HB4344 ENR SUB
H. B. 4344
(By Delegates Webster, Overington, Pino, Schadler, Brown,
Fleischauer and Shook
[Passed March 6, 2008; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §61-8-19 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to the criminal offense of cruelty
to animals; providing that animals be adequately sheltered;
and prohibiting the tethering or chaining of animals in a
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §61-8-19 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY AND DECENCY.
§61-8-19. Cruelty to animals; penalties; exclusions.
(a) (1) It is unlawful for any person to intentionally,
knowingly or recklessly,
(A)mistreat an animal in cruel manner;
(B)abandon an animal;
(i) proper sustenance, including food or water;
(ii) shelter that protects from the elements of weather; or
(iii) medical treatment,
necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to end the
suffering of any animal;
(D) abandon an animal to die;
(E)leave an animal unattended and confined in a motor vehicle
when physical injury to or death of the animal is likely to result;
(F)ride an animal when it is physically unfit;
(G)bait or harass an animal for the purpose of making it
perform for a person's amusement;
(H)cruelly chain or tether an animal; or
(I)use, train or possess a domesticated animal for the purpose
of seizing, detaining or maltreating any other domesticated animal.
(2) Any person in violation of subdivision (1) of this
subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof,
shall be fined not less than three hundred nor more than two
thousand dollars or confined in jail not more than six months, or
(b) A person who intentionally tortures, or mutilates or
maliciously kills an animal, or causes, procures or authorizes any
other person to torture, mutilate or maliciously kill an animal, is
guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined
in a correctional facility not less than one nor more than five
years and be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than
five thousand dollars. For the purposes of this subsection,
"torture" means an action taken for the primary purpose of inflicting pain.
(c) A person, other than a licensed veterinarian or a person
acting under the direction or with the approval of a licensed
veterinarian, who knowingly and willfully administers or causes to
be administered to any animal participating in any contest any
controlled substance or any other drug for the purpose of altering
or otherwise affecting said animal's performance is guilty of a
misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less
than five hundred nor more than two thousand dollars.
(d) Any person convicted of a violation of this section
forfeits his or her interest in any animal and all interest in the
animal vests in the humane society or county pound of the county in
which the conviction was rendered and the person is, in addition to
any fine imposed, liable for any costs incurred or to be incurred
by the humane society or county pound as a result.
(e) For the purpose of this section, the term "controlled
substance" has the same meaning ascribed to it by subsection (d),
section one hundred one, article one, chapter sixty-a of this code.
(f) The provisions of this section do not apply to lawful acts
of hunting, fishing, trapping or animal training or farm livestock,
poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife kept in private or licensed game
farms if kept and maintained according to usual and accepted
standards of livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife or game
farm production and management, nor to humane use of animals or
activities regulated under and in conformity with the provisions of
7 U.S.C. §2131, et seq., and the regulations promulgated thereunder, as both statutes and regulations are in effect on the
effective date of this section.
(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this
section, any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation
of subsection (a) is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be confined
in jail for a period of not less than ninety days nor more than one
year, fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than three
thousand dollars, or both. The incarceration set forth in this
subsection is mandatory unless the provisions of subsection (h) of
this section are complied with.
(h) (1) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the
contrary, no person who has been convicted of a violation of the
provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section may be granted
probation until the defendant has undergone a complete psychiatric
or psychological evaluation and the court has reviewed the
evaluation. Unless the defendant is determined by the court to be
indigent, he or she is responsible for the cost of the evaluation.
(2) For any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a)
or (b) of this section, the court may, in addition to the penalties
provided in this section, impose a requirement that he or she
complete a program of anger management intervention for
perpetrators of animal cruelty. Unless the defendant is determined
by the court to be indigent, he or she is responsible for the cost
of the program.
(i) In addition to any other penalty which can be imposed for
a violation of this section, a court shall prohibit any person so convicted from possessing, owning or residing with any animal or
type of animal for a period of five years following entry of a
misdemeanor conviction and fifteen years following entry of a
felony conviction. A violation under this subsection is a
misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars
and forfeiture of the animal.