Anticipating Defenses - Animal Law Source

Anticipating Defenses

Anticipating Defenses

Below you will find some of the most common defenses to animal related crimes and how to effectively handle those defenses.

(1) The defendant claims he/she is NOT the owner of the animal.


(2) The defendant claims he/she was defending his/her property


(3) The defendant claims it was “not me” who did the crime


(4) The defendant claims he/she was training or disciplining the animal


(5) The defendant claims he/she was drunk or high


(6) The defendant claims it was an accident


(7) The defendant claims they could not afford to care for the animal


(8) The defendant claims to have a mental/physical disability


(9) The defendant claims he/she did not know his/her actions were illegal


(10) The defendant claims he/she recused the animal in that condition


(11) The defendant claims there is not sufficient evidence for a conviction


(12) The defendant claims the animal was sick that he/she put it out of its misery

1 O.C.G.A. § 16-12-4 (2014); Favors v. State, 756 S.E.2d 612, 614 (Ga. App. 2014); Tiller

v. State, 218 Ga. App. 418 (1995); Miller v. State, 179 Ga. App. 217 (1986).

2 O.C.G.A. § 16-12-4.

3 Tiller v. State, 218 Ga. App. 418 (1995).

4 Favors v. State, 756 S.E.2d 612 (Ga. App. 2014).

5 O.C.G.A. § 16-12-4(f) (2014); Futch v. State, 314 Ga.App. 294, 295 (2012).

6 O.C.G.A. § 16-12-4(b) (2014).

7 Readd v. State, 164 Ga.App. 97, 99 (1988).

8 Futch v. State, 314 Ga.App. 294, 296 (2012); Stonecypher v. State, 17 Ga. App. 818

(1916); Nel v. State, 252 Ga.App. 761, 765 (2001).

9 In re C.B., 286 Ga. 173 (2009).

10 O.C.G.A. § 16-12-4 (2014).

11 O.C.G.A. § 16-3-4 (c) (2014).

12 Willis v. State, 201 Ga. App. 182, 410 S.E.2d 377 (Ga. Ct. App. 1991)(evidence of dog

yelping, defendant holding a rifle, and a gunshot hole in the dog’s ear); Chaney v. State,

232 Ga. App. 297 (1998)(evidence of customary cockfighting procedure); Turner v.

State, 275 Ga. 343, 566 S.E. 2d 676 (2002) (evidence that dog was tied to house that was

intentionally burned by defendants); Fort v. State, 274 Ga. 518, 558 S.E.2d 1

(2001)(sound of gun that apparently killed dog); Stephens v. State, 247 Ga. App. 719, 545

S.E. 2d 325 (2001)(evidence that dogs were being bred for dogfighting).

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