Is It Illegal To Abandon A Dog Or Other Animal That I No Longer Wish To Care For?

Yes. If an animal is abandoned by an owner, and no measures are taken for its adequate care, the owner can be charged with a misdemeanor, and also liable civilly to reimburse an animal shelter for its costs incurred in accommodating the animal after it had been abandoned. It is not considered abandonment if an animal is lost by an owner, so long as the owner has taken reasonable steps to find the animal.

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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