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Aggravated Cruelty to Law Enforcement Animals

Concerning specifications for the offense of aggravated cruelty to a law enforcement animal.
2024 Regular Session
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Bill Summary

Under current law, aggravated cruelty to animals is a class 4 felony. The bill specifies that a person commits the offense of aggravated cruelty to animals if the person knowingly or recklessly kills or causes serious physical harm resulting in the death of a law enforcement animal or causes serious physical harm to a degree that the law enforcement animal must be decommissioned from active duty for at least 3 months. The bill creates an affirmative defense stating that a person is justified in using physical force upon a law enforcement animal to defend their own person or a third person when the person reasonably believes that a law enforcement animal is an application of unreasonable or excessive force. The bill specifies situations in which a licensed veterinarian or a person who owns or is charged with the care of a law enforcement animal has immunity from liability when it is necessary to euthanize or provide immediate veterinary care to a law enforcement animal.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details