Cobb County Government

What is Cruelty?

Georgia law defines Cruelty to Animals as follows:

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

  • (1) "Animal" shall not include any fish nor shall such term include any pest that might be exterminated or removed from a business, residence, or other structure.
  • (2) "Malice" means:
    • a. An actual intent, which may be shown by the circumstances connected to the act, to cause the particular harm produced without justification or excuse; or
    • b. The wanton and willful doing of an act with an awareness of a plain and strong likelihood that a particular harm may result.

(b) A person commits the offense of cruelty to animals when he or she:

  • (1) Causes physical pain, suffering, or death to an animal by any unjustifiable act or omission; or
  • (2) Having intentionally exercised custody, control, possession, or ownership of an animal, fails to provide to such animal adequate food, water, sanitary conditions, or ventilation that is consistent with what a reasonable person of ordinary knowledge would believe is the normal requirement and feeding habit for such animal's size, species, breed, age, and physical condition.

Georgia law further defines Aggravated Cruelty to Animals as follows:

(d) A person commits the offense of aggravated cruelty to animals when he or she:

  • (1) Maliciously causes the death of an animal;
  • (2) Maliciously causes physical harm to an animal by depriving it of a member of its body, by rendering a part of such animal's body useless, or by seriously disfiguring such animal's body or a member thereof;
  • (3) Maliciously tortures an animal by the infliction of or subjection to severe or prolonged physical pain;
  • (4) Maliciously administers poison to an animal, or exposes an animal to any poisonous substance, with the intent that the substance be taken or swallowed by the animal; or
  • (5) Having intentionally exercised custody, control, possession, or ownership of an animal, maliciously fails to provide to such animal adequate food, water, sanitary conditions, or ventilation that is consistent with what a reasonable person of ordinary knowledge would believe is the normal requirement and feeding habit for such animal's size, species, breed, age, and physical condition to the extent that the death of such animal results or a member of its body is rendered useless or is seriously disfigured.

     

     

Dog Fighting

(a) As used in this Code section, the term "dog" means any domestic canine.

(b) Any person who:

  • (1) Owns, possesses, trains, transports, or sells any dog with the intent that such dog shall be engaged in fighting with another dog;
  • (2) For amusement or gain, causes any dog to fight with another dog or for amusement or gain, causes any dogs to injure each other;
  • (3) Wagers money or anything of value on the result of such dog fighting;
  • (4) Knowingly permits any act in violation of paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection on any premises under the ownership or control of such person or knowingly aids or abets any such act; or

Spot Abuse

The Spot Abuse Project is an effort piloted in Milwaukee to reduce the growing percentage of domestic violence, by encouraging more residents to dial 9-1-1 when they suspect animal abuse. The effort is based on research from the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys that found 76% of animal abusers also abuse a member of their family. The premise is that if more people can be convinced to dial 911 when they suspect animal abuse (an act generally considered to be easier than reporting domestic abuse), that the police will then have the opportunity to uncover a higher number of domestic violence cases. Although this was a project in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it is applicable nationwide.

www.spotabuse.org

Ahimsa House

Ahimsa House is dedicated to addressing the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. We offer services and assistance to victims of domestic violence with pets in Georgia and work to raise awareness of this connection in communities throughout the state.

www.ahimsahouse.org

Georgia Equine Rescue League

Georgia Equine Rescue League works with local law enforcement and animal control agencies to insure more widespread enforcement of equine protection laws. This effort involves the training of officers regarding proper horse handling and providing temporary equine holding facilities where needed.

In addition, GERL supplies support to the Georgia Department of Agriculture to assist with the care and placement of horses that have been subject to abuse and neglect.

www.gerlltd.org

Animal Law Source

The team at Animal Law Source has over 25 years of combined experience in criminal and civil law related to animals. Over the years the founders, Claudine Wilkins and Jessica Rock, have received hundreds of calls from professionals and the public needing guidance on cases or issues involving animals. Both former prosecutors, they have become the state’s leading experts on animal law. They decided to put all of that knowledge in one place for you – AnimalLawSource.org – your number one animal law resource in Georgia.

www.animallawsource.org

National Link Coalition

The National Link Coalition is a multi-disciplinary, collaborative initiative to increase awareness and address public policy, programs and research. They serve as the National Resource Center on The Link between Animal Abuse and Human Violence. Their goal is to stop the cycle of violence that often affects multiple family members.

www.nationallinkcoalition.org