Animal Cruelty (misdemeanor charge): A person commits the offense of cruelty to animals when he/she causes death or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering to any animal by an act, an omission or willful neglect. Willful neglect means the intentional withholding of food and water required by an animal to prevent starvation or dehydration. O.C.G.A. 16-12-4
- Adequate food and water means food and water that is sufficient in an amount and appropriate for the particular type of animal to prevent starvation, dehydration or a significant risk to the animal’s health from a lack of food or water. O.C.G.A. 4-11-2, 4-13-2
- Humane care of animals means, but is not limited to, the provision of adequate heat, ventilation, sanitary shelter, and wholesome and adequate food and water, consistent with the normal requirements and feeding habits of the animal’s size, species and breed. O.C.G.A. 4-11-2, 4-13-2
Animal Cruelty (felony charge): A person commits the offense of aggravated cruelty to animals when he or she knowingly and maliciously causes death or physical harm to an animal by rendering a part of such animal’s body useless or by seriously disfiguring such animal…(paraphrased) except for conduct otherwise permitted under state or federal law. O.C.G.A. 16-12-4
- Dog Fighting: A person commits the offense of dog fighting when he/she causes or allows a dog to fight another dog for sport or gaming purposes or maintains or operates any event at which dogs are allowed or encouraged to fight one another. O.C.G.A. 16-12-37
- Cock Fighting (not legally defined): A person commits the offense of chicken fighting when he/she causes or allows a chicken to fight another chicken for sport or gaming purposes or maintains or operates any event at which chickens are allowed or encouraged to fight one another.