H. B. 2298
(By Delegates Gallagher, Compton, Staton, Kiss,
Trump, Burke and Rowe)
(Originating in the House Committee on the Judiciary)
[March 2, 1995]
A BILL to amend and reenact section nineteen, article eight,
chapter sixty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to enhanced
and additional criminal penalties for convictions of animal
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section nineteen, article eight, chapter sixty-one of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY AND DECENCY.
§61-8-19. Cruelty to animals; penalties; exclusions.
(a) If any person cruelly mistreats, abandons or withholds
proper sustenance, including food, water, shelter or medical
treatment necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to
end suffering or abandons any animal to die, or uses, trains or possesses any domesticated animal for the purpose of seizing,
detaining or maltreating any other domesticated animal, he or she
is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall
be fined not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand
, or confined in the county jail not more than six months,
or both so fined and confined.
(b) Any person, other than a licensed veterinarian or a
person acting under the direction or with the approval of a
licensed veterinarian, who knowingly and willfully administers or
causes to be administered to any animal participating in any
contest any controlled substance or any other drug for the
purpose of altering or otherwise affecting said animal's
performance is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred nor more than
one thousand dollars.
(c) Any person convicted of a violation of this section
shall forfeit his or her interest in any such animal and all
interest in such animal shall vest in the humane society or
county pound of the county in which said conviction was rendered,
and such person shall, in addition to any fine imposed, be liable
for any costs incurred or to be incurred by the humane society or
county pound as a result.
(d) For the purpose of this section, the term "controlled substance" shall have the same meaning ascribed to it by
subsection (d), section one hundred one, article one, chapter
sixty-a of this code.
(e) The provisions of this section do not apply to farm
livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife kept in private or
licensed game farms if kept and maintained according to usual and
accepted standards of livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife
or game farm production and management, nor to humane use of
animals or activities regulated under and in conformity with the
provisions of 7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq. and the regulations
promulgated thereunder, as both such statutes and regulations are
in effect on the effective date of this section.
(f) Upon a second or subsequent 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, and may 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. Any person or persons convicted of a
second or subsequent 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.