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California Code, Penal Code - PEN § 286.5

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(a) Every person who has sexual contact with an animal is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) This section does not apply to any lawful and accepted practice related to veterinary medicine performed by a licensed veterinarian or a certified veterinary technician under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian, any artificial insemination of animals for reproductive purposes, any accepted animal husbandry practices such as raising, breeding, or assisting with the birthing process of animals or any other practice that provides care for an animal, or to any generally accepted practices related to the judging of breed conformation.

(c) As used in this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) “Animal” means any nonhuman creature, whether alive or dead.

(2) “Sexual contact” means any act, committed for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, abuse, or financial gain, between a person and an animal involving contact between the sex organs or anus of one and the mouth, sex organs, or anus of the other, or, without a bona fide veterinary or animal husbandry purpose, the insertion, however slight, of any part of the body of a person or any object into the vaginal or anal opening of an animal, or the insertion of any part of the body of an animal into the vaginal or anal opening of a person.

(d)(1) Any authorized officer investigating a violation of this section may seize an animal that has been used in the commission of an offense to protect the health or safety of the animal or the health or safety of others, and to obtain evidence of the offense.

(2) Any animal seized pursuant to this subdivision shall be promptly taken to a shelter facility or veterinary clinic to be examined by a veterinarian for evidence of sexual contact.

(3) Upon the conviction of a person charged with a violation of this section, all animals lawfully seized and impounded with respect to the violation shall be adjudged by the court to be forfeited and shall thereupon be transferred to the impounding officer or appropriate public entity for proper adoption or other disposition. A person convicted of a violation of this section shall be personally liable to the seizing agency for all costs of impoundment from the time of seizure to the time of proper disposition. Upon conviction, the court shall order the convicted person to make payment to the appropriate public entity for the costs incurred in the housing, care, feeding, and treatment of the seized or impounded animals. Each person convicted in connection with a particular animal may be held jointly and severally liable for restitution for that particular animal. The payment shall be in addition to any other fine or sentence ordered by the court.

(4) Except as otherwise specified in this section, if an animal is seized pursuant to paragraph (1), the disposition, care, or the responsibility for the financial cost of animals seized shall be in accordance with the provisions of Section 597.1.

Cite this article: - California Code, Penal Code - PEN § 286.5 - last updated January 01, 2023 |

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