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California Animal Law Highlights
This is a small selection of requirements, and is not intended to be used as a legal guide.

  • You must provide food, water, shelter, and proper veterinary medical care for your animal.

  • If you chain or tie out your animal, it must not entangle with any object or cause a dangerous situation for the animal. The lead must be long enough to provide an exercise area. The animal must be able to reach food, water and shelter. Food and water containers must not be able to be tipped over.

  • Do not leave your animal inside an unattended vehicle without adequate ventilation. Even on a cool day, an animal left in a vehicle in the sun could be subjected to extreme temperatures.

  • Animals carried in the back of pick-up trucks must be safely enclosed within a secured cage, cross tether, harness or other device that will prevent the animal from falling, jumping or being thrown from the truck in an accident.

  • If you hit an animal with your vehicle, you are required to stop and give assistance to the animal. You are also required by law to notify the police or sheriff and attempt to contact the owner of the animal.

  • It is a crime to abandon an unwanted animal. If you are unable to find a home for your animal, take it to your local animal shelter.

  • Maliciously neglecting, harming, killing or poisoning an animal can be charged as a felony and may carry a penalty of one year or more in state prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

To report animal neglect or abuse, call 1-888-BHLE-APB, or fill out our online reporting form .


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