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Washington
Anti-Cruelty Statutes

REVISED CODE OF WASHINGTON
TITLE 16. ANIMALS, ESTRAYS, BRANDS AND FENCES
CHAPTER 16.52. PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMAL

16.52.205. Animal cruelty in the first degree

A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized in law, he or she intentionally (a) inflicts substantial pain on, (b) causes physical injury to, or (c) kills an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or forces a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal.

Animal cruelty in the first degree is a class C felony.

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16.52.207. Animal cruelty in the second degree

(1) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty, the person knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal.

(2) An owner of an animal is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty, the owner knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence:

(a) Fails to provide the animal with necessary food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, ventilation, space, or medical attention and the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result of the failure; or

(b) Abandons the animal.

(3) Animal cruelty in the second degree is a misdemeanor.

(4) In any prosecution of animal cruelty in the second degree, it shall be an affirmative defense, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant's failure was due to economic distress beyond the defendant's control.

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