2006 Louisiana Laws - RS 14:67.2 — Theft of animals

§67.2.  Theft of animals

A.  Theft of animals is the misappropriation, killing, or taking of any animal which belongs to another, either without consent of the other to the misappropriation or taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.  An intent to deprive the other permanently of the animal or an intent to ransom it for the purpose of extorting money or favor is essential.

B.(1)  Whoever commits the crime of theft of animals, when the misappropriation or taking amounts to a value of five hundred dollars or more, shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than ten years, or may be fined not more than three thousand dollars, or both.

(2)  When the misappropriation or taking amounts to a value of three hundred dollars or more, but less than a value of five hundred dollars, the offender shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than two years or may be fined not more than two thousand dollars, or both.

(3)  When the misappropriation or taking amounts to less than a value of three hundred dollars, the offender shall be imprisoned for not more than six months or may be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both.  If the offender in such a case has been convicted of misdemeanor theft of an animal two or more times previously, upon any subsequent conviction he shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than two years or may be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

(4)  In addition to the foregoing penalties, a person convicted under this Section who killed an animal may be ordered to make full restitution to the owner of the animal.  Restitution shall be in an amount not less than the value of the animal as determined by Subsection C of this Section.  If a person ordered to make restitution pursuant to this Section is found to be indigent and therefore unable to make restitution in full at the time of conviction, the court shall order a periodic payment plan consistent with the person's financial ability.

C.  The value of the animal which was misappropriated, killed, or taken shall be decided by the court, or the jury in a jury trial, based upon the evidence establishing the value beyond a reasonable doubt, including but not limited to the following:

(1)  The amount of money which was acquired from the sale, use, or other disposal of the animal.

(2)  Expert testimony as to the amount of money which may be acquired from the sale, use, or other disposal of the animal.

(3)  In cases of a pet, testimony by the owner as to the strength of the bond between the owner and the animal and the emotional attachment between the  animal and the owner or person with whom the animal is attached.

D.  The provisions of Subsection C of this Section do not apply when the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the  animal is a dog and a pet, and the theft of such animal shall be punishable as provided in Paragraph B(1) of this Section.

E.  For the purposes of this Section, "animal" means any non-human living creature except for livestock as defined in R.S. 14:67.1.

Added by Acts 1962, No. 290, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1183, §1; Acts 2004, No. 749, §1; Acts 2006, No. 143, §1.

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