Animal Neglect & Abuse Missouri Statutes 578.005-.023 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Animal Neglect & Abuse Missouri Statutes 578.005-.023. Neglect: MO Statutes Chapter 578.009 Defined: When you own or have custody of an animal and fail to provide adequate care or adequate control 1st Conviction: Misdemeanor C ($500*/15 days)

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Animal Neglect & Abuse Missouri Statutes 578.005-.023

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Animal Neglect & AbuseMissouri Statutes 578.005-.023

  • Neglect: MO Statutes Chapter 578.009

    • Defined: When you own or have custody of an animal and fail to provide adequate care or adequate control

    • 1st Conviction: Misdemeanor C ($500*/15 days)

    • Subsequent Convictions: Misdemeanor B ($1,000*/6 months)


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Animal AbuseMissouri Statutes Chapter 578.012

  • Purposely, intentionally, or recklessly causing injury or suffering to an animal (Felony D on the 1st conviction if for torture or mutilation while the animal is alive)

  • Abandoning an animal without making provisions for adequate care

  • Overworking or overloading an animal

  • Willfully failing to provide for adequate care or adequate control

  • 1st Conviction: Misdemeanor A ($1,000/1 year)

  • 2nd Conviction: Felony D ($5,000/5 years)


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Exemptions to Animal Neglect & AbuseMO Statutes Chapter 578.007

  • Hunting, fishing, trapping as per the Missouri Wildlife Code (see Chapter 252)

  • Rodeo practices accepted by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association

  • Farm animals as per normal or accepted practices of animal husbandry

  • Bona fide scientific experiments

  • Zoological parks in compliance with the federal Animal Welfare Act

  • Killing of house or garden pests


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  • Field trials, training and hunting practices as accepted by the Professional Houndsmen of Missouri

  • The killing of an animal by any person at any time if such animal is outside of the owned or rented property of the owner or custodian of such animal and the animal is injuring any person or farm animal but shall not include police or guard dogs while working

  • Care or treatment performed by a licensed veterinarian within Chapter 340


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  • The killing of an animal by the owner, the agent of such owner, or by a veterinarian at the request of the owner

  • The lawful, humane killing of an animal by an animal control officer, the operator of an animal shelter, a veterinarian, or law enforcement or health official


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Definitions: MO Stat 578.005

  • Animal: Every living vertebrate except a human being

  • Pests: Birds, rabbits, or rodents which damage property or have an adverse effect on the public health

  • Adequate Care: Normal and prudent attention to the needs of an animal, including wholesome food, clean water, shelter and health care as necessary to maintain good health

  • Adequate Control: To reasonably restrain or govern an animal so that the animal does not injure itself, any person, any other animal, or property


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Dangerous Wild Animals: Registration Requirement (578.023)

  • Sanction: Misdemeanor C ($300/15 days)

  • If any person keeps such animals, you must register it with the local law enforcement agency in the county

  • Lion, tiger, leopard, ocelot, jaguar, cheetah, margay, mountain lion, canada lynx, bobcat, jaguarundi, hyena, wolf, coyote, or any deadly, dangerous, or poisonous reptile

  • NOT on the list: bear, fox, squirrel, raccoon


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Parental Vicarious Criminal Liability for their Children’s Pets?

  • MO Stat 578.014: The parent or guardian of a minor child is responsible for the adequate care of any animal owned by, in the control of, or harbored by that minor child

  • What about for “adequate control?” (no)

    • Why the different treatment?


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Impoundment of Animals Found Off Their Owner’s Property

  • MO Stat 578.016: Any duly authorized public health official, law enforcement officer, or animal control officer may impound any animal found outside of the owned or rented property of the owner or custodian of such animal when such animal shows evidence of neglect or abuse

  • Owner to be notified within 5 business days

  • Animals unclaimed after 10 business days may be put up for adoption or humanely killed

    • Cap of $600 if animal’s destruction was “unwarranted”

  • Owner/custodian may be liable for reasonable costs for the care and maintenance


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