§49-5-13f. Animal Cruelty Early Intervention Program.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the
contrary, a juvenile who has been alleged to have committed an act
of delinquency which involved causing harm to an animal shall be
given the option of proceeding in the Animal Cruelty Early
Intervention Program as an alternative to the filing of a formal
petition under section seven of this article, as the case may be.
The decision to extend the option to enter the Animal Cruelty Early
Intervention Program shall be made by the circuit court if the
court finds that the offender is a suitable candidate for the
program. No juvenile may enter the Animal Cruelty Early
Intervention Program unless he or she and his or her parent or
guardian consent. Any juvenile who does not successfully cooperate
in and complete the Animal Cruelty Early Intervention Program shall
be returned to the circuit court for further disposition as
provided by section eleven-a or thirteen of this article, as the
case may be.
(b) The Department of Juvenile Services shall establish a task
force to create an Animal Cruelty Early Intervention Program.
Services provided by the Department for Juvenile Services in the
Animal Cruelty Early Intervention Program shall be consistent with
the provisions of article five-b of this chapter and shall be
designed to develop skills and supports within families and to
resolve problems related to the juveniles who have engaged in
animal cruelty. Services may include, but are not limited to, referral of juveniles and parents, guardians or custodians and
other family members to services for psychiatric or other medical
care, or psychological, welfare, legal, educational or other social
services, as appropriate to the needs of the juvenile and his or
(c) The effective date for this section is the first day of
July, two thousand six.