Animal Cruelty Crimes

Print Friendly PDF
Media Contact: Sara Ebrahimi, (213) 482-9551 or

Los Angeles, September 27, 2017 – Los Angeles Animal Services is dedicated to the humane treatment and care of all animals within the City of Los Angeles. Each day, Animal Control Officers respond to alleged humane complaints of animal cruelty and abuse. Humane cases can range from leaving any animal (including, but not limited to: fowl/chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs, etc.) without food, water and/or shelter to more violent crimes which result in the injury or death of an animal.

Animal Control Officers are trained to investigate each matter on a case by case basis. Officers are trained to execute warrants and to file charges for prosecution. Most matter which involve some type of blood sport or result in the death of an animal are referred to the Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACTF) for investigation and prosecution. ACTF is a special team that operates out of the Los Angeles Police Department. The task force is composed of Animal Controls Officers and Los Angeles Police Detectives who work in cooperation with both the City Attorney’s and District Attorney’s Offices. The task force is very successful in prosecuting animal cruelty matters and finding outcomes, which require persons charged with animal cruelty to face serious jail time, large fines and parole or probation.

Below is an excerpt of the California Penal Code regarding Crimes Against Animals:

597. (a)  Except as provided in subdivision (c) of this section or Section 599c, every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal, is guilty of a crime punishable pursuant to subdivision (d). (b) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (a) or (c), every person who overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter, cruelly beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills any animal, or causes or procures any animal to be so overdriven, overloaded, driven when overloaded, overworked, tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter, or to be cruelly beaten, mutilated, or cruelly killed; and whoever, having the charge or custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to needless suffering, or inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon the animal, or in any manner abuses any animal, or fails to provide the animal with proper food, drink, or shelter or protection from the weather, or who drives, rides, or otherwise uses the animal when unfit for labor, is, for each offense, guilty of a crime punishable pursuant to subdivision (d). (c)  Every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, or tortures any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish, as described in subdivision (e), is guilty of a crime punishable pursuant to subdivision (d). (d)   A violation of subdivision (a), (b), or (c) is punishable as a felony by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, or alternatively, as a misdemeanor 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 that fine and imprisonment.

Animal cruelty can be reported 24/7 to the City of Los Angeles Animal Cruelty Task Force at (213) 486-0450 or Los Angeles Animal Services at (888) 452-7381.

Los Angeles Department of Animal Services is one of the largest municipal shelter systems in the United States with six shelters serving approximately 60,000 animals annually and responding to 20,000 emergency calls involving an animal or person in danger. LA Animal Services promotes and protects the health, safety and welfare of animals and people.

To learn more visit:
To become a fan on Facebook go to:
Follow on Twitter:


Comments are closed.