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Section 13A-11-240


(a) The word “torture” as used in this article shall mean the act of doing physical injury to a dog or cat by the infliction of inhumane treatment or gross physical abuse meant to cause said animal intensive or prolonged pain or serious physical injury, or thereby causing death due to said act.

(b) The word “cruel” as used in this article shall mean: Every act, omission, or neglect, including abandonment, where unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering, including abandonment, is caused or where unnecessary pain or suffering is allowed to continue.

(c) The words “dog or cat” as used in this article shall mean any domesticated member of the dog or cat family.

(Act 2000-615, § 1.)


Section 13A-11-241

Cruelty in first and second degrees.

(a) A person commits the crime of cruelty to a dog or cat in the first degree if he or she intentionally tortures any dog or cat or skins a domestic dog or cat or offers for sale or exchange or offers to buy or exchange the fur, hide, or pelt of a domestic dog or cat. Cruelty to a dog or cat in the first degree is a Class C felony. A conviction for a felony pursuant to this section shall not be considered a felony for purposes of the Habitual Felony Offender Act, Section 13A-5-9 to 13A-5-10.1, inclusive.

(b) A person commits the crime of cruelty to a dog or cat in the second degree if he or she, in a cruel manner, overloads, overdrives, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, injuries, mutilates, or causes the same to be done. Cruelty to a dog or cat in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

(Act 2000-615, p. 1252, §2.)
Section 13A-11-243

Powers of agents, officers; liability.

(a) Any law enforcement officer and any agent of the county or the municipality appointed pursuant to Section 13A-11-242, having reasonable belief, evidence of, or having found a dog or cat to be neglected or cruelly treated may perform either of the following:

(1) Remove the dog or cat from its present location.

(2) Order the owner of the dog or cat to provide certain care to the dog or cat at the owner’s expense without the removal of the dog or cat from its present location.

(b) Neither the county or municipality, nor any employee or agent of the county or municipality, acting in good faith, shall be liable for any actions taken under this section, regardless of whether or not the dog or cat is returned to its owner after impoundment.

(Act 2000-615, p. 1252, §4.)


Section 13A-11-247


This article shall not be construed to repeal other criminal laws. Whenever conduct prescribed by any provision of this article is also prescribed by any other provision of law, the provision which carries the more serious penalty shall be applied.

(Act 2000-615, p. 1252, §8.)


Nathan Winograd on: What is No Kill?Posted by admin in What is No Kill? on 07 14th, 2008 | no responsesOriginally Posted in the No Kill Solutions E-Newsletter, 2005. Author: Nathan Winograd

What is No Kill?

There is only one legitimate definition of No Kill. It is a community where:
• Healthy dogs and cats are saved;
• Treatable dogs and cats are saved;
• Healthy and treatable feral cats are saved.

Some shelters are calling themselves No Kill if they save all healthy dogs and cats. The fact that a shelter or community is trying to accomplish this is laudable, but it doesn’t mean it is No Kill. Saving all healthy dogs and cats is the first step toward achieving a No Kill community, not the end goal. Can a shelter or community really justify killing animals with treatable conditions (such as dogs with food guarding, kittens with conjunctivitis, puppies with kennel cough, or a pet with a broken leg) if it takes the title “No Kill community”? It cannot.

Others claim that No Kill is achieved when healthy, as well as sick and injured but treatable dogs and cats are saved. The definition might have some appeal, but it is out of touch with the sentiment of millions of cat lovers who feed alley cats in their communities. If healthy feral cats are still being killed en masse, a No Kill community is simply not achieved.

In short, neither of these positions is ethically defensible. The No Kill movement’s break with traditional sheltering is less about saving “pet” dogs and cats and more about focusing on the individual animal. Regardless of whether a shelter takes in 30, 300, 3,000 or 30,000 dogs and cats each year, No Kill is premised on—in fact demands—fundamental fairness to individual animals.

This commitment is echoed in the mission statement of virtually every humane society and SPCA in the country which claims to cherish animals, enforce their rights, and teach compassion. Yet, these lofty goals can only be achieved if we judge, treat, and devise a plan for shelter animals individually with all the resources we can muster. In practice, that means that shelters must put in place the programs and services
that address the needs of each individual animal who comes through the door regardless of whether an animal is healthy, sick, injured, or feral.

Implicit within the No Kill philosophy is the understanding that some animals, such as those who are irremediably suffering or hopelessly ill, will be killed for reasons of mercy. That much we can all accept. We can also accept that dogs who are aggressive with a poor prognosis for rehabilitation are a direct and immediate public safety risk who cannot be adopted.

But that is all we can accept.

The only animals dying in a No Kill community are dogs and cats who are irremediably suffering, are sick or injured with a poor or grave prognosis for rehabilitation, and vicious dogs with a poor prognosis. (This does not include shy or non-aggressive scared dogs.)

Nothing short of that is acceptable. And nothing less will do.

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