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Legal Statutes: Alaska

UPDATED September 14, 2017

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Article 1. Riot, Disorderly Conduct, and Related Offenses

back to topSec. 11.61.140. Cruelty to animals

(a) A person commits cruelty to animals if the person

(1) knowingly inflicts severe or prolonged physical pain or suffering on an animal;

(2) has a legal duty to care for the animal and, with criminal negligence, fails to care for an animal and, as a result, causes the death of the animal or causes severe physical pain or prolonged suffering to the animal;

(3) kills or injures an animal by the use of a decompression chamber;

(4) intentionally kills or injures a pet or livestock by the use of poison;

(5) knowingly kills or injures an animal, other than as provided in (1) or (3) of this subsection, with the intent to intimidate, threaten, or terrorize another person;

(6) knowingly

(A) engages in sexual conduct with an animal; or

(B) under circumstances not proscribed under AS 11.41.455,

(i) photographs or films, for purposes of sexual gratification, a person engaged in sexual conduct with an animal; or

(ii) causes, induces, aids, or encourages another person to engage in sexual conduct with an animal; or

(7) intentionally permits sexual conduct with an animal to be conducted on any premises under the person's control.

(b) Each animal that is subject to cruelty to animals under (a) of this section shall constitute a separate offense.

(c) It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that the conduct of the defendant

(1) was part of scientific research governed by accepted standards;

(2) constituted the humane destruction of an animal;

(3) conformed to accepted veterinary or animal husbandry practices;

(4) was necessarily incidental to lawful fishing, hunting or trapping activities;

(5) conformed to professionally accepted training and discipline standards.

(d) In (a)(2) of this section, failure to provide the minimum standards of care for an animal under AS 03.55.100 is prima facie evidence of failure to care for an animal.

(e) This section does not apply to generally accepted dog mushing or pulling contests or practices or rodeos or stock contests.

(f) In this section, “sexual conduct” means any

(1) touching or fondling by a person, either directly or through clothing, of the genitals or anus of an animal or any transfer or transmission of semen by the person on any part of the animal for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal of the person;

(2) contact, however slight, between the mouth, genitals, or anus of a person and the sex organ or anus of an animal, or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the body of the person into the sex organ or anus of an animal, or any intrusion of the genitals or anus of the person into the mouth of the animal for the purpose of sexual gratification of the person.

(g) Except as provided in (h) of this section, cruelty to animals under (a)(2), (5), (6), or (7) of this section is a class A misdemeanor. The court may also

(1) require forfeiture of any animal affected to the state or to a custodian that supplies shelter, care, or medical treatment for the animal;

(2) require the defendant to reimburse the state or a custodian for all reasonable costs incurred in providing necessary shelter, care, veterinary attention, or medical treatment for any animal affected;

(3) prohibit or limit the defendant's ownership, possession, or custody of animals for up to 10 years.

(h) Cruelty to animals under (a)(1), (3), or (4) of this section is a class C felony. Cruelty to animals is also a class C felony if the person is convicted under (a)(2), (5), (6), or (7) of this section and the person has been previously convicted on one or more separate occasions within 10 years of the date of the present offense of a crime under this section, AS 11.61.145(a)(1) or (2), or a law or ordinance of another jurisdiction having elements similar to those offenses. For a conviction under this subsection, the court may also

(1) require forfeiture of any animal affected to the state or to a custodian that supplies shelter, care, or medical treatment for the animal;

(2) require the defendant to reimburse the state or a custodian for all reasonable costs incurred in providing necessary shelter, care, veterinary attention, or medical treatment for any animal affected;

(3) prohibit or limit the defendant's ownership, possession, or custody of animals for up to 10 years.

SLA 1978, ch. 166, § 7; SLA 1980, ch. 78, § 1; SLA 1982, ch. 59, § 20; SLA 1998, ch. 61, §§ 1, 2; SLA 2004, ch. 139, § 2. Amended by SLA 2008, ch. 96, §§ 4 to 7, eff. Sept. 14, 2008; SLA 2010, ch. 79, §§ 1 to 4, eff. Sept. 13, 2010; SLA 2016, ch. 60, § 12, eff. Jan. 17, 2017.