If you leave your pet outside in extreme weather or heat, you might face animal mistreatment charges in California. California Penal Code Section 597, on the other hand, is the state's primary animal cruelty legislation. This law makes it a misdemeanor to willfully cause unnecessary pain or discomfort to an animal or to fail to provide necessary food or water for an animal.
Under this statute, prosecutors could pursue charges against you if your dog died of heat exhaustion after being left outdoors in excessive temperatures. Prosecutors also could pursue charges if they believed that you had left your dog outside for more than three hours in 100-degree weather or if there was evidence that your dog was severely neglected or deprived of shelter.
In addition, California courts have held that leaving a dog in a hot car constitutes cruel treatment under the criminal provisions of the California Veterinary Medical Board Act (the "Act"). Under this act, it is unlawful for any person to own or keep any animal when that person has been notified by the Department of Animal Regulation that the animal's license has expired, is not current, or was forfeited for any reason.
Consequences of Violating This Law include Prison Time and Financial Ruin: If convicted of animal neglect or abuse, the court may order you to pay restitution to the victim. In addition, the judge may sentence you to prison time, which would be added to your fine.
Pet abandonment Abandoning pets is also a misdemeanor in California. One legislation merely states that intentionally abandoning an animal is unlawful (Cal. Penal Code SS 597s). When an owner is convicted of this offence, the court may prohibit that individual from owning, living with, or caring for any other animal. Additionally, the court can order the defendant to pay restitution to the county or city and reimburse them for the cost of taking care of the pet.
In some cases, the owner may be able to claim inability to provide for the animal. In such cases, the court may allow the owner to file an application with the county animal control agency to have the ban removed. The applicant must show that they are now able to support their pet and that their situation has not changed since the initial conviction. If the court is satisfied with the owner's explanation, it will at its discretion either rescind the prohibition or leave it in place.
Illegal euthanasia Euthanizing animals without a valid reason such as disease or injury violates state law. Each state has its own statute on animal euthanasia, but most require that animals must be given pain relief before they are put down.
In California, one can be prosecuted for felony animal cruelty if one causes unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal for fun or entertainment. This includes someone who shoots animals for sport or subjects them to dangerous practices such as cockfighting or shark fishing.
It is not uncommon for dogs and other animals to be left in automobiles while their owners attend to other matters. As a result, it is prohibited under California Penal Code Section 597.7 PC to leave a pet alone in a motor vehicle under conditions that impair the animal's health or well-being. That law applies whether or not there is any air conditioning present.
By its terms, this law only applies if the car is on a street or highway. If the car is parked in a public parking lot or other off-street area, the owner can let his/her dog sit in the car if that car is not being used by someone else. The dog cannot stay in the car overnight as that would violate the lot manager's rules and could result in eviction. However, if the car is going to be used by someone else at some point, then the dog should not be left in it.
The law does not specify how long one can leave a dog in a car before it becomes illegal. However, since cars can get very hot inside, especially during summer months, most pets will want out of the heat within an hour. Therefore, unless the owner knows he/she will be away for more than an hour, leaving your dog in the car is unsafe. Even if the car isn't moving, the heat from the engine will still cause discomfort to most dogs after just a few minutes.