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Laws relating to animals can vary widely from state to state, please see Michigan State University College of Law’s Animal Legal & Historical Center for animal-related laws, and their penalties, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This database is updated and expanded on a regular basis.

Quick links:


State Animal Anti-Cruelty Laws

Please note the below links are provided for information only, Our Compass disagrees with the label Laws that Protect Animals as related to slaughter, vivisection, entertainment, etc. The ONLY meaningful way to “protect” animals is to NOT EXPLOIT ANIMALS and being vegan. People need to redefine “protection” relative to animals who do not choose to be violated and violently killed. ALL exploitation requires the relinquishment of an animal’s choice, body, and life; defining the violent killing of animals as including “protection” is based on extreme human hubris and anthropocentrism, nobody brings their companion animals to a vivisection lab, fur farm, CAFO, or slaughterhouse to “protect” them.

Additional resources:

State Animal Cruelty Laws

Maps of US Laws

Animal Welfare Institute Legislation

Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF):

What To Do When You Witness Animal Cruelty

…In A PetStore

…In An Animal Shelter

…In a Neighborhood


Please also see Sources to utilize when reporting cruelty to animals and children

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