Penal Code 597.7 PC
PC 597.7 – Leaving a Pet Unattended in a Vehicle
Leaving Pet Unattended in a Vehicle – Table of Contents
Defining ‘leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle’ under PC 597.7
A person shall not leave animal unattended in a vehicle that endangers the health, safety, and welfare of that animal because of heat, cold, lack of ventilation, food water or other circumstances that would cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.
Is there a mental state required for a violation of Penal Code 597.7 PC?
Shall means mandatory. Otherwise, there is no mental state.
What types of animals defined under PC 597.7?
The statute will include domestic and wild animals.
Is there an exception to prevent a violation of Penal Code 597.7 PC?
Yes, if the animal is meant for commercial consumption and produce, and the driver or agent has a permit validating that designation then Penal Code 597.7 does not apply.
How is the word unattended mean under Penal code 597.7 PC?
Unattended means a lack of physical or constructive control; inferring the animal’s freedom of movement is significantly affected.
Can liability be applied to a rescuing party who attempts to rescue an animal as described under Penal Code 597.7 PC?
No there is no assumption of risk under Penal Code 597.7 PC. If a person witnesses a delay in time concerning a confined animal in a vehicle, and it is apparent that the health, safety, and welfare of the animal is affected, a person or a group of persons, including law enforcement can attempt to free the animal from bondage. No liability gets imputed if the attempt causes considerable damage to the vehicle or if additional injury develops to the animal due to successful attempts.
What are the penalties for a violation of Penal Code 597.7 PC?
All penalties for a violation of Penal Code 597.7 PC are punishable as an infraction or misdemeanor. Upon a first conviction the punishment is a fine not exceeding $100; with the option of the animal to be removed from custody and placed for adoption. Any subsequent conviction is confinement after the infraction is 6 months in jail with fines not exceeding $500 dollars; with a mandatory removal of the animal from custody and placed for adoption.
If the animal suffers substantial or serious bodily injury, then the violation is charged as a misdemeanor. And punishments is confinement not exceeding 6 months in jail, and fines not exceeding $500 dollars.
What are examples of violations of Penal Code 597.7 PC?
- Denise just bought a pony from the county fair. She placed the pony in the back of her truck and drive it to the grocery store. The pony was strapped by the legs and covered with a tarp. That day it was 90 degrees. A local kid, with his mom observed the pony not breathing from heat exhaustion. They called the police and Denise was arrested. The mom and son followed the police to the adoption clinic and adopted the pony.
- James took his dog to the gas station. Because the dog was acting up, James placed a bag over its head and went to the bathroom in the gas station. An old woman saw what happened, went to James ‘car and video tapped the dog with the bag over his head. She opened the car door took the dog out and held it until James arrived. She also called the police. The police did not arrest James but gave him a citation.
What are the defenses for a violation of Penal Code 597.7 PC?
- Private property rights- the animal was on private property and there is no probable cause
- The animal is meant for consumption and or produce under permit of a business.
If you are charged with a violation of Penal Code 597.7 PC call The Esfandi Law Group. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group.
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