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Name: People v. Alvarado
Case #: D043471
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/20/2005
Subsequent History: Revw den. 4/27/05

Animal cruelty is a general intent crime. The defendant was convicted of felony animal cruelty after he bludgeoned and stabbed to death two dogs. On appeal he argued that the court had erred in failing to instruct the jury that in order to convict him, the jury must find that he had harbored an intent to act with the specific intent to maim, mutilate, torture, wound, or kill a living animal. The Court of Appeal rejected the argument, holding that Penal Code section 597, subdivision (a), contains no language that would lead the court to conclude that the statute requires a specific intent. One justice dissented.