Different municipalities include different topics in their definitions of cruelty, but most start with this: failure tp provide fresh water, food, and shelter.
Sec. 14:501. - Cruelty to animals.
Any person who intentionally or with criminal negligence commits any of the following shall be guilty of cruelty to animals:
(1) Overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, or overworks a living animal.
(2) Tortures, torments, cruelly beats or unjustifiably injures, causes unnecessary suffering, maims, mutilates, or kills any living animal whether belonging to himself or another.
(3) Having charge, custody, or possession of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, unjustifiably fails to provide it with proper food, property water, property shelter, proper veterinary care, proper space, proper light, proper confinement, adequate grooming, adequate care, or adequate collars.
(4) Abandons any animal.
(5) Carries, or causes to be carried, a living animal in or upon a vehicle or otherwise, in a cruel or inhumane manner.
Sec. 54-376. - Cruelty to animals.
(a) It is unlawful for any person to commit the crime of cruelty to animals.
(b) Cruelty to animals is the intentional or criminally negligent mistreatment of any animal by any act, or omission whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused to or permitted upon such animal.
(Code 1956, § 42-73)
State Law reference— Similar provisions, R.S. 3:2361 et seq., 14:102 et seq.
§102.1. Cruelty to animals; simple and aggravated
A.(1) Any person who intentionally or with criminal negligence commits any of the following shall be guilty of simple cruelty to animals:
(a) Overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, or overworks a living animal.
(b) Torments, cruelly beats, or unjustifiably injures any living animal, whether belonging to himself or another.
(c) Having charge, custody, or possession of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, unjustifiably fails to provide it with proper food, proper drink, proper shelter, or proper veterinary care.
Sec. 14-14. - Cruelty to animals prohibited.
(a) No owner shall, intentionally or with criminal neglect, fail to provide his animals with proper food, proper water, proper shelter, proper veterinary care, or with humane care and treatment.
(b) No person shall beat, cruelly ill-treat, torment, overload, abandon, overwork or otherwise abuse an animal, or cause, instigate or permit any dog fight, bullfight, or other combat between animals or between animals and humans.
(e) No person shall color, dye, stain, or otherwise change the natural color of baby chickens, ducklings, other fowl or rabbits; nor shall any person possess for the purpose of sale any chickens, ducklings, other fowl or rabbits which have been so colored.