Bill Text: IA HF737 | 2019-2020 | 88th General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: A bill for an act relating to the regulation of persons involved with animals other than livestock and certain wild animals, providing for criminal offenses and court orders associated with animal mistreatment, and including penalties. (Formerly HSB 114.)

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (? 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-04-11 - Placed on calendar under unfinished business. S.J. 931. [HF737 Detail]

Download: Iowa-2019-HF737-Introduced.html
House File 737 - Introduced HOUSE FILE 737 BY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY (SUCCESSOR TO HSB 114) A BILL FOR An Act relating to the regulation of persons involved with 1 animals other than livestock and certain wild animals, 2 providing for criminal offenses and court orders associated 3 with animal mistreatment, and including penalties. 4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 5 TLSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh
H.F. 737 Section 1. NEW SECTION . 351.45 Tampering with a rabies 1 vaccination tag —— penalties. 2 1. A person commits the offense of tampering with a rabies 3 vaccination tag if all of the following apply: 4 a. The person knowingly removes, damages, or destroys a 5 rabies vaccination tag as described in section 351.35. 6 b. The rabies vaccination tag is attached to a collar worn 7 by a dog, including as provided in sections 351.25 and 351.26. 8 2. a. For a first conviction, the person is guilty of a 9 simple misdemeanor. 10 b. For a second or subsequent conviction, the person is 11 guilty of a serious misdemeanor. 12 3. This section shall not apply to an act taken by any of 13 the following: 14 a. The owner of the dog, an agent of the owner, or a person 15 authorized to take action by the owner. 16 b. A peace officer as defined in section 801.4. 17 c. A veterinarian licensed as provided in chapter 169. 18 d. An animal shelter or pound as defined in section 162.2. 19 Sec. 2. NEW SECTION . 351.46 Tampering with an electronic 20 handling device —— penalties. 21 1. A person commits the offense of tampering with an 22 electronic handling device if all of the following apply: 23 a. The person knowingly removes, disables, or destroys 24 an electric device designed and used to maintain custody or 25 control of the dog or modify the dog’s behavior. 26 b. The electronic device is attached to or worn by the 27 dog or attached to an item worn by the dog, including but not 28 limited to a collar, harness, or vest. 29 2. a. For a first conviction, the person is guilty of a 30 simple misdemeanor. 31 b. For a second or subsequent conviction, the person is 32 guilty of a serious misdemeanor. 33 3. This section shall not apply to an act taken by any of 34 the following: 35 -1- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 1/ 16
H.F. 737 a. The owner of the dog, an agent of the owner, or a person 1 authorized to take action by the owner. 2 b. A peace officer as defined in section 801.4. 3 c. A veterinarian licensed as provided in chapter 169. 4 d. An animal shelter or pound as defined in section 162.2. 5 Sec. 3. Section 717B.1, subsection 1, Code 2019, is amended 6 by adding the following new paragraph: 7 NEW PARAGRAPH . 0b. Preserve whitetail as defined in section 8 484C.1. 9 Sec. 4. Section 717B.1, Code 2019, is amended by adding the 10 following new subsections: 11 NEW SUBSECTION . 2A. “Animal mistreatment” means an act 12 described as animal abuse as provided in section 717B.2, 13 animal neglect as provided in section 717B.3, animal torture 14 as provided in section 717B.3A, abandonment of a cat or dog as 15 provided in section 717B.8, or injury to or interference with a 16 police service dog as provided in section 717B.9. 17 NEW SUBSECTION . 3A. “Commercial establishment” means a 18 commercial establishment as defined in section 162.2 that is 19 operating under a valid authorization issued or renewed under 20 section 162.2A. 21 NEW SUBSECTION . 3B. a. “Convicted” means the entry of 22 a judgment of conviction under chapter 901 or adjudicated 23 delinquent for an act which is an indictable offense in this 24 state or in another state under chapter 232. 25 b. “Convicted” does not mean a plea, sentence, adjudication, 26 deferred sentence, or deferred judgment which has been reversed 27 or otherwise set aside. 28 NEW SUBSECTION . 3C. “Department” means the department of 29 agriculture and land stewardship. 30 NEW SUBSECTION . 4A. “Euthanasia” means the same as defined 31 in section 162.2. 32 NEW SUBSECTION . 4B. “Injury” means an animal’s 33 disfigurement; the impairment of an animal’s health; or an 34 impairment to the functioning of an animal’s limb or organ, 35 -2- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 2/ 16
H.F. 737 including physical damage or harm to an animal’s muscle, 1 tissue, organs, bones, hide, or skin. 2 NEW SUBSECTION . 8A. “Serious injury” means an injury that 3 constitutes an animal’s protracted or permanent disfigurement, 4 the protracted or permanent impairment of an animal’s health, 5 the protracted or permanent impairment of the functioning of 6 an animal’s limb or organ, or the loss of an animal’s limb or 7 organ. 8 NEW SUBSECTION . 10. “Veterinarian” means a veterinarian 9 licensed pursuant to chapter 169 who practices veterinary 10 medicine in this state. 11 Sec. 5. Section 717B.2, Code 2019, is amended to read as 12 follows: 13 717B.2 Animal mistreatment —— animal abuse —— penalties . 14 1. A person is guilty of animal abuse if the person 15 intentionally injures, maims, disfigures, or destroys an animal 16 owned by another person, in any manner, including intentionally 17 poisoning the animal commits animal abuse when the person 18 intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly acts to inflict injury, 19 serious injury, or death on an animal by force, violence, or 20 poisoning . A person guilty of animal abuse is guilty of an 21 aggravated misdemeanor. 22 2. This section shall not apply to any of the following: 23 1. A person acting with the consent of the person owning 24 the animal, unless the action constitutes animal neglect as 25 provided in section 717B.3 . 26 a. An owner of the animal, or a person acting with the 27 consent of the owner, who euthanizes an animal in a reasonable 28 manner, if at the time of the euthanasia, the animal is in a 29 state of permanent pain or suffering. 30 2. b. A person acting to carry out an order issued by a 31 court. 32 3. c. A licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary 33 medicine as provided in chapter 169 . 34 4. d. A person acting in order to carry out another 35 -3- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 3/ 16
H.F. 737 provision of law which allows the conduct. 1 5. e. A person taking, hunting, trapping, or fishing for a 2 wild animal as provided in chapter 481A . 3 6. f. A person acting to protect the person’s property from 4 a wild animal as defined in section 481A.1 . 5 7. g. A person acting to protect a person from injury or 6 death caused by a wild animal as defined in section 481A.1 . 7 8. h. A person reasonably acting to protect the person’s 8 property from damage caused by an unconfined animal. 9 9. i. A person reasonably acting to protect a person from 10 injury or death caused by an unconfined animal. 11 10. j. A local authority reasonably acting to destroy an 12 animal, if at the time of the destruction, the owner of the 13 animal is absent or unable to care for the animal, and the 14 animal is permanently distressed by disease or injury to a 15 degree that would result in severe and prolonged suffering. 16 11. k. A research facility, as defined in section 162.2 , 17 provided that if the research facility has been issued a valid 18 authorization by the department pursuant to chapter 162, and 19 performs functions within the scope of accepted practices and 20 disciplines associated with the research facility. 21 l. An act required to be carried out by a commercial 22 establishment to care for an animal in its possession or 23 under its control as described in section 162.10A, subsection 24 1, provided that the commercial establishment complies 25 with applicable standard of care requirements pursuant to 26 subsections 1 and 2 of that section. 27 3. A person who commits animal abuse that causes injury, 28 other than serious injury or death, to an animal is guilty of 29 a serious misdemeanor. 30 4. A person who commits animal abuse that causes serious 31 injury or death to an animal is guilty of an aggravated 32 misdemeanor. 33 5. Notwithstanding subsection 4, a person who commits 34 animal abuse that causes serious injury or death to an animal 35 -4- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 4/ 16
H.F. 737 is guilty of a class “D” felony if the person has previously 1 been convicted of committing animal abuse pursuant to this 2 section, animal neglect punishable as a serious misdemeanor 3 or aggravated misdemeanor pursuant to section 717B.3, animal 4 torture pursuant to section 717B.3A, injury to or interference 5 with a police service dog pursuant to section 717B.9, 6 bestiality pursuant to section 717C.1, or an act involving a 7 contest event prohibited in section 717D.2. 8 Sec. 6. Section 717B.3, Code 2019, is amended to read as 9 follows: 10 717B.3 Animal mistreatment —— animal neglect —— penalties . 11 1. A person who impounds or commits animal neglect when 12 the person owns or has custody of an animal, confines , in any 13 place, an that animal , is guilty of animal neglect if the 14 person does any of the following: 15 a. Fails and fails to supply the animal during confinement 16 with a sufficient quantity of food or water. provide the animal 17 with any of the following conditions for the animal’s welfare: 18 a. Access to food in an amount and quality reasonably 19 sufficient to satisfy the animal’s basic nutrition level to the 20 extent that the animal’s health or life is endangered. 21 b. Fails to provide a confined dog or cat with adequate 22 shelter Access to a supply of potable water in an amount 23 reasonably sufficient to satisfy the animal’s basic hydration 24 level to the extent that the animal’s health or life is 25 endangered . Access to snow or ice does not satisfy this 26 requirement. 27 c. Tortures, deprives of necessary sustenance, mutilates, 28 beats, or kills an animal by any means which causes unjustified 29 pain, distress, or suffering Sanitary conditions free from 30 excessive animal waste or the overcrowding of animals to the 31 extent that the animal’s health or life is endangered . 32 d. Ventilated shelter reasonably sufficient to provide 33 adequate protection from the elements and weather conditions 34 suitable for the age, species, and physical condition of the 35 -5- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 5/ 16
H.F. 737 animal so as to maintain the animal in a state of good health 1 to the extent that the animal’s health or life is endangered. 2 The shelter must protect the animal from wind, rain, snow, or 3 sun and have adequate bedding to provide reasonable protection 4 against cold and dampness. A shelter may include a residence, 5 garage, barn, shed, or doghouse. 6 e. Grooming, to the extent it is reasonably necessary to 7 prevent adverse health effects or suffering. 8 f. Veterinary care deemed necessary by a reasonably 9 prudent person to relieve an animal’s distress from any of the 10 following: 11 (1) A condition caused by failing to provide for the 12 animal’s welfare as described in this subsection. 13 (2) An injury or illness suffered by the animal causing the 14 animal to suffer prolonged pain and suffering. 15 2. This section does not apply to conduct engaged in by 16 a research facility, as defined in section 162.2 , provided 17 that if the research facility has been issued a valid 18 authorization by the department pursuant to chapter 162, and 19 performs functions within the scope of accepted practices and 20 disciplines associated with the research facility. 21 3. A person who negligently or intentionally commits 22 the offense of animal neglect that does not cause injury, 23 serious injury, or death to an animal is guilty of a simple 24 misdemeanor. A person who intentionally commits the offense of 25 animal neglect which results in serious injury to or the death 26 of an animal is guilty of a serious misdemeanor. 27 4. A person who commits animal neglect that causes injury, 28 other than serious injury or death, to an animal is guilty of 29 a serious misdemeanor. 30 5. A person who commits animal neglect that causes serious 31 injury or death to an animal is guilty of an aggravated 32 misdemeanor. 33 6. Notwithstanding subsection 5, a person who commits 34 animal neglect that causes serious injury or death to an 35 -6- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 6/ 16
H.F. 737 animal is guilty of a class “D” felony if the person has been 1 previously convicted of animal abuse pursuant to section 2 717B.2, animal neglect punishable as a serious misdemeanor or 3 aggravated misdemeanor pursuant to this section, animal torture 4 pursuant to section 717B.3A, injury to or interference with 5 a police service dog pursuant to section 717B.9, bestiality 6 pursuant to section 717C.1, or an act involving a contest event 7 prohibited in section 717D.2. 8 Sec. 7. Section 717B.3A, Code 2019, is amended to read as 9 follows: 10 717B.3A Animal mistreatment —— animal torture —— penalties . 11 1. A person is guilty of animal torture , regardless of 12 whether the person is the owner of the animal, if the person 13 intentionally or knowingly inflicts upon the on an animal 14 severe and prolonged or repeated physical pain with a depraved 15 or sadistic intent to cause prolonged suffering that causes the 16 animal’s serious injury or death. 17 2. This section shall not apply to any of the following: 18 a. A person acting to carry out an order issued by a court. 19 b. A licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary medicine as 20 provided in chapter 169 . 21 c. A person carrying out a practice that is consistent with 22 animal husbandry practices. 23 d. c. A person acting in order to carry out another 24 provision of law which allows the conduct. 25 e. d. A person taking, hunting, trapping, or fishing for a 26 wild animal as provided in chapter 481A . 27 f. e. A person acting to protect the person’s property from 28 a wild animal as defined in section 481A.1 . 29 g. f. A person acting to protect a person from injury 30 bodily harm or death caused by a wild animal as defined in 31 section 481A.1 . 32 h. g. A person reasonably acting reasonably to protect the 33 person’s property from damage caused by an unconfined animal. 34 i. h. A person reasonably acting reasonably to protect a 35 -7- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 7/ 16
H.F. 737 person from injury bodily harm or death caused by an unconfined 1 animal. 2 j. i. A local authority reasonably acting reasonably to 3 destroy euthanize an animal, if at the time of the destruction 4 euthanasia , the owner of the animal is absent or unable to care 5 for the animal, and the animal is permanently distressed by 6 disease or injury to a degree that would result in severe and 7 prolonged suffering. 8 k. j. A research facility, as defined in section 162.2 , 9 provided that if the research facility has been issued a valid 10 authorization by the department pursuant to chapter 162, and 11 the research facility performs functions within the scope of 12 accepted practices and disciplines associated with the research 13 facility. 14 k. An act required to be carried out by a commercial 15 establishment to care for an animal in its possession or 16 under its control as described in section 162.10A, subsection 17 1, provided that the commercial establishment complies 18 with applicable standard of care requirements pursuant to 19 subsections 1 and 2 of that section. 20 3. a. The following shall apply to a person who commits 21 animal torture: 22 (1) For the first conviction, the person is guilty of an 23 aggravated misdemeanor. The sentencing order shall provide 24 that the person submit to psychological evaluation and 25 treatment according to terms required by the court. The costs 26 of the evaluation and treatment shall be paid by the person. 27 In addition, the sentencing order shall provide that the person 28 complete a community work requirement, which may include a work 29 requirement performed at an animal shelter or pound, as defined 30 in section 162.2 , according to terms required by the court. 31 (2) For a second or subsequent conviction, the person is 32 guilty of a class “D” felony. The sentencing order shall 33 provide that the person submit to psychological evaluation and 34 treatment according to terms required by the court. The costs 35 -8- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 8/ 16
H.F. 737 of the psychological evaluation and treatment shall be paid by 1 the person. 2 b. The juvenile court shall have exclusive original 3 jurisdiction in a proceeding concerning a child who is alleged 4 to have committed animal torture, in the manner provided in 5 section 232.8 . The juvenile court shall not waive jurisdiction 6 in a proceeding concerning such an offense alleged to have been 7 committed by a child under the age of seventeen. 8 4. A person who commits animal torture is guilty of a class 9 “D” felony. 10 5. Notwithstanding subsection 4, a person who commits 11 animal torture is guilty of a class “C” felony if the person 12 has previously been convicted of committing animal abuse 13 pursuant to section 717B.2, animal neglect punishable as a 14 serious misdemeanor or aggravated misdemeanor pursuant to 15 section 717B.3, animal torture pursuant to this section, injury 16 to or interference with a police service dog pursuant to 17 section 717B.9, bestiality pursuant to section 717C.1, or an 18 act involving a contest event prohibited in section 717D.2. 19 Sec. 8. NEW SECTION . 717B.3B Animal mistreatment —— court 20 order —— evaluation and treatment. 21 1. At the time of a person’s conviction for committing a 22 public offense constituting animal mistreatment, a court may 23 enter an order requiring the person to undergo a psychological 24 or psychiatric evaluation and to undergo any treatment that the 25 court determines to be appropriate after due consideration of 26 the evaluation. 27 2. Notwithstanding subsection 1, the court shall enter an 28 order described in that subsection, if the convicted person is 29 any of the following: 30 a. A juvenile. 31 b. An adult convicted of animal abuse punishable as an 32 aggravated misdemeanor or class “D” felony pursuant to section 33 717B.2, animal neglect punishable as an aggravated misdemeanor 34 or class “D” felony pursuant to section 717B.3, or animal 35 -9- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 9/ 16
H.F. 737 torture pursuant to section 717B.3A. 1 3. The costs of undergoing a psychological or psychiatric 2 evaluation and undergoing any treatment ordered by the court 3 shall be borne by the convicted person, unless the person is 4 a juvenile. 5 4. An order made under this section is in addition to any 6 other order or sentence of the court. 7 5. Any violation of the court order shall be punished as 8 contempt of court pursuant to chapter 665. 9 Sec. 9. Section 717B.8, Code 2019, is amended to read as 10 follows: 11 717B.8 Abandonment of cats and dogs —— penalties. 12 1. A person who has ownership commits animal abandonment if 13 the person owns or has custody of a cat or dog shall not abandon 14 the cat or dog, except the person may deliver and relinquishes 15 all rights in and duties to care for the cat or dog. 16 2. This section does not apply to any of the following: 17 a. The delivery of a cat or dog to another person who will 18 accept ownership and custody or the person may deliver of the 19 cat or dog. 20 b. The delivery of a cat or dog to an animal shelter or 21 pound as defined in section 162.2 that has been issued a valid 22 authorization by the department under chapter 162 . 23 c. A person who relinquishes custody of a cat at a location 24 in which the person does not hold a legal or equitable 25 interest, if previously the person had taken custody of the cat 26 at the same location and provided for the cat’s sterilization 27 by a veterinarian. 28 3. a. A person who violates this section commits animal 29 abandonment that does not cause injury or death to an animal is 30 guilty of a simple misdemeanor. 31 b. A person who commits animal abandonment that causes 32 injury other than serious injury or death to an animal is 33 guilty of a serious misdemeanor. 34 c. A person who commits animal abandonment that causes 35 -10- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 10/ 16
H.F. 737 serious injury or death to an animal is guilty of an aggravated 1 misdemeanor. 2 EXPLANATION 3 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 4 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 5 TAMPERING WITH ITEMS WORN BY A DOG. This bill prohibits a 6 person from knowingly tampering with certain articles attached 7 to an item such as a collar worn by a dog or otherwise attached 8 to the dog. First, the bill prohibits a person from removing, 9 damaging, or destroying a rabies vaccination tag attached to a 10 collar worn by a dog (new Code section 351.45). Generally, a 11 dog must receive a rabies vaccination (Code sections 351.33 and 12 351.36) and must wear a collar with a valid rabies vaccination 13 tag (Code section 351.25) or else be subject to being killed or 14 seized by law enforcement (Code section 351.26). The bill’s 15 second offense prohibits a person from removing, disabling, or 16 destroying an electronic handling device while attached to the 17 dog or attached to an item worn by the dog such as a collar, 18 harness, or vest (new Code section 351.46). An electronic 19 handling device is designed and used to maintain custody or 20 control of the dog or modify the dog’s behavior. Neither 21 offense applies to the dog’s owner or to an agent of or a 22 person authorized to take action by the owner, a peace officer, 23 a licensed veterinarian, or an animal shelter. For a first 24 conviction of either offense, a person is guilty of a simple 25 misdemeanor and for a second or subsequent conviction, a person 26 is guilty of a serious misdemeanor. 27 ANIMAL MISTREATMENT —— GENERAL. The bill amends Code 28 chapter 717B prohibiting the mistreatment of certain animals, 29 including dogs and cats, but excluding other animals from 30 its provisions such as livestock (Code chapter 717); game, 31 fur-bearing animals, fish, reptiles, or amphibians (Code 32 chapter 481A), unless such animal is owned, confined, or 33 controlled by a person; or a nongame animal declared to be 34 a nuisance by the natural resource commission (Code sections 35 -11- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 11/ 16
H.F. 737 481A.42 and 717B.1). The bill also refers to commercial 1 establishments which are regulated by the department of 2 agriculture and land stewardship (DALS) and the United States 3 department of agriculture (USDA) (Code chapter 162). 4 CODE CHAPTER 717B OFFENSES (ANIMAL MISTREATMENT) —— NON-CODE 5 CHAPTER 717B OFFENSES. The bill amends four criminal offenses 6 which are part of Code chapter 717B. These include animal 7 abuse (Code section 717B.2), animal neglect (Code section 8 717B.3), animal torture (Code section 717B.3A), and animal 9 abandonment (Code section 717B.8). The bill also refers to a 10 fourth offense, injury or interference with a police service 11 dog (Code section 717B.9). All of these offenses, which the 12 bill classifies as “animal mistreatment”, are currently subject 13 to a series of penalties ranging from a simple misdemeanor 14 (animal neglect not resulting in a serious injury or death) 15 to a class “D” felony (animal torture). The bill refers to 16 two other types of offenses not part of Code chapter 717B and 17 which each define “animal” broadly to include any nonhuman 18 vertebrate. These include the offense of bestiality (Code 19 section 717C.1) and a number of closely related offenses that 20 involve animals participating in certain contest events such as 21 fighting that may result in an animal’s injury or death (Code 22 section 717D.2). 23 DISTINCTION BETWEEN INJURY AND SERIOUS INJURY. The bill 24 retains and expands a distinction between an infliction of 25 an injury and serious injury or death currently applicable 26 to animal neglect. The bill defines an injury to include an 27 animal’s disfigurement, the impairment of an animal’s health, 28 or an impairment to the functioning of an animal’s limb or 29 organ. It defines a serious injury as an animal’s protracted 30 or permanent disfigurement, the protracted or permanent 31 impairment of an animal’s health, the protracted or permanent 32 impairment of the functioning of an animal’s limb or organ, or 33 the loss of an animal’s limb or organ (amended Code section 34 717B.1). 35 -12- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 12/ 16
H.F. 737 ORDINARY AND ENHANCED CRIMINAL PENALTIES. The bill 1 increases criminal penalties for animal mistreatment offenses, 2 other than interference with a police service dog (primary 3 offenses), with the highest penalty raised to a class “C” 4 felony. Under the bill, a person convicted of a primary 5 offense and who has previously been convicted of committing 6 a form of animal mistreatment, or other described non-Code 7 chapter 717B offense (not subject to a simple misdemeanor), 8 is subject to an enhanced penalty which equals a one-step 9 increase from the penalty ordinarily applicable (e.g., from an 10 aggravated misdemeanor to a class “D” felony). 11 A simple misdemeanor is punishable by confinement for no 12 more than 30 days or a fine of at least $65 but not more than 13 $625 or by both. A serious misdemeanor is punishable by 14 confinement for no more than one year and a fine of at least 15 $315 but not more than $1,875. An aggravated misdemeanor is 16 punishable by confinement for no more than two years and a fine 17 of at least $625 but not more than $6,250. A class “D” felony 18 is punishable by confinement for no more than five years and 19 a fine of at least $750 but not more than $7,500. A class “C” 20 felony is punishable by confinement for no more than 10 years 21 and a fine of at least $1,000 but not more than $10,000. 22 PRIMARY OFFENSES —— ANIMAL ABUSE. Under current law, 23 a person commits animal abuse by intentionally inflicting 24 an injury upon an animal. The bill provides that a person 25 commits the offense by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly 26 inflicting the injury. The bill amends an exception that 27 currently applies to a person who is the owner or acting with 28 the owner’s consent. Under the bill, this exception would only 29 be available if the animal is in a state of permanent pain or 30 suffering and is euthanized. The bill creates a new exception 31 that applies to a commercial establishment. Animal abuse 32 does not include an act by a commercial establishment that 33 involves providing an animal with adequate food, water, housing 34 facilities, sanitary control, grooming, and veterinary care, in 35 -13- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 13/ 16
H.F. 737 compliance with applicable state rules or federal regulations 1 (Code section 162.10A). The bill reduces the penalty from an 2 aggravated to a serious misdemeanor for committing an offense 3 that causes an animal injury but does not cause an animal 4 serious injury or death. It retains the penalty of aggravated 5 misdemeanor if the animal suffers serious injury or death. In 6 that case, the offense is subject to an enhanced penalty as a 7 class “D” felony. 8 PRIMARY OFFENSES —— ANIMAL NEGLECT. Under current law, a 9 person commits animal neglect by (1) impounding or confining an 10 animal and (2) failing to supply the animal with an adequate 11 supply of food or water, or failing to provide the animal 12 with adequate shelter. The bill provides that the offense is 13 committed by a person who (1) owns or has custody of an animal, 14 (2) confines that animal, and (3) fails to provide the animal 15 with conditions for the animal’s welfare. These conditions 16 include access to nutritional food, potable water, adequate 17 sanitary conditions, ventilated shelter from the weather, 18 grooming, and veterinary care if required to relieve the animal 19 from distress. The bill eliminates a provision that includes 20 inflicting upon an animal unjustified pain, including torture. 21 It retains the ordinary criminal penalty which is a simple 22 misdemeanor but provides that the offense does not involve 23 an injury or death. For an offense that causes an animal to 24 suffer an injury, other than serious injury or death, the new 25 penalty is a serious misdemeanor. For an offense that causes 26 an animal to suffer a serious injury or death, the new penalty 27 is an aggravated misdemeanor which may be enhanced to a class 28 “D” felony. 29 PRIMARY OFFENSES —— ANIMAL TORTURE. Under current law, a 30 person commits animal torture by (1) acting with a depraved 31 or sadistic intent to (2) inflict severe and prolonged pain 32 or suffering, or death upon an animal. The bill provides 33 that a person commits the offense by (1) intentionally or 34 knowingly (but not recklessly) inflicting severe and prolonged 35 -14- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 14/ 16
H.F. 737 or repeated physical pain upon an animal, and (2) causes the 1 animal’s serious injury or death. The bill eliminates an 2 exception that applies to a person carrying out practices 3 consistent with animal husbandry purposes. The bill creates 4 a new exception applying to a commercial establishment in the 5 same manner as described for animal abuse. The bill increases 6 the criminal penalty to a class “D” felony which may be 7 enhanced to a class “C” felony. 8 PRIMARY OFFENSES —— ANIMAL ABANDONMENT. Under current law, 9 a person who owns or has custody of a cat or dog is prohibited 10 from abandoning that animal. Abandonment does not include 11 delivery of a dog or cat to a person who will accept ownership 12 and custody of the animal or delivery of the animal to an 13 animal shelter or pound. The bill designates the offense as 14 animal abandonment and prohibits a person from relinquishing 15 rights and duties to care for the animal. The bill creates 16 an exception that allows a person to return a cat to the 17 same location as it was taken if the returned cat has been 18 sterilized by a veterinarian. The bill retains the current 19 penalty, a simple misdemeanor, provided the offense does not 20 involve an injury or death to the animal. If the animal 21 suffers an injury, other than serious injury or death, the 22 new penalty is a serious misdemeanor. If the animal suffers 23 serious injury or death, the new penalty is an aggravated 24 misdemeanor which may be enhanced to a class “D” felony. 25 ANIMAL MISTREATMENT —— COURT-ORDERED EVALUATION AND 26 TREATMENT. The bill eliminates a requirement that a court 27 may order psychological evaluation and treatment for a 28 person’s first conviction of animal torture and must enter 29 such order for the person’s subsequent conviction. Instead, 30 the bill provides that the court may order psychological or 31 psychiatric evaluation and treatment for any conviction of an 32 animal mistreatment offense and must enter the order if the 33 sentenced person is a juvenile or the offense is animal abuse, 34 animal neglect, or animal torture punishable as an aggravated 35 -15- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 15/ 16
H.F. 737 misdemeanor, class “D” felony, or class “C” felony (an offense 1 in which a person inflicts a serious injury or death on an 2 animal). 3 COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS. A commercial establishment 4 includes a person required to be issued some form of 5 authorization by the DALS (Code section 162.2A), including 6 an animal shelter, pound, or research facility (certificate 7 of registration); a pet shop, boarding kennel, or commercial 8 kennel (state license); or a dealer, commercial breeder, 9 or public auction (either a state license or a permit). A 10 permit is issued if the person is licensed under the federal 11 Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. ch. 54) by USDA. A registrant or 12 state licensee must meet the standard of care requirement by 13 complying with DALS rules. A permittee must meet the standard 14 of care by complying with USDA regulations (Code section 15 162.10A). 16 -16- LSB 2126HV (5) 88 da/rh 16/ 16
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