(A)   It shall be unlawful for any person to molest, torture, torment, deprive of necessary sustenance, cruelly beat, needlessly mutilate or kill, wound, injure, poison, abandon, or subject to conditions detrimental to its health or general welfare of any animal, or to cause or procure such action. The words “torture” and “torment” shall be held to include every act, omission or neglect whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering, or death is caused or permitted; but such terms shall not be construed to prohibit lawful taking of animals under the jurisdiction and regulation of the Wildlife Resources Commission; nor to prohibit the Department or veterinarians or duly authorized persons from destroying dangerous, unwanted, or injured animals in a humane manner.
   (B)   It shall be unlawful for any owner or keeper to fail to provide his animal(s) with proper shelter and protection from the weather, sufficient and wholesome food and water to keep his animal(s) in good health and comfort, and the opportunity for vigorous daily exercise. Veterinary care shall be provided when needed to prevent suffering.
   (C)   Any person injuring or killing a domestic animal by striking it with an automobile or other vehicle, shall make reasonable effort to notify the owner of the animal, and shall notify this Department of Animal Control or the Ashe Animal Clinic.
   (D)   Any person being the owner or possessor, or having charge or custody of an animal, who willfully and without justifiable excuse, abandons the animal(s), is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as provided by a fine of up to $500.
   (E)   All investigations and related procedures of cruelty charges, will be at the discretion of the County Animal Cruelty Investigator.
(Ord. passed 9-20-95)  Penalty, see § 90.99