H. B. 2298
(By Delegates Gallagher, Compton, Staton, Kiss,
Trump, Burke and Rowe)
[Introduced January 31, 1995; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend article eight, chapter sixty-one of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section
nineteen-b, relating to enhanced and additional criminal
penalties for convictions of animal cruelty.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article eight, chapter sixty-one of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section
nineteen-b, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY AND DECENCY.
§61-8-19b. Additional penalties for animal cruelty.
(a) Second, third and subsequent convictions. --
(1) Second offense conviction: Upon a second cruelty to
animals conviction, the defendant is guilty of a misdemeanor,
and, shall be fined not less than five hundred nor more than one
thousand dollars, or confined in the county or regional jail for
not more than six months, or both fined and confined.
(2) Third or subsequent offense conviction: Upon a third or
subsequent cruelty to animals conviction, the defendant is guilty
of a felony, and, shall be fined not less than one thousand nor
more than three thousand dollars, and confined in the county or
regional jail for one year, or confined in the penitentiary for
not less than one nor more than five years.
(b) Other penalties. --
(1) In addition to any other penalties set forth herein, the
court may also prohibit any person or persons convicted under
this section from owning any interest in or possessing or
controlling or caring for any animals, or any species of animal,
designated by the court, for a period of up to five years after
the date of sentencing.
(2) Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall forfeit his or her interest in any animal, and all interest
in the animal shall vest in the humane society or the county
pound of the county in which the offense was committed, or in the
county in which the conviction was rendered. The convicted
person or persons shall, in addition to any fine imposed, be
liable for any and all costs incurred by the humane society,
county pound, shelter, person or legal entity which incurred the
costs as a result.
(3) Any person or persons convicted of a violation of this
section may be directed by the court to undergo psychiatric or
psychological evaluation for diagnostic purposes in assisting the
court for sentencing. A report from the evaluation shall be
submitted, in writing, to the court at least ten days prior to
the sentencing date.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide additional
penalties for repeated convictions of cruelty against animals.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.