Did you know a person leaving any animal unattended in a car or enclosed space during extreme heat or cold may be guilty of a Class 2 civil infraction, in addition to a charge of animal cruelty? RCW 16.52.340.
Animal Cruelty – First Degree
Pursuant to RCW 16.52.205, a person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized by law or as provided in (c) of this subsection, he or she, with criminal negligence, starves, dehydrates, or suffocates an animal, or exposes an animal to excessive heat or cold and as a result causes: (i) Substantial and unjustifiable physical pain that extends for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering; or (ii) death.(b) Animal cruelty in the first degree is a class C felony.
Animal Cruelty – Second Degree
Pursuant to RCW 16.52.207, a person is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty: The person knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflicts unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal. An owner of an animal is guilty of animal cruelty in the second degree if, under circumstances not amounting to first degree animal cruelty, the owner knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence:(a) Fails to provide the animal with necessary shelter, rest, sanitation, space, or medical attention and the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain as a result of the failure; or(b) Abandons the animal.(3) Animal cruelty in the second degree is a gross misdemeanor.
Law Enforcement Intervention
To protect the health and safety of an animal, a law enforcement officer who reasonably believes that an animal is suffering or is likely to suffer harm is authorized to enter a vehicle or enclosed space to remove an animal by any means reasonable under the circumstances.
Be kind to your pets.