Research guides

Animal Law

Criminal Law

Animal cruelty is a broad area of criminal law, and this page will help the researcher find secondary materials that offer guidance to this and other laws and issues involving animals in a criminal context.

PA Statutes

The Pennsylvania statute on "Cruelty to Animals" can be found at 18 Pa.C.S. § 5533. Additional statute sections may also be relevant. Use the index or conduct a search to find additional sections.

Research Tip

The Pennsylvania statutes are also available on member databases like Fastcase, on the library's Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law computers, and in print in the library. Historical statues are also available. See the Pennsylvania Statutes guide for more information.

Member Databases

The following member databases include information related to animal cruelty and criminal law. Members must be logged in to jenkinslaw.org to access these databases. These databases are also available in the library.

Animal Law in a Nutshell
Available on West Academic Digital Library.
Also available in print.

Animal Rights Law Journal Library
Available on HeinOnline.

Animal Studies: Law, Welfare and Rights
Available on HeinOnline.
Includes Congressional Hearings, Federal Regulations, and Federal Legislative Histories.

Every Dog's Legal Guide
Available on Nolo. See Chapter 14: Cruelty.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia
Available on the LexisNexis Digital Library. See "Animals" (found in vol. 1). Additional information may be in other areas. Use the index volume to find additional references.
Also on the library's Lexis computers and in print.

Research Tip

The Pennsylvania Legislative Histories database includes select legislative histories on Pennsylvania acts dealing with animal law, including cruelty to animals, destruction of pet animals, and harvesting animals.

Onsite Print & Electronic

The following print resources include information related to animal cruelty and criminal law. Some resources published by LexisNexis and West/Thomson Reuters may be available on the library's Lexis and Westlaw computers. See below for more information.

American Jurisprudence 2d West/Thomson Reuters
Also on the library's Westlaw computers.
See "Animals", Part III, Subpart B: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Additional information may be in other areas. See Animals in the index to find additional references.

Animal Law in a Nutshell West Academic
See Chapter 3: Criminal Law.
Also available on West Academic Digital Library.

Criminal Offenses and Defenses in Pennsylvania West/Thomson Reuters
Also on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Animal Fighting, Animal Pelts, Animals, Cruelty to Animals, Dog Law, and Dogs in the index. Additional information may be in other areas. Use the index to find additional references.
If you are researching a particular statute section(s), see the Table of Laws & Rules. Library also has previous editions: see all.

Legal Guide for Dog Owners American Bar Association
See Chapter 5: Animal Cruelty and the Law.

Litigating Animal Law Disputes American Bar Association
See Chapter 10: Criminal Law.

The Little Book of Cowboy Law American Bar Association
See Part III: Criminal Concerns.

Pennsylvania Animal Law Handbook Bisel
See Chapter 6: Animal Cruelty.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia LexisNexis
Also on the library's Lexis computers and the LexisNexis Digital Library.
See "Animals" (vol. 1). Additional information may be in other areas. Use the index to find additional references. Library also has previous edition: see all.

Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence 2d: Criminal Law (vols. 4-5A) West/Thomson Reuters
Also on the library's Westlaw computers.
See "Criminal Law" Chapter 21, Part X: Cruelty to Animals (§§ 21:45-21:75) [vol. 5]. Additional information may be in other areas. Use the index to find additional references.
If you are researching a particular statute section(s), see the Table of Laws & Rules volume. Library also has previous edition.

Research Tip

Westlaw has an "Animal Law Cases" database that may be useful when looking for case law. It may also be beneficial to search the broader Cases database. Westlaw is available in the library.

PBI Publications

PBI Publications are designed around the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's continuing legal education courses. When a researcher has difficulty finding an answer in the manuals or form books, it is a good idea to turn to a PBI publication for guidance.

10th Annual Animal Law Conference
See Chapter 8: Pennsylvania Animal Cruelty Laws: Fact and Fiction.

14th Annual Animal Law Conference
See Chapter F, Section 1: Animal Cruelty Overhaul and Chapter I: Ethics in Animal Cruelty Prosecutions.