Animal Cruelty

Animal cruelty is not only wrong — It is a crime and against the law in the state of California! Animal abuse can also be part of a pattern of other violent acts within families and society. Abuse of any kind should be reported to Animal Care Services. If you witness or suspect animal cruelty, you should contact Animal Care Services immediately at 562-570-7387.

What constitutes animal cruelty? Animal cruelty occurs when someone intentionally injures or harms an animal or when a person willfully deprives an animal of food, water or necessary medical care.

Depending on the severely of the violation every person who maliciously, intentionally, or though neglect inflicts pain, injury, or suffering on an animal, is guilty of an offense. These offenses can range from an infraction punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000); misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or, alternatively, by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment; or felony, and is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or three years, or by a fine not to exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

The following is a list California Penal Code sections which regulate animal cruelty issues.


Poisoning animals.


The malicious and intentional maiming, mutilating, torture, wounding or killing of an animal.


Depriving animal of food, water, or shelter; causing unnecessary suffering.


The intentional maiming or killing of an endangered species.


Cruel or inhumane transportation of animal(s).


Fighting animals and birds (excludes dogs).


Training animals to fight, or being present at a fight.


Authority for arrests at animal fighting exhibition without a warrant


Possession of implements for fighting birds.


Possession of gamecocks for fighting purposes.


Operation of a pet shop(s) and sale of sick animals.


Confinement of animals in such manner that may become entangled or injured; or without access to food, water or shelter.


Permitting animals to go without care: Veterinary care for animals.


Fighting dogs.