Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–1012. Abandonment of maimed or diseased animal; destruction of diseased animals; disposition of animal or vehicle on arrest of driver; scientific experiments.

(a) A person being the owner or possessor or having charge or custody of a maimed, diseased, disabled, or infirm animal who abandons such animal, or leaves it to lie in the street or road, or public place, more than 3 hours after he or she receives notice that it is left disabled, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $10 and not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or by imprisonment in jail not more than 180 days, or both. Any agent or officer of the Washington Humane Society may lawfully destroy, or cause to be destroyed, any animal found abandoned and not properly cared for, appearing, in the judgment of 2 reputable citizens called by such officer to view the same in such officer’s presence, to be glandered, injured, or diseased past recovery for any useful purpose. When any person arrested is, at the time of such arrest, in charge of any animal, or of any vehicle drawn by any animal, or containing any animal, any agent of said society may take charge of such animal and such vehicle and its contents and deposit the same in a place of safe custody or deliver the same into the possession of the police authorities, who shall assume the custody thereof; and all necessary expenses incurred in taking charge of such property shall be a lien thereon.

(b) Nothing contained in §§ 22-1001 to 22-1009, inclusive, and §§ 22-1011 and 22-1309 shall be construed to prohibit or interfere with any properly conducted scientific experiments or investigations, which experiments shall be performed only under the authority of the faculty of some regularly incorporated medical college, university, or scientific society.


(Aug. 23, 1871, Leg. Assem., p. 138, ch. 106, § 11; June 25, 1892, 27 Stat. 60, ch. 135, § 4; May 21, 1994, D.C. Law 10-119, § 6, 41 DCR 1639; Aug. 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-151, § 102(b), 41 DCR 2608; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 209(b), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-812.

1973 Ed., § 22-812.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “and not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “nor more than $250” in (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 102(b) of the Omnibus Criminal Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-255, June 22, 1994, 41 DCR 4286).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 209(b) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.