or agent of the board may lawfully interfere to prevent the perpetration of any act of cruelty upon any animal in his presence. Any person who interferes with, obstructs or resists any officer or agent in the discharge of his duty shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars ($200.00) nor more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500.00), or imprisoned not more than one (1) year, or both.


11-29-107 Livestock board; authority to require arrests; costs.

At the request of any officer or agent of the board, a peace officer or any agent of the board authorized by the sheriff to make arrests for the violation of this act shall arrest any person found violating this act and take possession of any animal cruelly treated in their respective counties, cities or towns, and deliver the animal to the proper agents or officers of the board. The cost of carrying out this act relative to the care of any animal shall be charged as costs and the board shall be reimbursed by the person convicted. Any peace officer may arrest any person found violating this act and may take possession of any animal cruelly treated in his jurisdiction. Except as otherwise provided in this section, if any peace officer takes possession of any animal cruelly treated within his jurisdiction, the cost of caring for the animal shall be charged to the respective county, city or town and the local government shall be reimbursed by the person convicted. The local government shall have a lien on the animal for the expense of its care. If a peace officer takes possession of an animal at the request of the board or any officer or agent of the board, the cost of caring for the animal shall be initially borne by the board and shall not be charged to the respective county, city or town.


11-29-108 Livestock board; seized animals and vehicles; lien on seized chattels; civil action for unpaid expenses.

When any person arrested under this act is in charge of any vehicle drawn by or containing any animal cruelly treated at the time of arrest, any peace officer, agent or officer of the board may take charge of the animal and vehicle and its contents, and give notice thereof to the owner, if known, and shall provide for them until their owner takes possession of them. The board or local government shall have a lien on the animals, the vehicle and its contents for the expense of the care and provision. The expense or any part remaining unpaid may be recovered by the board or local government in a civil action.


11-29-109 Livestock board; care of abandoned animals; civil action for expenses; lien.

Any peace officer, agent or officer of the board may take charge of any animal found abandoned, neglected or cruelly treated. He shall give notice to the owner, if known, and may care and provide for the animal until the owner takes charge of the animal. The expenses of care and provision is a charge against the owner of the animal and collectible from the owner by the board or by the local government employing the peace officer taking charge of the animal in a civil action. The board or local government may detain the animals until the expense for food, shelter and care is paid and shall have a lien upon the animals therefor.


11-29-110 Livestock board; enforcement of liens; notice to owner.

Any person entitled to a lien under this act may enforce the lien by selling the animals and other personal property upon which the lien is given, at public auction, upon giving written notice to the owner, if he is known, of the time and place of the sale, at least five (5) days previous thereto, and by posting three (3) notices of the time and place of the sale in three (3) public places within the county at least five (5) days previous thereto. If the owner is not known, the notice shall be posted at least ten (10) days previous to the sale.


11-29-111 Livestock board; destruction of diseased animals.

Any agent or officer of the board may destroy or cause to be destroyed any animal in his charge when in his judgment and by the written certificate of two (2) reputable citizens called to view the animal in his presence, one (1) of whom may be selected by the owner of the animal if he so requests, the animal appears to be injured, disabled, diseased past recovery or unfit for any useful purpose.


CHAPTER 30. Offenses Concerning Livestock and Other Animals


11-30-109 Taking horses and equipment without consent of owner.

Any person who unlawfully takes without consent of the owner any horse, ass or mule, or any buggy or other vehicle from the stable, lot, premises or pasture of another, or from a hitching post or rack or any other place, having been lawfully placed there, with intent to set at large, injure or wrongfully use the animal or vehicle taken, is guilty of criminal trespass and shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.00), or more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or imprisoned for not more than six (6) months, or both, and is also liable to the party injured in double the amount of damage sustained.


11-30-110 Appropriation of horse or mule on open range without permission.

(a) It is unlawful for any person without the consent of the owner, to take possession of any horse or mule found running at large upon the open range for the purpose or with the intent of working, riding or driving the horse or mule, where there is no intent on the part of the person to steal the horse or mule. It is unlawful for any person to drive any horses or mules not his own, off or away from any range where the horses or mules are found, except to the nearest corral for the purpose of separating them from horses or mules belonging to the person. Any person driving horses or mules not his own from any range for the purpose of separating them from horses or mules belonging to him, shall drive the horses or mules back to the locality where they were found immediately after separating them whenever the animals have been driven for more than five (5) miles.

(b) Any person violating this section shall be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) or more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or imprisoned not more than six (6) months, or both.


11-30-111 Ranch or stable keeper not to use horses without consent of owner.

If any person keeping a public ranch or stable uses or allows to be used without consent of the owner any horse, ox, mule or ass that is left with him to be ranched or fed, he shall forfeit to the owner all ranch or stable fees that may be due upon the animal used and an additional forty dollars ($40.00) for each day the animal is used.


11-30-112 Abuse or negligent treatment by bailee.

Any person who takes into his possession, or hires or loans any property of any livery stable keeper, or any other person, and while the property is in his custody shall willfully, or with gross neglect or culpable carelessness damage or destroy the property, or permit the property to be damaged or destroyed, or shall by willful or gross neglect cause the sickness, injury or death of any animal received into his possession, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) or more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), or imprisoned not more than sixty (60) days, or both.


Amended in 2000.
Reviewed by AAHS in September 2001.


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