Yes, it is illegal to abandon a cat in Alabama.
Pets are a part of the family in Alabama, and that includes cats.
The state has laws against animal cruelty, including pet abandonment.
In this article, we’ll cover the facts on what constitutes animal abandonment in Alabama, the penalties for this crime, and other relevant information.
Is It Illegal To Abandon a Cat in Alabama? (Discussion)
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What is considered animal abandonment in Alabama?
The definition of animal abandonment in Alabama is “the leaving of any animal without supervision and reasonable care or the relinquishment of custody or ownership of an animal to another person without making reasonable arrangements for the safety and welfare of the animal.”
Simply put, this means that it is illegal to simply abandon a cat in Alabama.
If an owner does not make arrangements for someone to take care of their pet, they could be charged with a crime.
Do animal abandonment laws in Alabama apply to other pets?
Yes, the animal abandonment laws in Alabama apply to all pets, not just cats.
This includes dogs, rabbits, birds, and any other type of pet citizens might have.
However, wildlife like deer or squirrels falls outside of these laws.
The local animal control officer will be able to provide more information on which animals are covered under these laws.
What are the penalties for animal abandonment in Alabama?
The penalties for animal abandonment in Alabama depend on the severity of the offense.
If the animal is abandoned and suffers injury or dies. As a result, the offender can be charged with a Class C felony, which is punishable by time in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Animal cruelty charges result in a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000.
What are the exceptions to the animal abandonment law in Alabama?
The only exception to the animal abandonment law in Alabama is if the animal is left with a veterinarian, animal shelter, or another professional caretaker.
In these cases, the owner must provide proper identification and contact information so that they can be reached if necessary.
This includes, but is not limited to, the owner’s name, address, telephone number, vaccination records, and other pertinent information.
Additionally, any animal that falls under the classification of “wildlife” may not be held in captivity.
Only fully licensed and approved rehabbers, sanctuaries, or zoos may possess these animals.
If you have any questions about the animal abandonment laws in Alabama or you think a pet may have been abandoned, contact a local animal shelter or law enforcement agency for assistance.
Is there a difference between animal abandonment and animal neglect in Alabama?
Yes, there is a difference between animal abandonment and animal neglect in Alabama.
Animal neglect is not providing necessary food, water, or shelter, while animal abandonment is the leaving of any animal without supervision and reasonable care.
This means that a person can be charged with animal neglect even if they do not intentionally abandon their pet.
It can be overwhelming to care for a pet during challenging times, but many resources exist to help.
What should a person do if they see someone abandoning their cat?
If a citizen believes they see someone abandoning, sometimes referred to as “dumping,” their cat, law enforcement recommends against confronting perpetrators directly.
This could be dangerous for both the citizen and the animal.
Instead, try to gather information about the incident, such as a license plate number or description of the vehicle, and contact the local law enforcement or animal control agency.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what to do if you witness animal abandonment.
Witnessing something as heartbreaking as animal abandonment can be difficult, but there are many ways a well-meaning neighbor can help.
Try to stay calm and remember that law enforcement and animal welfare professionals are trained to handle these situations.
What to do if a citizen finds an abandoned cat in Alabama
If someone finds a cat that has been abandoned in Alabama, the ideal thing to do is to take it to a local veterinary office or animal shelter.
There, the staff can provide care and contact law enforcement if necessary.
Remember to keep human safety and the animal’s safety in mind.
This means avoiding chasing the animal into traffic or into a dangerous area where people or the animal may become injured.
What should a person do if they can’t care for their cat?
If someone finds themselves in a situation where they can no longer care for their cat, there are options other than abandonment.
Individuals can contact the local shelter to see if they can take in the pet.
They can also reach out to family and friends in person or via social media to see if someone can provide a temporary or permanent home for the cat.
Cats are a wonderful addition to any home, and with some effort, a new home can be found for them.