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Legal Information: Kentucky

Statutes: Kentucky

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November 15, 2023

525.135 Torture of dog or cat

(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, “torture” means the intentional infliction of or subjection to extreme physical pain or injury, motivated by an intent to increase or prolong the pain of the animal.

(2) A person is guilty of torture of a dog or cat when he or she without legal justification intentionally tortures a domestic dog or cat.

(3) Torture of a dog or cat is a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class D felony for each subsequent offense if the dog or cat suffers physical injury as a result of the torture, and a Class D felony if the dog or cat suffers serious physical injury or death as a result of the torture.

(4) Nothing in this section shall apply to the killing or injuring of a dog or cat:

(a) In accordance with a license to hunt, fish, or trap;

(b) For humane purposes;

(c) For veterinary, agricultural, spaying or neutering, or cosmetic purposes;

(d) For purposes relating to sporting activities including but not limited to training for organized dog or cat shows, or other animal shows in which a dog or a cat, or both, participate;

(e) For bona fide animal research activities, using dogs or cats, of institutions of higher education; or a business entity registered with the United States Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act or subject to other federal laws governing animal research;

(f) In defense of self or another person against an aggressive or diseased dog or cat;

(g) In defense of a domestic animal against an aggressive or diseased dog or cat;

(h) For animal or pest control; or

(i) For any other purpose authorized by law.

(5) Activities of animals engaged in hunting, field trials, dog training other than training a dog to fight for pleasure or profit, and other activities authorized either by a hunting license or by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources shall not constitute a violation of this section.(6) The acts specified in this section shall not constitute cruelty to animals under KRS 525.125 or 525.130.