2006 State Animal Protection Laws Rankings™

Posted on February 2, 2006

 

Every state today
has laws protecting animals from cruelty and neglect; however some
states have better laws than others. Following a detailed comparative
analysis of the animal protection laws of each state in the country,
researching over two thousand pages of statutes and tracking more than
thirty different categories of provisions, the Animal Legal Defense
Fund has produced a first-of-its-kind report – a ranking of all fifty
states and the District of Columbia for the general comprehensiveness
and relative strength of their respective animal protection laws. This
ranking groups states into top, middle or bottom tiers, and also
includes a listing of the five states with the best laws and the five
with the worst laws.

“Each state has room for improvement in the various ways its laws
protect animals,” says Stephan Otto, Animal Legal Defense Fund’s
Director of Legislative Affairs and producer of the rankings, “however,
it is undeniable that some states do have stronger, more extensive laws
than others.” “We hope this report encourages states, especially those
at the lower end of the ranking, to refocus their attention on this
problem and work harder at improving their laws.”

The Animal Legal Defense Fund plans to release these rankings on an
annual basis. Please contact your state legislators and encourage them
to support improvements to the laws that protect animals. For
additional information, please see the Resources section on our website.

Download this report (PDF)

2006 State Animal Protection Laws Rankings
Comparing Overall Strength & Comprehensiveness

Best Laws California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Oregon
Worst Laws Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, North Dakota, Utah
Top Tier California,
Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, West
Virginia, Wisconsin, Vermont, Virginia
Middle Tier Alabama,
Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri,
Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee
Bottom Tier Alaska,
Arkansas, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas,
Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma,
South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming

Overview: Why These States Made the “Worst Laws” List

Hawaii
  • No felony animal cruelty provision
  • Inadequate range of prohibitions and definitions/standards of basic care
  • No mental health evaluations or counseling on conviction
  • No cost mitigation provisions for impounded animals (e.g.
    cost-of-care bonds, other reimbursement of costs, restitution or lien
    provisions)
  • Inadequate provisions for forfeiture of abused animals
  • No restrictions on future ownership or possession of animals following a conviction
  • No separate crime for the sexual assault of an animal
Idaho
  • No felony animal cruelty provision
  • Inadequate definitions/standards of basic care
  • No mental health evaluations or counseling on conviction
  • Inadequate cost mitigation provisions for impounded animals (e.g. cost-of-care bonds, reimbursement of costs, restitution)
  • No forfeiture of abused animals
  • No restrictions on future ownership or possession of animals following a conviction
Kentucky
  • Inadequate range of prohibitions and definitions/standards of basic care
  • Principal protections apply only to select types of animals
  • Felony provision available only for select repeat offenses involving only select animals
  • No mental health evaluations or counseling following a conviction
  • No cost mitigation provisions for impounded animals (e.g.
    cost-of-care bonds, other reimbursement of costs, restitution
    provisions)
  • No forfeiture of abused animals
  • No restrictions on future ownership or possession of animals following a conviction
  • No separate crime for the sexual assault of an animal
North Dakota
  • No felony animal cruelty provision
  • Inadequate definitions/standards of basic care
  • No mental health evaluations or counseling on conviction
  • Inadequate cost mitigation provisions for impounded animals (e.g.
    cost-of-care bonds, other reimbursement of costs, restitution
    provisions)
  • No forfeiture of abused animals
  • No restrictions on future ownership or possession of animals following a conviction
  • No humane agents
Utah
  • No felony animal cruelty provision
  • Inadequate definitions/standards of basic care
  • Principal protections apply only to select types of animals
  • No mental health evaluations
  • Inadequate cost mitigation provisions for impounded animals (e.g.
    cost-of-care bonds, other reimbursement of costs, restitution
    provisions)
  • No forfeiture of abused animals
  • No restrictions on future ownership or possession of animals following a conviction
  • No humane agents

Annual Animal Protection Laws Rankings Reports

United States: 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | Current
Canada: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012