Special Report

America's Best and Worst States for Pets

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11. Texas
> Maximum penalty for aggravated cruelty: 20 years imprisonment and $10,000 fine
> Animals may be included in domestic violence protective orders: No
> Mandatory reporting by veterinarian: No
> Households owning pets: 58.5% (21st highest)

The state of Texas takes animal cruelty seriously. The maximum penalty for aggravated cruelty in Texas is 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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12. Indiana
> Maximum penalty for aggravated cruelty: 3 years (2 1/2 years) and $10,000 fine
> Animals may be included in domestic violence protective orders: Yes
> Mandatory reporting by veterinarian: No
> Households owning pets: 59.9% (16th highest)

As of July 1, 2019, if a person in Indiana is on probation or parole for abusing an animal, that person is forbidden from owning or training a dog or cat.

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13. Michigan
> Maximum penalty for aggravated cruelty: 10 years imprisonment, $5,000 fine, and/or 500 hours community service
> Animals may be included in domestic violence protective orders: Yes
> Mandatory reporting by veterinarian: No
> Households owning pets: 55.4% (19th lowest)

Michigan State Rep. Nate Shannon is sponsoring legislation that would make it illegal for residents to declaw their pet cats.

14. New Hampshire
> Maximum penalty for aggravated cruelty: 7 years imprisonment and/or $4,000 fine (for subsequent offenses)
> Animals may be included in domestic violence protective orders: Yes
> Mandatory reporting by veterinarian: No
> Households owning pets: 56.8% (24th lowest)

New legislation in New Hampshire makes possession bans mandatory for those convicted of animal cruelty. The new laws also forbid possessing, making, or selling animal fighting materials, and the state also prohibits the sale and loaning of animals for fighting.

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15. Pennsylvania
> Maximum penalty for aggravated cruelty: 7 years imprisonment and/or $15,000 fine (for subsequent offenses)
> Animals may be included in domestic violence protective orders: No
> Mandatory reporting by veterinarian: No
> Households owning pets: 56.9% (24th highest)

Pennsylvania passed a law in late 2018 that permits public safety workers to remove unattended animals from vehicles if they’re in danger from heat or cold without liability for any damages to the vehicle. The law does not apply to Good Samaritans.