Wacky Animal Laws of 2013

Posted by Jennifer Molidor, ALDF Staff Writer on December 20, 2013

Earlier this week, the Animal Legal Defense Fund released its annual State Rankings report—the longest-running, most comprehensive report of its kind. The report tracks animal protection laws across the United States. Check out this ever-popular report to learn where your state ranks, and what states are the best and worst to be an animal abuser. Take action here to improve your state’s animal laws.


Some laws, however, just leave our animal law experts scratching their heads. Here are some of 2013’s wackiest laws involving animals. Did you know?

  1. In Alaska it is against the law to push a live moose out of an airplane mid-flight.
  2. If you live in Arizona, you aren’t allowed to let your donkey sleep in the bathtub (horses can’t be kept in bathtubs in South Carolina, just FYI).
  3. In the Golden State of California, animals can’t mate within 500 yards of a church or school (Just how is this law observed, enforced, and punished?).
  4. Colorado folk must have some strange habits, because it is illegal to drink and ride a horse.
  5. How’s this for profiling: in Connecticut, dogs with tattoos must be reported to the authorities.
  6. In Georgia, people can no longer give away goldfish at Bingo contests.
  7. In Idaho, there is to be no fishing! At least not while riding a camel.
  8. In Iowa there is to be no eating of the fire hydrants. Especially if you’re a horse.
  9. Maryland movie theaters do NOT allow people to bring lions.
  10. If only this were true for areas of the world that aren’t land-locked: it is against the law to hunt whales in Nebraska.

Wackiest of all, for 2013, Kentucky—a state perpetually at the bottom of our state rankings report—has determined that you simply cannot release a feral (i.e., wild) pig into the wild.

But what are the best new laws for 2013, according to ALDF? Here are a few highlights!

  1. In California, you can no longer use hound dogs to hunt bears and bobcats – which is bad for the bears and bobcats, and the dogs, and other wild animals caught in the middle.
  2. Cosmetics tested on animals may no longer be sold in Europe. India also instigated such a ban, the first country in South Asia to do so.
  3. Three states passed anti-Breed Specific Legislation (that targets pit bulls): Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Nevada.
  4. Oregon amended its anti-cruelty laws, including new requirements for animal rescues.
  5. North Dakota overhauled its anti-cruelty laws including adding its first felony cruelty provision.

10 thoughts on “Wacky Animal Laws of 2013

  1. George says:


    I am a donor and appreciate the work you are doing. I was wondering however about the anti-breed specific laws against pit pulls. While I don’t condone taking animals away form owners or killing them, I do think it is fair to ask those with some breeds, particularly pit bulls to carry some form of insurance or be subject to increased fines if their dog attacks someone or another animal. We have a dog that has been scarred for life after being bitten repeatedly by one in puppy obedience class – they finally asked the owners to leave. I have also had to drag a pit off another dog it attacked out of the blue on the street – its owner said it never behaved violently before, until it tried to rip the head off the Bijon. Statistics show most injury to people and animals can be attributed to a very few breeds and unfortunately some people think having a tough dog is a status symbol of some sort and there seems to be a huge number that get abandoned when they find them hard to control etc. So again, what is your stance on breed specific laws – do you think they are all wrong on their face or is there a place for some that protect other people and animals?

    1. As a pit bull owner I don’t agree with your idea of extra coverage. If you look at the research and statics done you will see pits are not the number one or even number 3 or 4 “dangerous dogs”. I personally think it’s ridiculous to ban or label any dog. It’s the owner’s job to train their dog responsibly. It ALL starts and ends with the owners.

    2. Lucy Muller says:

      I know George is right whether people want to admit it or not. So much denial on the part of pit bull owners.

  2. Marina Harvey says:

    bsl is wrong, any dog can be vicious or aggressive. stating one dog or animal is wrong…it should be a vicious dog law, making the owners responsible if their dog attacks someone without being provoked…however, if someone provokes the dog to biting, then that person should be held responsible.

  3. Pamela says:

    I have the most aggressive shih tzu! Are they going to make a law against shih tzus?? No! I agree with having an insurance for all dogs, even if they are not aggressive because some day they might be if provoked. Pit bulls are not aggressive when they are loved and taken care of.

  4. Linda cleveland says:

    The rule about reporting tattooed dogs is because of dog fighting. Some owners will tattoo their dogs. Thus if you see a dog that has been tattooed and it is reported the authorities just might be led to a dog fighting gang. Not weird at all. A good law.

  5. Lynne Boreham says:

    I believe that if owners are responsible and the dog is well trained then there is no need for breed specific laws. The trouble is the kinds of owners that buy these breeds.They don’t know how to handle them and then the problems start. I believe that insurance is a must and maybe a licence for all dogs. I live in England where Pit Bulls are banned along with Japenese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero. I do not know what the last three dogs even look like so there couldn’t have been many in the country anyway. Any dog can be aggressive if not trained properly. Pitbulls just have a bad reputation.

  6. Lucy Muller says:

    The point is that a pit bull can kill a human and a shih you cannot. And, unfortunately, some really terrible people have turned some pit bulls into killers. No matter whose fault it is you can not subject people or pets to a dog capable of killing.

  7. Lucy Muller says:

    Another FYI, my friend adopted a pit bull pup at age 8 weeks. He was raised nicely but at age one year, he turned on the family beagle twice and tried to kill her. If he had had two gentle parents he might not have turned, but usually you do not know the parents.

  8. Rana Adamchick says:

    Actually, Lucy, you’re wrong about that. ANY DOG CAN KILL ANY HUMAN, and PITS DO NOT HAVE ANY DIFFERENCE IN THEIR BITE ABILITY, according to vets, nationwide. The stats are also not reality. Pits are less inclined to attack a human or a dog than most other breeds, but because there are so many of them, they are attacked by the media. Most media can’t even tell a pit from another dog. By the way, I don’t have a pit, so there is no denial going on. I just became EDUCATED, instead of listening to the media. If you ask a vet, you will find out that it’s all hype, concerning pits. Look into it, don’t take my word for it.

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