Florida  |  Criminal Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 5/22/13, 8:15 pm

In many states, animals are chattel. In Florida this is true. If animals are chattel, then why are there animal cruelty crimes? This is akin to being charged for leaving a hot coffee mug on a table without protection, allowing the finish to be ruined, which would be a loss of value. What leads up to animal cruelty seems then to overstep the bounds of property law and gives a modicum of person-hood to animals, elevating them into a gray area between a human-like being and property. What quantifies the fact that animals are chattel but are treated as more than property (an overlap between tort law and criminal law)?

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