Animal Protection Laws of the United States of America and Canada

Puerto Rico
Virgin Islands
American Samoa
Northern Mariana Islands

Read the 2017 Canadian Animal Protection Law Rankings Report.

Read the 2017 State Rankings Summary Report.

Download the U.S. compendium as a .zip file with every state’s laws.

Animal Protection Laws of the United States of America and Canada are the top resources for lawyers, law professors, law students, legislators, other legal professionals, and anyone who wants the most comprehensive animal protection laws collection of its kind available.

Documents in the Animal Protection Laws compendiums contain the general animal protection and related statutes for all of the states, principal districts and territories of the United States of America, and for all of Canada. In Canada, the federal government enacts all criminal laws, which are applicable throughout the country. The provinces and territories of Canada may enact quasi-criminal offenses and laws in other subject areas, and have jurisdiction over most criminal and civil matters.

Each document begins with a detailed overview of the provisions contained in these laws, followed by the full text of the statutes themselves. The various provisions are organized into categories. Within the first thirteen of these categories, the relevant part of each statute is italicized. The last category provides a non-italicized version of each of the previously referenced statutes, in numerical order. The penalties and related provisions for categories 12 and 13 are generally located within each of those respective sections.

Some jurisdictions may employ similar provisions within other non-animal-specific criminal and civil statutes; may have other more specific statutes in addition to those included; and may have a variety of animal-related regulations in effect.

Because the law is continually evolving, always review an official source for the most current language of any statute.

Categories presented in a quick reference table and full-text statutory sections:

  • General prohibitions
  • Animals covered by definition
  • Classification of crimes
  • Penalties (including a table of maximum penalties)
  • Exemptions
  • Counseling / Evaluations
  • Protective Orders
  • Restitution / Reimbursement of Costs / Bonding & Liens
  • Seizure / On-site Supervision
  • Forfeiture / Possession
  • Cross Enforcement / Reporting
  • Veterinarian Reporting / Immunity
  • Law Enforcement Policies
  • Sexual Assault
  • Fighting
  • Full-text of all referenced statutes

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