Louisiana currently has no law making it a crime to leave an animal in a hot car, nor does it have a law allowing members of the public to break into a car to save an animal.
This doesn't mean that pet owners in Louisiana can get away with animal cruelty and neglect scot-free, however. Louisiana’s animal cruelty statute, among other things, prohibits carrying an animal in a vehicle in a cruel or inhumane way, and “Mistreats any living animal by any act or omission whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused to or permitted upon the animal.”
A first-time offender may be punished by a maximum of six months imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. A subsequent offense will come with a fine of between $5,000 and $25,000, and/or a sentence "with or without hard labor" for between one and ten years. A subsequent offender will also be ordered to complete 40 hours of community service, and must complete a psychological evaluation. Although Louisiana’s laws do not specifically allow for the rescue of struggling animals by members of the public, they do allow for rescue by police officers, and the punishments for animal cruelty are among the harshest in the nation, especially for repeat offenders. In addition, Louisiana restricts those convicted of animal cruelty from owning or possessing any animals for “a length of time deemed appropriate by the court.”
January 13, 2018
DOGS IN HOT CARS: HAWAII - LOUISIANA
Author: Simon Isham
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