Animal Law

50-State Guide to State Laws on Animal Cruelty

By E.A. Gjelten, Author and Editor
Information on state laws that criminalize the mistreatment of pets and other animals.

Animal cruelty is illegal across the United States, but the laws vary from state to state. Some statutes are more general or vague, while others have specific and detailed prohibitions on various ways of mistreating pets and other animals. Many states also have laws on transporting pets safely and protecting animals left in hot or cold cars.

In addition to state laws, local communities often have animal protection ordinances. For instance, many municipalities across the country either forbid or restrict chaining up dogs.

To learn about the animal cruelty laws in your state—and what to do if you witness animal abuse—click on the appropriate link below.

Alabama

Illinois

Montana

Rhode Island

Alaska

Indiana

Nebraska

South Carolina

Arizona

Iowa

Nevada

South Dakota

Arkansas

Kansas

New Hampshire

Tennessee

California

Kentucky

New Jersey

Texas

Colorado

Louisiana

New Mexico

Utah

Connecticut

Maine

New York

Vermont

Delaware

Maryland

North Carolina

Virginia

D.C.

Massachusetts

North Dakota

Washington

Florida

Michigan

Ohio

West Virginia

Georgia

Minnesota

Oklahoma

Wisconsin

Hawaii

Mississippi

Oregon

Wyoming

Idaho

Missouri

Pennsylvania

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