1.  A person commits the offense of animal abuse if he or she:

 (1)  Intentionally or purposely kills an animal in any manner not allowed by or expressly exempted from the provisions of sections 578.005 to 578.023 and 273.030;

Terms Used In Missouri Laws 578.012

  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • person: may extend and be applied to bodies politic and corporate, and to partnerships and other unincorporated associations. See Missouri Laws 1.020

 (2)  Purposely or intentionally causes injury or suffering to an animal; or

 (3)  Having ownership or custody of an animal knowingly fails to provide adequate care which results in substantial harm to the animal.

 2.  Animal abuse is a class A misdemeanor, unless the defendant has previously been found guilty of animal abuse or the suffering involved in subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of this section is the result of torture or mutilation consciously inflicted while the animal was alive, in which case it is a class E felony.