Animal Cruelty

Washington Law Regarding Animal Cruelty

Washington law prohibits the following as animal cruelty:

  • Intentionally (a) inflicting substantial pain on, (b) causing physical injury to, or (c) killing an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or forcing a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal.
  • Knowingly engaging in sexual conduct or contact with an animal or activities related to such behavior (photographs/films, organizes, participates as observer, allows on premises, etc.).
  • Knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflicting unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal including:
    • Failure to provide necessary shelter, rest, sanitation, space, or medical attention resulting in unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain to the animal;
    • Abandonment resulting in bodily harm or imminent and substantial risk of substantial bodily harm to the animal.
  • Animal fighting of dogs or male chickens, including spectating or other co-conspiring activities.
  • Using dogs or cats as bait.
  • Intentionally poisoning an animal (not including euthanasia by an animal’s owner, authorized agent or public official in a humane manner or reasonable use of rodenticides, insecticides, slug bait, etc., for their intended purposes).
  • Transporting or accepting delivery of non-ambulatory livestock.
  • Public abandonment of old, maimed or diseased domestic animals.
  • Cutting off more than half the ear of any domestic animal except as a customary husbandry practice; tail docking in horses; use of hook to pierce flesh or mouth of any bird/mammal (misdemeanors).
  • Certain dog breeding and keeping practices as set forth in RCW 16.52.310.
  • Transporting animals on the running board, fenders, hood, or other outside part of any vehicle unless suitable harness, cage or enclosure is provided as set forth in RCW 46.61.660.

RCW 16.52 contains current Washington laws concerning animal cruelty.  Local jurisdictions may have additional laws governing animal cruelty.

Download Animal Cruelty Poster

Articles, Links and PowerPoint Presentations

The written hazardous drugs control program must be created with input from workers and address the following elements as applicable to the facility:

  • A written inventory of hazardous drugs in the workplace.
  • A current hazard assessment for the hazardous drugs.
  • Hazardous drugs policies and procedures that cover, but are not limited to:
    • Engineering controls (equipment use and maintenance)
    • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • Safe handling practices
    • Cleaning, housekeeping, and waste handling
    • Spill control
    • Personnel issues (such as exposure of pregnant workers)
    • Training

Large Animal Resources

Pain Scales, Assessments and Forms


AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats

Instructions for using the CSU Acute Pain Scale – CSU- CVM

Instructions for use of Glasgow pain scale – Peter W. Hellyer, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVA

The Problem Oriented Medical Record and the “Academic” SOAP – WSU/CVM

Medical Evaluation/Condition Assessment Forms

Feline Acute Pain Scale – Colorado State University Veterinary Medical Center

Canine Acute Pain Scale – Colorado State University Veterinary Medical Center

ASPCA Sample Medical Evaluation/Condition Assessment Forms – Forms accessible on ASPCA’s website include:

Body Condition Assessment – Tufts

Body Condition Scoring of Horses – Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Patterns on Accidental Injury – Melinda Merck, DVM, by ASPCA

NOTE: The information contained in the documents presented in this section is not to be used as a substitute for professional care. Neither the authors nor the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association (WSVMA) assume liability for injury incurred by following the information presented in these self-help documents.