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Animal Laws » Leaving Your Pet Outside in Harsh Weather in San Bernardino County, California Can Lead to Animal Abuse Charges
In the mountains and deserts of San Bernardino County, weather conditions can get extreme. If you leave your pet outside in harsh or dangerous cold or heat, you could face California animal abuse charges.
“Animal abuse” or “animal cruelty,” while broadly defined under California law, is focused on deliberate or malicious acts of cruelty and neglect. But depriving your pet of shelter or failing to protect your pet from extreme weather conditions can result in animal abuse charges even without such cruel intent.
There are a number of California statutes that address animal cruelty and abuse in specific circumstances, such as laws involving transportation of animals, endangered or protected species, and animals in pet shops. There are also distinct laws that specifically prohibit inherently cruel activities like cockfighting and dogfighting.
However, California’s main animal abuse statute is California Penal Code Section 597.
Animal Abuse Defined
Under Section 597, animal cruelty is defined as:
Animal Cruelty Can Be a Misdemeanor or a Felony
A violation of Section 597 can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the nature and severity of the conduct involved. If you accidentally left your pet outside in inclement or dangerous weather conditions without any cruel or malicious intent, it will likely be prosecuted as a misdemeanor.
A conviction for animal cruelty in San Bernardino County as defined in Section 597 carries heavy penalties, including:
If you are facing San Bernardino County animal abuse charges, you need to contact an experienced San Bernardino County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please give us a call to discuss your case.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.
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