Animal Abandonment Law & Legal Definition


Animal abandonment means leaving behind an animal alone or permitting the animal to be abandoned in circumstances which might cause harm to the animal. Owner of the animal is answerable for the suffering caused to the animal. This is a serious criminal offense in the U.S.

The following is an example of a state statute (Oregon) defining animal abandonment:

According to ORS § 167.340 a person commits the crime of animal abandonment if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence leaves a domestic animal or an equine at a location without providing minimum care.

It is no defense to the crime defined in this section that the defendant abandoned the animal at or near an animal shelter, veterinary clinic or other place of shelter if the defendant did not make reasonable arrangements for the care of the animal.