A dog owner in Oglethorpe County was recently evicted from his home after the property owner and the Sheriff's Office had given him a final warning about the alleged maltreatment of dogs on the property.
After the eviction, a couple went to the home to check on the dogs, only to discover sixteen dead dogs on the property. The dogs appeared to have been executed. Their bodies had been left outside and had been partially eaten by buzzards by the time authorities came to get the carcasses for further investigation.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I am familiar with a variety of crimes in the state of Georgia, and I am aware of how confusing the law can be. In today's post, I'll focus on the offense of cruelty to dogs.
Cruelty to Dogs in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines cruelty to dogs in Georgia as:
No person shall perform a cruel act on any dog; nor shall any person harm, maim, or kill any dog, or attempt to do so. O.C.G.A. §4-8-5.
However, there are two exceptions to this rule. People are allowed to harm, maim, or kill any dog to defend themselves, their property, or another from injury or damage being caused by the dog. On top of that, people are allowed to kill any dog causing injury or damage to any livestock, poultry, or pet animal.
Georgia law states that the method used for killing the dog must be as humane as is possible under the circumstances. If a person humanely kills a dog under one of these conditions, then they will not be criminally liable for the death of the dog.
If convicted of cruelty to dogs, the crime is classified as a misdemeanor. This means that the penalty can include up to 12 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.
There are Georgia Criminal Defenses that apply to a wrongful accusation, and we are here to help. If you or a loved one has been charged with committing a crime in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.