Animal Cruelty: Dog behind chainlink fence

Ocala & Gainesville Criminal Defense Lawyers: Animal Cruelty Cases

Animal Cruelty Attorneys Tania Alavi & Andrew Pozzuto are experienced with the complexities of Crimes involving animals. We will thoroughly investigate the allegations against you and strategize all available defenses in your case. Contact The AP Law Group for immediate advice on your best course of action.

Animal Cruelty in Florida can result in serious penalties, including prison. Matter of fact, the Governor recently signed a bill into law making the penalties for illegal treatment of animals even more severe. Florida law protects cattle, horses, etc., as well as pets, likes cats and dogs. If you are charged with animal abuse in Florida, you could be facing fines, probation, and prison.


  • Animal Cruelty
    • Florida Statute § 828.12 defines Animal Cruelty as treating an animal with cruelty or in an inhumane manner. Cruelty towards animals includes:
      • “Overloading, overdriving, or tormenting”
      • Depriving of food, water, or shelter
      • Mutilating or killing an animal in a cruel manner
    • Penalties: In Florida, the crime of Animal Cruelty is a First Degree Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum  fine of $5,000.
  • Aggravated Animal Cruelty
    • Florida Statute § 828.12 defines Aggravated Animal Cruelty as intentionally causing an animal’s cruel death or intentionally causing the animal to experience excessive or repetitive infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering.
    • Penalties: In Florida, Aggravated Animal Cruelty is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
    • If the state proves the animal was tortured or tormented with the intent to injure, mutilate, or kill the animal, the penalties may also include a minimum fine of $2,500 and Psychological counseling or Anger Management Treatment.
    • Second Offense: Penalties for a second conviction for Aggravated Animal Cruelty include a $5000 fine, a minimum mandatory jail sentence of six months with no parole or early release.
  • Animal Poisoning
    • Florida Statute § 828.08 defines Animal Poisoning as leaving a poisonous substance in a common area such as a street, alley, lane, or any yard other than your own.
    • Penalties: In Florida, Animal Poisoning is punishable by a maximum incarceration of 1 year and a maximum $1000 fine.
    • Animal poisons include prescription and over-the-counter drugs, insecticides, household cleaning products, rat poison, etc.
  • Animal Confinement
    • Florida Statute § 828.13 defines Animal Confinement as caging or tying up an animal without food, water, air, exercise, etc.
    • Penalties: In Florida, Animal Confinement is first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum incarceration of 1 year and a maximum $5000 fine.
  • Animal Abandonment
    • Florida Statute § 828.13 defines Animal Abandonment as leaving an animal to die or leaving it in a public place with water, food, protection, etc.
    • Penalties: In Florida, Animal Confinement is first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum incarceration of 1 year and a maximum $5000 fine.
  • Animal Fighting
    • Florida Statute § 828.122, the Animal Fighting Act, defines Animal Fighting as baiting or forcing animals to fight.
    • Penalties: In Florida, Animal Fighting or Baiting is punishable by a maximum of 5 years prison and/or a maximum $5000 fine.
  • Related Charges: Being involved may land you in jail.
    • The state may prosecute you for:
      • Attending an animal fight
      • Betting or wagering money on an animal fight
      • Hosting animal fighting or animal baiting on your land
      • Advertising animal fights or charging an admission fee to see a fight
      • Refereeing an animal fight or providing security for the event
      • Breeding, transporting, possessing, or selling fighting animals
      • Possessing equipment used in animal fighting or baiting


If you have been accused, arrested or charged with Animal Cruelty, Animal Abandonment or Animal Neglect in the Gainesville area (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union Counties) or the Ocala area (Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties), contact The AP Law Group immediately. Call (352) 732-9191 or tell us about your case using this form.

Don’t wait. Defending your rights, reputation and liberty begin with Florida Criminal Attorneys Tania Alavi & Andrew Pozzuto.