Session 2003 – We do not have the daily activities but the summary of the code affected by legislation is listed here for your benefit.
CODE 7-10-4 EFFECTIVE JUNE 5, 2003
CHANGED BY HB 2301
The purpose of this bill provides funding for animals seized because of allegations of neglect. Under this plan, owners whose animals are seized must post a maintenance bond for the reasonable and necessary care of their animal, pending a hearing. If the care of the animal exceeds any posted bond amount, the debt incurred caring for the animal stands as a lien against the animal. The owner must pay before the animal can be returned. Upon conviction, the animal transfers to the humane officer for disposition.
1. The owner of the animal shall post a bond in an amount sufficient to provide reasonable costs of care, medical treatment for the animal for at least thirty days. The bond shall be filed with the court within five days following the court’s finding of probable cause. At the end of the time for which expenses are covered by the original bond if the animal remains in the care of the humane officer and the owner desires to prevent disposition of the animal by the humane officer, the owner shall post an additional bond with the court within five days of the expiration of the original bond.
2. If a bond has been posted, the custodial animal care agency may draw from the bond the actual reasonable costs incurred by the agency in providing care, medical treatment and provisions to the impounded animal from the date of the initial impoundment to the date of the final disposition of the animal.
These changes to the law will accomplish the following:
1. Eliminate or reduce the expenses incurred by the facility housing the animal. This includes foster homes. Many counties do not prosecute cruelty due to the expense.
2. Will reduce the number of continuances.
3. Some owners will surrender the animals, rather than pay the bond. This will free space for shelters as it provides for an early disposition of the animal.
4. This does not stop enforcing code 61-8-19. The Legislature has asked that we be reasonable and cooperative with the defendants.
CODE 19-20-12 EFFECTIVE MAY 27, 2003
CHANGED BY SB 205
The purpose of this bill changes the criminal intent necessary for cruelty to a knowing or reckless stand. If anyone kills, attempts to kill, injures, poisons, kidnaps, steals or in any other manner causes the death or injury of a companion animal is quilty of a misdemeanor and must perform 30 to 90 days of public service and/or pay a $300 to $500 fine.
1. Adds the language of knowingly or recklessly.
2. Adds the exception that this law does not apply to a death or injury if the animal is killed or injured while attacking a person, a companion animal or livestock.
3. Removes from the law that recovery can not be had in excess of the assessed value.
CODE 61-8-19 EFFECTIVE MAY 27, 2003
CHANGED BY SB 205
The cruelty to animals code is now divided between neglect and intentional cruelty.
1. Withholding necessary food, shelter or care from such an animal is also a misdemeanor punishable by a $300 to $1,000 fine and/or up to a six month jail term. Any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation is quilty of a misdemeanor and shall be confined in the county or regional jail for a period of not less than ninety days nor more than one year, fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars, or both. This is an increase in both of the fines. No person who has been convicted of a violation of this section may be granted probation until the defendant has undergone a complete psychiatric or psychological evaluation and the court has reviewed the evaluation. The previous law stated the evaluation was on the second offense. The court shall prohibit the possessing, owning or residing with an animal or type of animal for a period of five years following a misdemeanor conviction. This is new to the law.
2. If any person intentionally tortures or maliciously kills an animal, or causes, procures or authorizes any other person to torture or maliciously kill an animal, he or she is quilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in a correctional facility not less than one nor more than three years, and be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars. For the purpose of this subsection, “torture” means an action taken for the primary purpose of inflicting pain. No person convicted of the provisions of this subsection may be granted probation until the defendant has undergone a complete psychiatric or psychological evaluation and the court has reviewed the evaluation. The court shall prohibit any person convicted from processing, owning or residing with any animal or type of animal for a period of fifteen years following entry of a felony conviction. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars and forfeiture of the animal.
CODE 61-8-19a EFFECTIVE JUNE 8, 2003
CHANGED BY HB 2753
1. Cockfighting remains a misdemeanor.
2. It becomes a felony to fight all other animals whether wild or domesticated. Upon conviction, the person who violates the provisions of this section shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars and not more than five thousand dollars, and imprisoned in a state correction facility for not less than one nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.
CODE 61-8-19b EFFECTIVE JUNE 8, 2003
CHANGED BY HB 2753
This is a new section to the code. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly attend an animal fighting venture. This was already law, but was moved into a new code. Any person convicted is quilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars, or confined in the county or regional jail not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned.