Dog Duty: Laws About Owning a Dog in Iowa

Dog Duty: Laws About Owning a Dog in IowaIowa-StateSeal.svg

Iowa has been in the news the last few weeks as candidates gather for the 2015 Primary Caucus. You would think with all of the media coverage that Iowa lives and breathes politics, but really they are a dog loving state. 

Iowa has a deep history of their love of their four legged companions and their laws reflect that. They have many laws in place to protect their dogs from disease, pregnancy (which leads to over population and possible death of the female if the pregnancy is not medically overseen) and abuse. 

In Iowa, they have very strictly written laws about sterilization. Those who wish to adopt a dog from a pound or shelter may only do so once they are altered. The adoption of an unaltered animal can result in a misdemeanor charge. This kind of charge and leave you in some hot water anywhere from 30 days in jail and a fine of $625 up to one year in jail and $1875 in fines.  In Iowa they consider it abusive to not spay or neuter a dog.  

Now when it comes to animal abuse in Iowa, actual physical abuse, this state does not mess around. 

Here is a copy of their statute on the laws:

Animal abuse is defined as: “intentionally injures, maims, disfigures, or destroys an animal owned by another person, in any manner, including intentionally poisoning the animal” This is an Aggravated Misdemeanor with a fine of $500 to $5000 and/or imprisonment up to 2 years. 

Animal Neglect is defined as: “fails to supply the animal during confinement with a sufficient quantity of food or water; fails to provide a confined dog or cat with adequate shelter; or tortures, deprives of necessary sustenance, mutilates, beats, or kills an animal by any means which causes unjustified pain, distress, or suffering.”

 Negligent animal neglect is a Simple Misdemeanor which carries a fine of $50 to $500 and/or imprisonment up to 30 days. Intentional Neglect is a Serious Misdemeanor with a fine of $250 to $1500 and/or imprisonment up to 1 year. 

Animal Torture is defined as: “regardless of whether the person is the owner of the animal, if the person inflicts upon the animal severe physical pain with a depraved or sadistic intent to cause prolonged suffering or death.” This is an Aggravated Misdemeanor with a fine of $500 to $5000 and/or imprisonment up to 2 years and psychological treatment. A second conviction of 

Animal Torture is a Class D Felony with a fine of $500 to $7500 and/or imprisonment up to 5 years and psychological treatment.

 Exemptions are made for owner’s consent (except torture), carrying out an order of the court, veterinary practice, hunting, trapping, fishing, protecting person or property, destroying a diseased or injured animal to a degree that would cause severe or prolonged suffering.

Wow! They spell it all out for you. Don’t hurt dogs in Iowa. 

Now if you are looking to visit Iowa, please do not let these laws scare you away. In fact, if you are a guest in their fine state they have special laws just for you. Did you know if you are traveling through or just visiting the state you are not required to have the same vaccination requirements of local animals. However, we would recommend that you look into the vaccinations if you are going hunting or going to a show. These, much like airports for humans, are places where your pet will come into contact with germs potentially not native to their home environment.  We would recommend that you check with your vet and see if there is a vaccination that they would recommend for your traveling companion. 

 

For more information about laws on dog owner ship and care in Iowa, here are our source links.

https://www.animallaw.info/statute/ia-dog-iowa-dangerous-doggeneral-dog-laws

http://www.legis.state.ia.us/IACODE/2003/717B

http://myiowadefenselawyer.com/criminal-offenses/

http://resources.lawinfo.com/insurance/pet-law/iowa/do-i-need-to-vaccinate-my-dog-if-i-am-just-tr.html