How to Investigate Animal Cruelty in NY State – A Manual of Procedures

Chapter 7. Various NYS Laws Dealing with Animals


In this section, we have included selected sections of laws from Agriculture & Markets Law, Environmental Conservation Law, General Business Law, Penal Law, and Vehicle and Traffic Law that deal with causing harm or suffering to animals. In the section entitled “NYSHA’s notes,” we offer insights gained from practical experience in this field. We have also included a section of USDA law that may be relevant when NYS laws are being violated.

Note that in charging a person with violations of Article 26 of the Agriculture & Markets Law dealing with animal cruelty, the number of charges you bring depends on the number of animals involved or the number of individual acts of cruelty. Thus, if you have a violation of Section 353, failing to provide proper sustenance, food or water, and you find 10 animals in that situation, then you have 10 violations of that section, or if you determine that a dog has been beaten on five different occasions, you could have five violations of Section 353. Each violation requires its own Information.

Where a violation of an animal related law in one area of law, such as Penal Law, indicates a violation of an animal cruelty statute in Agriculture & Markets Law, we have provided a reference to the additional law that might be in violation. If your investigation indicates that to be the case, the additional violations can be added to your original charge.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As we said at the beginning of this manual, in any case where the reader has a question regarding the intent of the laws and/or legal proceeding discussed in this section or any other section of this manual, or their legal rights and duties in the situations described in this section or any other section of this manual, they should consult an attorney for advice BEFORE proceeding.

We have provided Article 26 of the Agriculture & Markets Law as well as other laws which are current as of 2022. We have annotated them with notes based on our experience and provided cross references to other laws that may have been violated – in the belief that this information will be of assistance to you.

However, laws may change each year. Thus, to stay up-to-date, with the animal cruelty laws and dog control laws, you can obtain current copies of the PDFs for Article 26 and Article 7 on the NYSHA website. You can find the current set of laws of all areas of law at the NYS Senate website:

New York State Laws Reference

New York State Agriculture & Markets Law
Article 7: Licensing, Identification, and Control of Dogs
Article 25B: Abandoned Animals
Article 26: Animals
Article 26-A: Care of Animals by Pet Dealer

Environmental Conservation Law
Article 11 Title 1: Fish and Wildlife
Article 11 Title 11: Fish and Wildlife – Trapping
New York Code of Rules and Regulations, Chapter III Air Resources Part 211 General Prohibitions

General Business Law
Article 35D: Sale of Cats and Dogs

New York State Penal Law
Article 130: Sex Offenses
Article 180: Bribery Not Involving Public Servants and Related Offenses
Article 195: Offical Misconduct and Obstruction of Public Servants Generally

Vehicle and Traffic Law
Article 22: Accidents
Article 26: Right of Way

Regulations Relating to Movement and Transfer of Horses and Other Equidae

USDA Law and Animal Cruelty