2018 U.S. Animal Protection Laws State Rankings

Laws in favor of court-ordered psych evaluations

Select an animal law category to view 2018 trends:

2018 Trend Report: Court-Ordered Psych Evaluations

Laws in favor of court-ordered psych evaluations

Court-ordered treatment is an effective way to address the roots of animal cruelty and provide sustainable solutions and rehabilitation for convicted offenders. Such treatment will often entail a psychological evaluation and, if deemed necessary, further counseling. Treatment may also take the form of anger management or educational courses.

psych evaluation

As of 2018, 20 states statutorily authorize the court in its discretion to order psychological evaluation and, if necessary, treatment for convicted animal abusers. Additionally, 14 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands require psychological evaluation/treatment for certain convicted animal abusers. Almost every one of those 14 states limits its mandatory counseling statute to certain abusers—typically those who have committed aggravated animal abuse, such as torture.

Illinois is unique in that it mandates psychological evaluations for juveniles and animal hoarders, which are two groups where psychological intervention may be key. Animal hoarding is often a symptom of an underlying psychological disorder, which can be addressed through treatment and counseling. Juveniles are still developing, and are therefore typically more receptive and amenable to psychological treatment.

You Can Protect Animals

Since 1979, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has led the charge to win animals the legal protection they so desperately need—and deserve. Your generous gift will assure that we can continue to take on cases that advance the interests of animals.