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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

343.21 OVERWORKING OR MISTREATING ANIMALS; PENALTY.
    Subdivision 1. Torture. No person shall overdrive, overload, torture, cruelly beat, neglect, or
unjustifiably injure, maim, mutilate, or kill any animal, or cruelly work any animal when it is unfit
for labor, whether it belongs to that person or to another person.
    Subd. 2. Nourishment; shelter. No person shall deprive any animal over which the person
has charge or control of necessary food, water, or shelter.
    Subd. 3. Enclosure. No person shall keep any cow or other animal in any enclosure without
providing wholesome exercise and change of air.
    Subd. 4. Low feed. No person shall feed any cow on food which produces impure or
unwholesome milk.
    Subd. 5. Abandonment. No person shall abandon any animal.
    Subd. 6. Temporary abandonment. No person shall allow any maimed, sick, infirm, or
disabled animal to lie in any street, road, or other public place for more than three hours after
receiving notice of the animal's condition.
    Subd. 7. Cruelty. No person shall willfully instigate or in any way further any act of cruelty
to any animal or animals, or any act tending to produce cruelty to animals.
    Subd. 8. Caging. No person shall cage any animal for public display purposes unless the
display cage is constructed of solid material on three sides to protect the caged animal from the
elements and unless the horizontal dimension of each side of the cage is at least four times the
length of the caged animal. The provisions of this subdivision do not apply to the Minnesota State
Agricultural Society, the Minnesota State Fair, or to the county agricultural societies, county
fairs, to any agricultural display of caged animals by any political subdivision of the state of
Minnesota, or to district, regional or national educational livestock or poultry exhibitions. The
provisions of this subdivision do not apply to captive wildlife, the exhibition of which is regulated
by section 97A.041.
    Subd. 8a. Harming a service animal. No person shall intentionally and without justification
cause bodily harm to a service animal while it is providing service or while it is in the custody of
the person it serves.
    Subd. 9. Penalty. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, a person who fails to
comply with any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person convicted of a
second or subsequent violation of subdivision 1 or 7 within five years of a previous violation of
subdivision 1 or 7 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
(b) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in
substantial bodily harm to a pet or companion animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not
more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.
(c) A person convicted of violating paragraph (b) within five years of a previous gross
misdemeanor or felony conviction for violating this section may be sentenced to imprisonment
for not more than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
(d) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in death
or great bodily harm to a pet or companion animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not
more than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
(e) A person who violates subdivision 8a where the violation results in substantial bodily
harm to a service animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or to
payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
(f) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in
substantial bodily harm to a pet or companion animal, and the act is done to threaten, intimidate,
or terrorize another person, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or to
payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
(g) A person who violates subdivision 8a where the violation results in death or great bodily
harm to a service animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than four years or to
payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
(h) A person who intentionally violates subdivision 1 or 7 where the violation results in death
or great bodily harm to a pet or companion animal, and the act is done to threaten, intimidate, or
terrorize another person, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than four years or to
payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
    Subd. 10. Restrictions. If a person is convicted of violating this section, the court shall
require that pet or companion animals that have not been seized by a peace officer or agent and are
in the custody or control of the person must be turned over to a peace officer or other appropriate
officer or agent unless the court determines that the person is able and fit to provide adequately for
an animal. If the evidence indicates lack of proper and reasonable care of an animal, the burden
is on the person to affirmatively demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the person
is able and fit to have custody of and provide adequately for an animal. The court may limit
the person's further possession or custody of pet or companion animals, and may impose other
conditions the court considers appropriate, including, but not limited to:
(1) imposing a probation period during which the person may not have ownership, custody,
or control of a pet or companion animal;
(2) requiring periodic visits of the person by an animal control officer or agent appointed
pursuant to section 343.01, subdivision 1;
(3) requiring performance by the person of community service; and
(4) requiring the person to receive psychological, behavioral, or other counseling.
History: (10443) RL s 5152; 1959 c 571 s 1-2; 1974 c 3 s 2; 1981 c 53 s 2; 1986 c 386 art 4 s
24; 1986 c 444; 1990 c 387 s 1; 1990 c 612 s 2; 1993 c 326 art 4 s 10,11; 1Sp2001 c 8 art 8 s 9-11