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- Be sure to review Title 4 (link) animal charges as well as Title 16(link) charges
- Bring all charges in one complaint to provide a full picture of the circumstances
- If citations were issued as well as a warrant be sure the citation and the warrant were not sent to two different jurisdictions
- Charge a separate count for each animal that is victimized
- Animal abuse laws apply to all animals, stray and owned animals alike
- It maybe crucial for you to speak with all of your witnesses before drafting charges. For example, if you have a deceased animal it will be important to speak to your forensic veterinarian to understand how the animal died
- With any type of suffering you should speak to your expert to fully understand the extent of the animals’ suffering
- Animal Welfare Act specifically addresses interstate dog fighting and cockfighting, but state laws usually carry greater penalties
- Some animal poisoning and abuse cases may include violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act, Humane Slaughter Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Wild Bird Conservation Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Wild Horses and Burros Act
- Crush video industry (videos of animals being crushed by beingstepped on) is subject to federal jurisdiction and should be reported to the FBI
- Internet portrayals of animal abuse should also be reported to the FBI
- Multiple counts may be filed using each instance of abuse as a distinct offense
- If multiple animals are involved, a failure to charge on each animal may result in having many animals returned to the defendant
- As part of a plea agreement, it is important to require the defendant to surrender custody of all animals (whether contained in the charge or not).