Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Utah

Q: Is it illegal to leave a dog in the car if all the windows in the car are down and they are very well taken care of

The was this woman who thinks it’s illegal to leave our dogs in the car when all the windows are down while we were eating she broke into our car

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1 Lawyer Answer

Brian Craig

Answered
  • Logan, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: The animal cruelty statute in Utah Code Ann. sec. 76-9-301 states that "a person is guilty of cruelty to an animal if the person . . . intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence . . . injures an animal [or] abandons an animal." The animal cruelty statute requires abandonment that presents an "an immediate, direct, and serious threat to the life, safety, or health of the animal." The few facts here do not sound like there was any actual injury or abandonment. Lack of any injury or abandonment would be a good defense in any prosecution for animal cruelty.

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