Animal Cruelty Crimes in Oklahoma – Laws & Punishments

Animal Cruelty Definition in Oklahoma

It’s illegal to willfully or maliciously:

  • torture,
  • destroy or kill, or
  • cruelly beat or injure,
  • maim, or
  • mutilate

any animal in subjugation or captivity, whether wild or tame, and whether belonging to the person or to another, or deprive any such animal of necessary:

  • food,
  • drink,
  • shelter, or
  • veterinary care to prevent suffering;

or who to cause, procure, or permit any animal to be:

  • tortured,
  • destroyed or killed,
  • cruelly beaten or injured,
  • maimed,
  • mutilated, or
  • deprived of necessary:
    • food,
    • drink,
    • shelter, or
    • veterinary care to prevent suffering;

or to willfully

  • set on foot,
  • instigate,
  • engage in, or
  • in any way further any act of cruelty to any animal, or any act tending to produce such cruelty.

Any animal so maltreated or abused is considered an abused or neglected animal.

This crime is a felony. The maximum punishment in the Department of Corrections is five years. The maximum punishment in jail is one year. The maximum fine is $5,000.

Charged with Animal Cruelty in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Exception – Animals Chasing Livestock

It’s legal to kill a dog or cat found chasing livestock off your land if you own the dog or cat or if you’re authorized to kill the dog or cat.

Definitions

animal cruelty defense attorney oklahoma“Animal” means any mammal, bird, fish, reptile or invertebrate, including wild and domesticated species, other than a human being.

“Animal facility” means any vehicle, building, structure, farm, ranch, or other premises where an animal is kept, handled, transported, housed, exhibited, bred, offered for sale, or used in any lawful scientific test, experiment, investigation, or educational training.

“Person” means any individual, state agency, corporation, association, nonprofit corporation, joint stock company, firm, trust, partnership, two or more persons having a common interest, or other legal entity.

“Owner” means a person who has title to the property, possession of the property, or a greater right to the possession of the animal or property than another person.

“Possession” means actual care, custody, control or management.

“Effective consent” means consent by the owner or a person legally authorized to act for the owner. Consent is not effective if induced or given by force or fear; by a person the offender knows is not legally authorized to act for the owner; or by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or influence of drug or alcohol is known by the offender to be unable to make reasonable decisions.

Sources: 21 O.S. §§ 1685 & 1680.1 and 4 O.S. § 41

Disposal of Abandoned Animals

It’s illegal for a person owning or having charge or custody of a maimed, diseased, disabled, or infirm animal to abandon the animal or allow the animal to lie in a public street, road, or public place one hour after the person receives notice by a duly constituted authority that the animal is disabled or dead. 

When any person who is arrested is, at the time of the arrest, in charge of any animal or of any vehicle drawn by or containing any animal, any peace officer, or animal control officer may take custody of the animal or of the vehicle and its contents, or deliver the animal or the vehicle and its contents into the possession of the police or sheriff of the county or place where the arrest was made. They will assume custody of the animal . All necessary expenses incurred in taking custody of the animal or of the vehicle and its contents will be a lien on that property.

“Abandon” means the voluntary relinquishment of an animal and includes but is not limited to vacating a premises and leaving the animal in or at the premises, or failing to feed the animal or allowing it to stray or wander onto private or public property with the intention of surrendering ownership or custody over the animal.

This crime is a misdemeanor. The range of fine is $100-$500. The maximum punishment in jail is one year.

Charged with Disposal of Abandoned Animals in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Sources: 21 O.S. §§ 1686 & 1692

Abandoning Animals Along Streets or Highways

It’s illegal to deposit any live dog, cat, or other domestic animal along any private or public roadway, or in any other private or public place with the intention of abandoning the domestic animal. 

This crime is a misdemeanor. The range of fine is $100-$500. The maximum punishment in jail is one year.

Charged with Abandoning an Animal Along a Street or Highway in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Sources: 21 O.S. §§ 1691 & 1692

Administration of Poisonous Drugs to Animals

It’s illegal to unjustifiably administer any poisonous or noxious drug or substance to any animal, or unjustifiably expose any such drug or substance with intent that the drug or substance be taken by an animal, whether such animal is your property or someone else’s. 

This crime is a misdemeanor. The range of fine is $100-$500. The maximum punishment in jail is one year.

Charged with Administration of a Poisonous Drug to an Animal in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Sources: 21 O.S. §§ 1689 & 1692

Poisoning Animals

It’s illegal to willfully administer poison to any animal, the property of another, and maliciously expose any poisonous substance with intent that the poison is taken by that animal.

This crime is a felony. The maximum punishment in the Department of Corrections is three years. The maximum punishment in jail is one year. The maximum fine is $250.

Charged with Poisoning an Animal in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Source: 21 O.S. § 1681

Current as of April 5, 2020. Laws are subject to change at any time! Go to the sources cited above for the most up-to-date law.

Arrested for animal cruelty in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma animal cruetlty attorney Frank Urbanic in OKC for a free case consultation.

Don’t panic! Call Urbanic.® 405-633-3420