This law of New York says:

A person who overdrives, overloads, tortures or cruelly beats or unjustifiably injures, maims, mutilates or kills any animal, whether wild or tame, and whether belonging to himself or to another, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink, or neglects or refuses to furnish it such sustenance or drink, or causes, procures or permits any animal to be overdriven, overloaded, tortured, cruelly beaten, or unjustifiably injured, maimed, mutilated or killed, or to be deprived of necessary food or drink, or who wilfully sets on foot, instigates, engages in, or in any way furthers any act of cruelty to any animal, or any act tending to produce such cruelty, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor and for purposes of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of section 160.10 of the criminal procedure law, shall be treated as a misdemeanor defined in the penal law.

If someone owns an animal but doesn't have the money to feed it, will he get punished for that?

  • 2
    Did you do any research before posting this question? Try searching on new york state animal cruelty laws and let us know if anything doesn't make sense. The laws don't make a distinction on pet ownership, as far as I can see. If you beat or kill your own animal, the laws still apply.
    – phoog
    Oct 25, 2016 at 19:45
  • Edits are for improving questions, not for replacing them with different questions. If you want to ask a different question, make a new post using the "Ask Question" button. If you no longer want to ask this one, delete it. Dec 9, 2016 at 13:02
  • @NateEldredge I solved my other problem by searching the net but found a new problem which is related to it. That's why I edited and improved it in a way that changes the meaning of the question. And what's wrong with changing unanswered questions? Dec 9, 2016 at 14:09
  • 2
    Well for one thing, it has votes that are based on its previous content. Your question is effectively starting at -2 score instead of 0. If you solved your previous question, the best thing to do is to leave it in place and post your own answer, so that other people can learn from what you found. Then make a new post for the new question. Dec 9, 2016 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


The entire law is here, for reference. There have been cases where the question comes up whether medical treatment is a kind of sustenance (it could be or is not), but there can be no question about whether feeding an animal is covered by the requirement to provide sustenance. No provision in the law suspends the obligation to follow the law in case a person does not have the money to obey the law, nor is there any general legal principle that if you don't have spare money to do X, you don't have to do legally-required X.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .