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Alabama – Animal Cruelty and Animal Abuse Laws




Alabama’s animal cruelty and animal abuse laws and statutes are massive, as a Felony or Class B misdemeanor, due to the high numbers of dog abuse cases in the state. Alabama is listed as one of the top 10 states with the worst numbers of animal abuse in the nation.

dog cruelty

Credit: Nancy Houser

The key difference between the misdemeanor and felony charge is when evidence includes the intentional torture of a dog or cat it becomes a felony. In an interactive animal cruelty map, 66.9 percent of 296 Alabama cases of animal abuse have been mapped, for a total of 198.

Alabama’s cruelty to animals is listed under Section 13A-11-14

  •  A person commits the crime of cruelty to animals if, except as otherwise authorized by law, he intentionally or recklessly:
    • Subjects any animal to cruel mistreatment; or
    • Subjects any animal in his custody to cruel neglect; or
    • Kills or injures without good cause any animal belonging to another
  • Cruelty to a dog or cat is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment up to 6 months.
  • Intentionally torturing a dog or cat is a Class C Felony punishable with a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment up to 10 years.
    • Person convicted could also be made to pay for the cost of care of the animal.
    • Exceptions are made for research, protection of life or property, training, or shooting a dog or cat for urinating or defecating on property.
    • Animals can also be seized by animal control officers.

 Alabama’s primary form of dog abuse

According to WKRG News 5, the Mobile County Animal Control Officer, Carmello Miranda, the number one form of animal abuse in Alabama in the WKRG5 location is dumping and abandoning dogs and cats. The county has become a “hotbed for animal abuse when it comes to abandonment,”  he says, and it’s time for the public to get involved.

1. Abandonment of an animal at 26.8%

2. Shooting of an animal at 19.5%

3. Animal fighting at 16.3%

4. Hoarding animals at 8.9%

5. Mutilation or Torture at 8.9%

The tragic thing about abandonment of an animal is that few are adopted, with most being euthanized. Approximately two dozen dogs a day are brought into the Mobile County Animal Shelter.

dog abuse

Credit: Nancy Houser

New laws brought into effect in Alabama for animal abuse

Approximately three Alabama animal rights bills have been brought into effect. (1) One legislation called “Beckham’s Act” that would outlaw the euthanasia of shelter animals by placing them in a gas chamber.  If the bill is passed, all gas chambers in Alabama used to euthanize animals would have to be dismantled by Jan. 31, 2012. (2) The second requires the creation of a state registry for animal abusers much like the one in place for sex offenders. (3) And the third is meant to strengthen the state’s dog-fighting bill, requiring owners whose dogs have been confiscated for pit fights to pay for the animals’ shelter upkeep until the case is decided.

Reasons to have felony laws for animal abusers

  1. Studies have found that virtually every serial killer in prison had animal abuse in his past.
  2. Approximately 100% of serial killers have abused animals at some time in their life.
  3. Animal abusers have a higher than average propensity to become homicidal maniacs later in life.
  4. Persons who take pleasure in inflicting pain on animals cannot show compassion to mankind.
  5. Felony animal cruelty  statutes in 41 states are punishable by prison terms of no more than a year or two for killing an animal (The maximum punishment for cruelly killing a human is life in prison in 12 states, and death in the other 38)
  6. As a compassionate society we have a duty to protect the innocent and defenseless among us from those with sociopathic tendencies.



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  • lori brown
  • http://www.alabamavotesforanimals.org/ Sandra Nathan

    It’s puzzling why a Mobile TV station would not know that Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation (AVRAL) was responsible for the passage of the bill that prohibits gas chambers in AL animal facilities,
    “(1) One legislation called “Beckham’s Act” that would outlaw the euthanasia of shelter animals by placing them in a gas chamber. If the bill is passed, all gas chambers in Alabama used to euthanize animals would have to be dismantled by Jan. 31, 2012″…
    and St House Rep Steve McMillan was our first and most active sponsor of the bill. We are the only and first grass roots Political Action Committee in AL that focuses exclusively on passage and strengthening animal laws. If you would be interested in learning our plans for 2013 legislation, or finding out more about our organization, please contact – below:
    Sandra Nathan
    Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation (AVRAL)
    Research Chair/So AL Membership Coordinator
    251 968-8779
    http://www.alabamavotesforanimals.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/AVRALvotes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtPiDrrh7Yk

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