dog

2018 U.S. Animal Protection Laws State Rankings

Laws supporting post-conviction possession bans

Select an animal law category to view 2018 trends:

2018 Trend Report: Post-Conviction Possession Bans

 

 

Laws supporting post-conviction possession bans

After a person is convicted of animal cruelty, the court may prohibit the defendant from owning or possessing any animal for a period of time. In many states, this prohibition is statutorily authorized, or even mandated. These possession bans are one of the most effective ways to prevent repeat offenses. They restrict an abuser’s access to animals, drastically limiting the pool of potential victims. They also allow law enforcement to intervene quickly to protect at-risk animals.

horse

As of 2018, only 13 states mandate possession bans after a conviction for animal cruelty—and several of those state statutes are limited to specific crimes or species. Additionally, 23 states and D.C. statutorily authorize possession bans, but those are ultimately left up to the court’s discretion. Fortunately these numbers are trending upwards—7 states created or strengthened their possession bans in 2018.

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.

Donate