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Animal-Related Laws

The most frequently asked questions and responses regarding animal-related laws are available at:

Information on reporting suspected animal neglect and abuse maybe found at:

The following is a compilation of the most common Indiana state animal-related laws. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) created the list, but is not charged with enforcing many of the laws listed.  While BOAH attempted to make the list comprehensive, it may not be complete.  BOAH cannot provide legal advice.  Individuals and organizations should consult an attorney for legal advice and for answers to questions about specific situations. 

The list contains only Indiana state laws.  The list does not contain city or county ordinances that regulate animals within a city or county.  

The list contains some links to federal laws.  BOAH did not attempt to include all federal animal-related laws.  

Please contact BOAH with your suggestions for making this list more helpful, accurate and complete.  Contact here.

"IC" refers to the Indiana Code.
"IAC" refers to the Indiana Administrative Code. 

SEARCH INSTRUCTIONS: Clicking on the link for the IC or IAC will take you to the PDF document or webpage that the rule is on. Enter the IC or IAC number in the search document window. This will take you to the specific rule you are looking for.

I. Criminal Offenses Relating to Animals. IC 35-46-3.

Sec. .5 to Sec. 4.5. Definitions
Sec. 1. Harboring a non-immunized dog

Sec. 5. Exceptions
Sec. 6. Impoundment and other procedures

Neglect and Abandonment
Sec. 7. Neglect or abandonment of an animal

Animal Fighting
Sec. 8. Purchase or possession of animals for fighting contests
Sec. 8.5. Possession of animal fighting paraphernalia
Sec. 9. Animal fighting contests prohibited
Sec. 9.5. Promoting an animal fighting contest
Sec. 10. Attending an animal fighting contest prohibited

Animal Cruelty
Sec. 11. Cruelty to a law enforcement animal
Sec. 11.3 Cruelty to a search and rescue dog
Sec. 11.5. Cruelty to a service animal
Sec. 12. Beating, torture or mutilation of an animal; killing a domestic animal
Sec. 12.5 Domestic violence and animal cruelty
Sec. 13. Removal of trained attack dog's vocal cords
Sec. 14. Bestiality
Sec. 15. Electrocution or decompression of animals

II. Animal Control

a. Liability for Dog Bites. IC 15-20-1
Sec. 1. Limitations on agencies and political subdivisions
Sec. 2. Owner defined
Sec. 3. Liability of dog owner for damages

Sec. 4. Failure to restrain dog
Sec. 5. Wolf hybrids and coydogs

Sec. 6. Dog bite liability, exceptions
Sec. 7. Applicability of IC 35-46-3-6 to Sec. 4

b. Dogs that Injure or Kill Livestock. IC 15-20-2.

Sec. 1. Liability of dog owner or harborer
Sec. 2. Authority to kill a dog injuring livestock

c. Spay-Neuter Requirement for Animal Care Facilities. IC 15-20-4

d. County option dog tax IC 6-9-39

e. Sale of Dog to Laboratories. IC 15-20-3.

f. Limited Controlled Substances Permits for Animal Control Agencies. 856 IAC 2-7. (Indiana State Board of Pharmacy)  

III. Commercial Dog Breeder Statute IC 15-21

a.  Commercial Dog Breeder rule 345 IAC 13
b. Click here for the Indiana Commercial Dog Breeder program home page.

IV. Animal Health. IC 15-17.

a. Indiana State Board of Animal Health. IC 15-17.
Chapter 1. Purpose
Chapter 2. Definitions
Chapter 3. Board of Animal Health
Chapter 4. Personnel
Chapter 7. Bovine Tuberculosis
Chapter 8. Bovine Brucellosis
Chapter 9. Swine Brucellosis
Chapter 10. Dangerous and Diseased Animals
Chapter 11. Disposal of Dead Animals
Chapter 12. Biological Products
Chapter 13. Feeder Pigs
Chapter 14. Livestock Dealers
Chapter 15. Sales, Shipments, and Exhibitions
Chapter 16. Licenses
Chapter 17. Administrative Hearings
Chapter 18. Crimes and Infractions
Chapter 19. Enforcement

Indiana State Board of Animal Health rules governing animal health programs (345 IAC)

b. Rabies
1. Rabies Program - State Board of Animal Health IC 15-17-6
Sec. 1. Rabies vaccination records.
Sec. 2. Quarantine Declaration
Sec. 3. Vaccination Order
Sec. 4. Distribution of Quarantine Order
Sec. 5. Impounding Area
Sec. 6. Local Health Officers
Sec. 7. Impoundment, Release, and Disposition of Animals
Sec. 8. Expenses of Impoundment
Sec. 9. Animals in Quarantine Area
Sec. 10. Animals loose in violation of Quarantine Order
Sec. 11. Authority of State Veterinarian and Local Health Officer
Sec. 12. Duration of Emergency Order
Sec. 13. Duty of State and Local Health Departments to Cooperate with the State Veterinarian
Sec. 14. Local Ordinances

2. Rabies Vaccination Required for Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets. 345 IAC 1-5.

c. Livestock and Poultry Care IC 15-17-3-23
a. Standards of care for livestock and poultry 345 IAC 14

V. Meat and Poultry Inspection; Humane Slaughter Act IC 15-17-5
Grading and Certification of Meat and Meat Products IC 15-7-5.5.

a. Meat and Poultry Rules
Meat and poultry products inspection (345 IAC 9)
Poultry and poultry products inspection (345 IAC 10)
Grading and certification programs (345 IAC 12)

VI. Dairy Products. IC 15-18.

Chapter 1. Milk and Milk Products Permits (Indiana State Board of Animal Health)
Chapter 2. Milk and Cream Purchases (Creamer Examining Board)
Chapter 3. Prohibition on Local Governments Assessing Fees on Milk Producers
Chapter 4. Claims Against Milk Processors, Priority in Insolvency
Chapter 5. Indiana Dairy Industry Development (Dairy Industry Development Board)
a. Dairy products rules (345 IAC 8)

VII. Livestock and Horse Racing. IC 15-19.

Chapter 1. Livestock Breeders Associations
Chapter 2. Indiana Standardbred Advisory Board
Chapter 3. Regulation of Horse Racing
Chapter 4. Racing Pigeons
Chapter 5. Livestock Certification
Chapter 6. Livestock Brands

Horse racing is regulated by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.  

VIII. Animal Feed. IC 15-19-7.

Chapter 7. Commercial Feed.
Regulation of livestock feed and pet food manufacturing and distribution by the Office of the State Chemist.

IX. Veterinary Practice. IC 25-38.1.

Regulation of the practice of veterinary medicine, including licensing of veterinarians and registering of veterinary technicians, by the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (IBVME) in the Professional Licensing Agency.

a. IBVME rules 888 IAC

X. Service Animals; public accommodations. IC 16-32-3-1.5

Indiana Department of Health

XI. Limited Liability for Agricultural Activities. IC 34-31

Chapter 5. Limited Liability Arising from Equine Activities
Chapter 9. Limited Liability Arising from Agritourism Activities