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Chapter 7 - Various VT Laws Dealing With Animals

Title 13: Crimes and Criminal Procedure
Chapter 8: Humane and Proper Treatment Of Animals

353. Degree of offense; sentencing upon conviction

  1. Penalties.

    1. Except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, cruelty to animals under section 352 of this title shall be punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not more than one year, or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both. Second and subsequent convictions shall be punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not more than two years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.

      VACTF Notes: Vermont law classifies misdemeanor and felony offenses by the amount of jail time prescribed. Penalties up to and including two years in jail classify the violation as a misdemeanor. Penalties of over two years in jail classify the violation as a felony.

    2. Aggravated cruelty under section 352a of this title shall be punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not more than three years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both. Second and subsequent offenses shall be punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not more than five years or a fine of not more than $7,500.00, or both.

    3. An offense committed under subdivisions 352(5) and (6) of this title shall be punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.

  2. In addition to any other sentence the court may impose, the court may require a defendant convicted of a violation under section 352 or 352a of this title to:

    1. Forfeit any rights to the animal subjected to cruelty, and to any other animal, except livestock or poultry owned, possessed, or in the custody of the defendant.

    2. Repay the reasonable costs incurred by any person, municipality or agency for providing care for the animal prior to judgment. If the court does not order a defendant to pay all the applicable costs incurred or orders only partial payment, it shall state on the record the reasons for that action.

    3. Forfeit any future right to own, possess, or care for any animal for a period which the court deems appropriate.

    4. Participate in available animal cruelty prevention programs or educational programs, or both, or obtain psychiatric or psychological counseling, within a reasonable distance from the defendant's residence. If a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent under section 352 or 352a of this title, the court may order the juvenile to undergo a psychiatric or psychological evaluation and to participate in treatment that the court determines to be appropriate after due consideration of the evaluation. The court may impose the costs of such programs or counseling upon the defendant when appropriate.

    5. Permit periodic unannounced visits for a period up to one year by a humane officer to inspect the care and condition of any animal permitted by the court to remain in the care, custody, or possession of the defendant. Such period may be extended by the court upon motion made by the state.

  3. Upon an order of forfeiture of an animal under this section or section 354 of this title, the court shall order custody of the animal remanded to a humane society or other individual deemed appropriate by the court, for further disposition in accordance with accepted practices for humane treatment of animals. A transfer of rights under this section constitutes a transfer of ownership, and shall not constitute or authorize any limitation upon the right of the humane society, individual, or other entity, to whom rights are granted to dispose of the animal. (Added 1989, No. 270 (Adj. Sess.), 2; amended 1997, No. 130 (Adj. Sess.), 10.)
« 352. Cruelty to animals 354. Enforcement; possession of abused animal; searches and seizures; forfeiture »

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