Fight Cruelty

State Animal Cruelty Laws

Laws relating to animals can vary widely from state to state. To enable you to find your state's laws quickly and easily, the ASPCA has partnered with the Michigan State University College of Law's Animal Legal & Historical Center to share its online database of animal-related laws, and their penalties, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This database is updated and expanded on a regular basis.

Once you've clicked on your state from the menu below, a new webpage will open where you will find the state's different categories of animal laws organized in a chart. Find animal cruelty laws by clicking on the link next to the box that says "Consolidated Cruelty Statutes."



A Note about Enforcement: Your local and state police are generally mandated to enforce all laws in your state, including animal cruelty, even if these laws are not included in your state's penal code—contact them if you witness animal cruelty, including neglect, or have information regarding an incident of animal cruelty in your area. Please be aware that local law enforcement may have a limited familiarity with animal cruelty issues, so it can be extremely helpful if you are able to cite the specific section of law and provide police with a summary of it to assist them in their investigation.

Visit our Fight Cruelty section for more information on the topic of reporting animal cruelty. 

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PLEASE NOTE: When you click on the link above, you will be accessing content on a website owned and/or maintained by a third party. The legal information on the MSUCL website is researched and provided by MSUCL, not by the ASPCA, and by clicking the link above, you acknowledge that you understand that this information is not being provided by the ASPCA. The information provided is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice. If you have legal questions or concerns, you are advised to contact appropriate counsel.