Criminal Law

1181. Sexual Abuse of Animal

The defendant is charged [in Count ______] with sexual abuse of an animal.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant sexually assaulted an animal;

2. The defendant did so with the intent of arousing or gratifying (his/her) own sexual desire;


3. The animal was (abandoned or neglected/ <insert other description of "animal protected by Pen. Code, § 597f">).

Bench Notes

Instructional Duty

The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the crime.

Penal Code section 286.5 only applies to an "animal protected by Section 597f." Penal Code section 597f broadly establishes the authority of public officers to take possession of and care for abandoned and neglected animals. Thus, the committee has included element 3.


Elements. Pen. Code, §§ 286.5; 597f.

Secondary Sources

2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Sex Offenses and Crimes Against Decency, § 25.

6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 144, Crimes Against Order, § 144.12[1] (Matthew Bender).

(New January 2006)