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Indiana
Anti-Cruelty Statutes

INDIANA CODE
TITLE 35. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE
ARTICLE 46. MISCELLANEOUS OFFENSES
CHAPTER 3. OFFENSES RELATING TO ANIMALS

§ 35-46-3-12. Cruelty to an animal -- Intentionally beating an animal

(a) This section does not apply to a person who euthanizes an injured, a sick, a homeless, or an unwanted domestic animal if:

  • (1) the person is employed by a humane society, an animal control agency, or a governmental entity operating an animal shelter or other animal impounding facility; and

  • (2) the person euthanizes the domestic animal in accordance with guidelines adopted by the humane society, animal control agency, or governmental entity operating the animal shelter or other animal impounding facility.

(b) A person who knowingly or intentionally beats a vertebrate animal commits cruelty to an animal, a Class A misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class D felony if :

  • (1) the person has a previous, unrelated conviction under this section; or

  • (2) the person knowingly or intentionally tortures or mutilates a vertebrate animal.

(c) It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that the accused person:

  • (1) reasonably believes the conduct was necessary to:

- - - - - - (A) prevent injury to the accused person or another person;

- - - - - - (B) protect the property of the accused person from destruction or substantial damage; or

- - - - - - (C) prevent a seriously injured vertebrate animal from prolonged suffering; or

  • (2) engaged in a reasonable and recognized act of training, handling, or disciplining the vertebrate animal.

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