§102.2. Seizure and disposition of animals cruelly treated
A. When a person is charged with cruelty to animals, said person's animal may be seized by the arresting officer and held pursuant to this Section.
B.(1) The seizing officer shall notify the owner of the seized animal of the provisions of this Section by posting written notice at the location where the animal was seized or by leaving it with a person of suitable age and discretion residing at that location within twenty-four hours of the seizure.
(2) The seizing officer shall photograph the animal within fifteen days after posting of the notice of seizure and shall cause an affidavit to be prepared in order to document its condition in accordance with R.S. 15:436.2.
(3) The seizing officer shall appoint a licensed veterinarian or other suitable custodian to care for any such animal. The custodian shall retain custody of the animal in accordance with this Section.
(4) The seized animal shall be held by the custodian provided for in Paragraph (3) for a period of fifteen consecutive days, including weekends and holidays, after such notice of seizure is given. Thereafter, if a person who claims an interest in such animal has not posted bond in accordance with Subsection C, the animal may be humanely disposed of by sale, adoption, or euthanasia.
C.(1) A person claiming an interest in any animal seized pursuant to this Section may prevent the disposition of the animal as provided for in Subsection B of this Section by posting a bond with the court within fifteen days after receiving notice of such seizure. Such bond shall prevent the disposition of the animal for a period of thirty days commencing on the date of initial seizure.
(2)(a) The amount of the bond shall be determined by the department, agency, humane society, and the custodian of the animal as authorized by the court and shall be sufficient to secure payment for all reasonable costs incurred during the thirty-day period for the boarding and medical treatment of the animal after examination by a licensed veterinarian.
(b) The court shall order that the bond be given to the custodian of the animal to cover such costs.
(3) Such bond shall not prevent the department, agency, humane society, or other custodian of the animal from disposing of the animal in accordance with Subsection B of this Section at the end of the thirty-day period covered by the bond, unless the person claiming an interest posts an additional bond for such reasonable expenses for an additional thirty-day period. In addition, such bond shall not prevent disposition of the animal for humane purposes at any time, in accordance with Subsection E of this Section.
D. Upon a person's conviction of cruelty to animals, it shall be proper for the court, in its discretion, to order the forfeiture and final determination of the custody of any animal found to be cruelly treated in accordance with this Section and the forfeiture of the bond posted pursuant to Subsection C as part of the sentence. The court may, in its discretion, order the payment of any reasonable or additional costs incurred in the boarding or veterinary treatment of any seized animal prior to its disposition, whether or not a bond was posted by the defendant. In the event of the acquittal or final discharge without conviction of the accused, the court shall, on demand, direct the delivery of any animal held in custody to the owner thereof and order the return of any bond posted pursuant to Subsection C, less reasonable administrative costs.
E. Nothing in this Section shall prevent the euthanasia of any seized animal, at any time, whether or not any bond was posted, if a licensed veterinarian determines that the animal is not likely to survive and is suffering, as a result of any physical condition. In such instances, the court, in its discretion, may order the return of any bond posted, less reasonable costs, at the time of trial.
Added by Acts 1982, No. 431, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1212, §1; Acts 2010, No. 916, §1.