Animal cruelty is considered a crime in all 50 states. But in some states it is taken more seriously-and carries a felony charge, rather than a misdemeanor.
The following is an example of a state statute on the term:
Any person who:
(a) owns an animal for the purpose of fighting or baiting;
(b) is a party to or causes any fighting or baiting of any animal;
(c) purchases, rents, leases, or otherwise acquires or obtains the use of any structure, facility, or location for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal; or
(d) knowingly allows or permits or makes available any structure, facility, or location to be used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal is guilty of a felony and upon conviction must be punished by a fine of five thousand dollars or imprisoned for five years, or both.”[S.C. Code Ann. § 16-27-30]