Under California law, a dog that has been left unattended may be considered “dangerously and neglectfully” unattended by law enforcement. This means a dog may be charged with crimes relating to leaving a dog in unattended conditions, including:
Aggravated Dog Maiming
Maiming in the First Degree
If you’re charged with the crime of dog maiming for leaving a dog unattended, you will be required to sign an affidavit saying that the dog was left in an unattended state. If this affidavit is obtained and signed, you will be required to forfeit $2,000 in cash or property and pay a $25,000 fine to the county where the dog was found to be in an unattended state. (This doesn’t apply to California animal cruelty cases – see below for specific exceptions).
You can also be charged with misdemeanors, which refer to the crime of leaving on private property. If you are found guilty of leaving a dog in an unattended state, you face fines as large as $1,000 per day for each day in which your dog is left unattended.
What about other crimes related to leaving a dog in an unattended state?
Other crimes related to leaving a dog unattended may include:
Lack of Proper Training
Lack of Shelter
Dog Theft Crime
Breed Specific Laws Related to Leaving a Dog
Although California’s law about leaving a dog unattended is similar to states across the nation, California law does provide specific exceptions for specific breeds of dogs.
In California, a licensed California dog may remain in a parked motor vehicle at all times – even when the owner is not home, as long as the dog is “leaving a nuisance for which a dog owner is responsible.” (Cal. Penal Code §§ 671.5, 671.7, and 671.8)
Under California law, a licensed California dog may remain in any parked motor vehicle in a public place, as long as the dog is “leaving a nuisance, not an actual threat.” (Cal. Penal Code §§ 671.5, 671.7, and 671.8)
There are exceptions to the “leaving a nuisance, not an actual threat” clause for certain breeds of dogs.
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