Is It Illegal To Abandon My Dog If I Do Not Want To Care For It Anymore?

Yes. If your dog is left in any public place, is enclosed by the owner without adequate food or water, is left in confinement without proper exercise, or is left to die from injuries or sickness, you can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $5,000. A law enforcement officer or animal control officer who finds that an animal has been mistreated or neglected can remove the animal from the possession of owner or get a court order requiring the owner to treat the animal in an acceptable and non­neglectful manner.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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