If you think someone you know is abusing animals, please speak up. The best thing you can do is report your suspicions of cruelty to your local law enforcement agency, humane organization, animal control agency or taxpayer-funded animal shelter. Read on for more information about how to recognize and report cruelty in your area
Where do I report animal cruelty?
Find out who is responsible for investigating and enforcing the anti-cruelty codes in your town, county and/or state, such as your local humane organization, animal control agency, taxpayer-funded animal shelter or police precinct. If you have trouble finding the correct agency to contact, call or visit your local police department or your local shelter or animal control agency for assistance.
How do I recognize animal cruelty?
While an aggressive, timid or fearful animal may appear to be a cruelty victim, it is not possible to know if an animal is being abused based on their behavior alone. It is best to examine the animal and his surrounding environment to determine whether or not he or she needs help.
Physical Signs of Cruelty
- Tight collar that has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck
- Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated
- Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes
- Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible
- Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites
- Patches of bumpy, scaly skin rashes
- Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat
- Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally
- Heavy discharge from eyes or nose
- An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
- Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness
Environmental Signs of Cruelty
- Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary
- Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter
- Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
- Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements