AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAWS REGARDING CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.
Amends GS 14-360(a) to reduce the state of mind required for misdemeanor animal cruelty charge from intentionally to recklessly. Amends GS 14-360(a1) to reduce the state of mind required for felony animal cruelty charge related to intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance from maliciously to recklessly. Amends GS 14-360(b) to change the state of mind required for other felony-level animal cruelty charges from maliciously to maliciously or intentionally.
Adds new GS 14-360(b1) authorizing a court to impose additional penalties when a person pleads guilty or nolo contendre or is found guilty of felony animal cruelty pursuant to GS 14-360(b). The additional penalties include prohibiting the person from having custody of animals and ordering the person to receive a psychiatric or psychological evaluation and/or treatment.
Adds new GS 14-362.4, which makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to fail to provide a dog with adequate shelter. Adequate shelter is defined to mean, at a minimum, an artificial shelter with a waterproof roof and specifically excludes barrels.
Effective for offenses committed on or after December 1, 2011.