Kansas Statutes Annotated
Updated Through the 2019 Legislative Session
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CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
CRIMES AGAINST THE PUBLIC MORALS
Cruelty to animals.
21-6412. Cruelty to animals. (a) Cruelty to animals is:
(1) Knowingly and maliciously killing, injuring, maiming, torturing, burning or mutilating any animal;
(2) knowingly abandoning any animal in any place without making provisions for its proper care;
(3) having physical custody of any animal and knowingly failing to provide such food, potable water, protection from the elements, opportunity for exercise and other care as is needed for the health or well-being of such kind of animal;
(4) intentionally using a wire, pole, stick, rope or any other object to cause an equine to lose its balance or fall, for the purpose of sport or entertainment;
(5) knowingly but not maliciously killing or injuring any animal; or
(6) knowingly and maliciously administering any poison to any domestic animal.
(b) Cruelty to animals as defined in:
(1) Subsection (a)(1) or (a)(6) is a nonperson felony. Upon conviction of subsection (a)(1) or (a)(6), a person shall be sentenced to not less than 30 days or more than one year's imprisonment and be fined not less than $500 nor more than $5,000. The person convicted shall not be eligible for release on probation, suspension or reduction of sentence or parole until the person has served the minimum mandatory sentence as provided herein. During the mandatory 30 days imprisonment, such offender shall have a psychological evaluation prepared for the court to assist the court in determining conditions of probation. Such conditions shall include, but not be limited to, the completion of an anger management program; and
(2) subsection (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4) or (a)(5) is a:
(A) Class A nonperson misdemeanor, except as provided in subsection (b)(2)(B); and
(B) nonperson felony upon the second or subsequent conviction of cruelty to animals as defined in subsection (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4) or (a)(5). Upon such conviction, a person shall be sentenced to not less than five days or more than one year's imprisonment and be fined not less than $500 nor more than $2,500. The person convicted shall not be eligible for release on probation, suspension or reduction of sentence or parole until the person has served the minimum mandatory sentence as provided herein.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
(1) Normal or accepted veterinary practices;
(2) bona fide experiments carried on by commonly recognized research facilities;
(3) killing, attempting to kill, trapping, catching or taking of any animal in accordance with the provisions of chapter 32 or chapter 47 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, and amendments thereto;
(4) rodeo practices accepted by the rodeo cowboys' association;
(5) the humane killing of an animal that is diseased or disabled beyond recovery for any useful purpose, or the humane killing of animals for population control, by the owner thereof or the agent of such owner residing outside of a city or the owner thereof within a city if no animal shelter or licensed veterinarian is within the city, or by a licensed veterinarian at the request of the owner thereof, or by any officer or agent of an animal shelter, a local or state health officer or a licensed veterinarian three business days following the receipt of any such animal at such shelter;
(6) with respect to farm animals, normal or accepted practices of animal husbandry, including the normal and accepted practices for the slaughter of such animals for food or by-products and the careful or thrifty management of one's herd or animals, including animal care practices common in the industry or region;
(7) the killing of any animal by any person at any time that may be found outside of the owned or rented property of the owner or custodian of such animal and that is found injuring or posing a threat to any person, farm animal or property;
(8) an animal control officer trained by a licensed veterinarian in the use of a tranquilizer gun, using such gun with the appropriate dosage for the size of the animal, when such animal is vicious or could not be captured after reasonable attempts using other methods;
(9) laying an equine down for medical or identification purposes;
(10) normal or accepted practices of pest control, as defined in K.S.A. 2-2438a(x), and amendments thereto; or
(11) accepted practices of animal husbandry pursuant to regulations promulgated by the United States department of agriculture for domestic pet animals under the animal welfare act, public law 89-544, as amended and in effect on July 1, 2006.
(d) The provisions of subsection (a)(6) shall not apply to any person exposing poison upon their premises for the purpose of destroying wolves, coyotes or other predatory animals.
(e) Any public health officer, law enforcement officer, licensed veterinarian or officer or agent of any animal shelter or other appropriate facility may take into custody any animal, upon either private or public property, that clearly shows evidence of cruelty to animals. Such officer, agent or veterinarian may inspect, care for or treat such animal or place such animal in the care of an animal shelter or licensed veterinarian for treatment, boarding or other care or, if an officer of such animal shelter or such veterinarian determines that the animal appears to be diseased or disabled beyond recovery for any useful purpose, for humane killing. The owner or custodian, if known or reasonably ascertainable, shall be notified in writing. If the owner or custodian is charged with a violation of this section, the law enforcement agency, district attorney's office, county prosecutor, veterinarian or animal shelter may petition the district court in the county in which the animal was taken into custody to transfer ownership of the animal at any time after 21 days after the owner or custodian is notified, unless the owner or custodian of the animal files and maintains a renewable cash or performance bond with the county clerk of the county in which the animal was taken into custody in an amount equal to not less than the cost of care and treatment of the animal for 30 days. Such cash or performance bond shall be maintained and renewed every 30 days as necessary to cover the cost of care and treatment of such animal until disposition of the animal by the court. If the owner or custodian is not known or reasonably ascertainable after 21 days after the animal is taken into custody, the law enforcement agency, district attorney's office, county prosecutor, veterinarian or animal shelter may petition the district court in the county in which the animal was taken into custody to transfer ownership of the animal. Upon receiving such petition, the court shall determine whether the animal may be transferred.
(f) The owner or custodian of an animal transferred pursuant to subsection (e) shall not be entitled to recover damages for the transfer of such animal unless the owner proves that such transfer was unwarranted.
(g) Expenses incurred for the care, treatment or boarding of any animal, taken into custody pursuant to subsection (e), pending prosecution of the owner or custodian of such animal for the crime of cruelty to animals, shall be assessed to the owner or custodian as a cost of the case if the owner or custodian is adjudicated guilty of such crime. Any costs collected by the court or through the cash or performance bond described in subsection (e) shall be transferred to the entity responsible for paying the cost of the care, treatment or boarding of the animal.
(h) If a person is adjudicated guilty of the crime of cruelty to animals, such animal shall not be returned to or remain with such person. Such animal may be turned over to an animal shelter or licensed veterinarian for sale or other disposition.
(i) As used in this section:
(1) "Animal shelter" means the same as such term is defined in K.S.A. 47-1701, and amendments thereto;
(2) "equine" means a horse, pony, mule, jenny, donkey or hinny; and
(3) "maliciously" means a state of mind characterized by actual evil-mindedness or specific intent to do a harmful act without a reasonable justification or excuse.
History: L. 2010, ch. 136. § 223; L. 2011, ch. 30, § 58; L. 2012, ch. 150, § 27; L. 2017, ch. 62, § 5; L. 2019, ch. 58, § 5; July 1.
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