Have you Been Charged with Abandonment of Dogs in Georgia?
Abandoning dogs is a serious problem in the United States today. Thousands of abandoned dogs are rescued each year while more roam free. Dogs without a home can pose dangers to people and their dogs because they can become aggressive. That is why states have developed laws criminalizing abandoning dogs because it is such a problem. On the other hand, there are many people whose dogs escape or accidentally jump from their car, so their abandonment is accidental. In either situation, you need legal representation! The Office of Lawson and Berry and their team of Georgia Animal Attorneys are here for you. We have over 50 combined years of experience in criminal law and are ready to help you.
Georgia Law O.C.G.A. §4-8-3 reads as follows:
No person shall release a dog on any property, public or private, with the intention of abandoning the dog.
Penalty for Abandoning Dogs in Georgia
A person who leaves dogs on either public or private property will be guilty of a misdemeanor. This means the suspect will face less than one year in jail and fines of no more than $1,000.
Abandoning Dogs Defenses
It was unintentional: If you obtained consent to leave the dog with someone else, but the dog escaped without you knowing onto someone else's land; you may have a defense. An example is if, on the way to the person's house, your dog jumped out of your car onto someone else's property.
I had consent from the owner: Evidence that the owner of the property agreed to you leaving your dog with them would negate the charges.
What are Not Defenses
I thought I had consent: Dumping a dog requires permission from either the property owner or from the county/city. Thinking you have permission and knowing you have permission are two different things and having permission is the only defense; not just thinking.
Although a misdemeanor conviction may seem inconsequential, spending time in jail or paying fines will have an impact on your life. It is still important that you retain representation to help you fight the charges and try to either get the jail time or fine lowered. If you have any questions feel free to contact our offices. Lawson and Berry are here for you!