Is Animal in Vehicle Illegal in California?

According to an animal control officer or humane officer (she was one of the two)–who ran into Starbucks, she shouted out — “an animal inside a vehicle at all is illegal.”

She did not say what the law was, she stated outright that the animal can’t be in the vehicle?  The vehicle had all the windows down, was parked under a tree in complete shade, the animal was next to the window looking out.  One of our clients was inside Starbucks and heard her shouting. No one responded to her, but how many times does the public have to get misled by ARs everywhere?

We did not check the 2014 code, so whatever is printed here was checked the end of 2012.  We doubt very much it has changed to “an animal can’t be in a vehicle.”

California
http://animallaw.info/statutes/stuscacalpenalcode597_7.htm
West’s Annotated California Codes. Penal Code. Part 1. Of Crimes and Punishments. Title 14. Malicious Mischief. § 597.7. Animal endangerment; confinement in unattended motor vehicle; violations and penalties

Statute Details
Printable Version 
Citation: CA PENAL § 597.7

Citation: West’s Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 597.7 

Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2012

Summary:   This California statute provides that no person shall leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.  A first conviction for violation of this section is punishable by a fine not exceeding $100 per animal. If the animal suffers great bodily injury, a violation of this section is punishable by a fine not exceeding $500, imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both a fine and imprisonment. Penalty enhancements are provided for subsequent convictions.

Statute in Full: 
(a) No person shall leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.

(b) Unless the animal suffers great bodily injury, a first conviction for violation of this section is punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) per animal. If the animal suffers great bodily injury, a violation of this section is punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both a fine and imprisonment. Any subsequent violation of this section, regardless of injury to the animal, is also punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both a fine and imprisonment.

(c)(1) Nothing in this section shall prevent a peace officer, humane officer, or an animal control officer from removing an animal from a motor vehicle if the animal’s safety appears to be in immediate danger from heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.

(2) A peace officer, humane officer, or animal control officer who removes an animal from a motor vehicle shall take it to an animal shelter or other place of safekeeping or, if the officer deems necessary, to a veterinary hospital for treatment.

(3) A peace officer, humane officer, or animal control officer is authorized to take all steps that are reasonably necessary for the removal of an animal from a motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, breaking into the motor vehicle, after a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person responsible.

(4) A peace officer, humane officer, or animal control officer who removes an animal from a motor vehicle shall, in a secure and conspicuous location on or within the motor vehicle, leave written notice bearing his or her name and office, and the address of the location where the animal can be claimed. The animal may be claimed by the owner only after payment of all charges that have accrued for the maintenance, care, medical treatment, or impoundment of the animal.

(5) This section does not affect in any way existing liabilities or immunities in current law, or create any new immunities or liabilities.

(d) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under both this section and Section 597 or any other provision of law, including city or county ordinances.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the transportation of horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry or other agricultural animals in motor vehicles designed to transport such animals for agricultural purposes.

CREDIT(S)

(Added by Stats.2006, c. 431 (S.B.1806), § 2.)

 

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