Yes, animals do have rights and there are drastic consequences for someone who breaks these laws.
Animals are often unable to defend themselves and recent cases have shown this to be true.
Recently, a story went viral about a dog named Lulu who was buried alive in Georgia. Despite the best efforts of the man who found her, she passed away the next day at the animal hospital.
As of right now, police have no suspects and according to a spokeswoman for the Humane Society of the United States, the reward has increased to $20,000.
So, what's the punishment for a person who commits animal abuse in California?
Some examples of animal abuse include dog-fighting, cock-fighting, leaving an animal inside an unattended car, sexual abuse, poisoning, transporting in an inhumane way, leaving them caged without sufficient food and water, and burying them alive.
Some of these examples have their own specific California codes, but California Penal Code 597 defines the broad range of animal abuse.
According to CPC 597, it is a crime to "kill, intentionally maim, physically harm, torture, neglect, or overwork an animal." The code can also lead to imprisonment, a fine or both, if found guilty of the crime.
A person can serve up to a year in county jail and fines can reach up to $20,000 if convicted of a misdemeanor. A felony for animal abuse can reach up to six months, and as much as three years in state prison and a similar maximum fine amount.
If you or someone you know is aware of any animal cruelty, then contact your local police or animal control.