How to Report Cruelty in Your Community

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 4:00pm

So, you want to make a difference for animals in your community, but aren’t sure where to start? Well, ASPCA experts agree that one of the most important things you can do is learn how to recognize and report animal cruelty.

“Without tips from the public, many animals would remain in abusive circumstances, unable to defend themselves,” says ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Supervisory Special Investigator and star of Animal Planet’s Animal Precinct, Annemarie Lucas. “We commend the brave and swift actions of concerned citizens who report cruelty.”

Whether you’ve seen the dog next door outside without proper shelter or witnessed the physical abuse of a neighborhood cat, you can help. To lend a hand, our experts have created an easy step-by-step guide to help you recognize and report animal cruelty.

Here’s a sneak peek at our Reporting Cruelty FAQ:

  • If I report my neighbor for committing animal cruelty, and that person’s animal is taken away and put in a shelter, isn’t the animal worse off?
    It’s important to understand that reporting cruelty is always the right thing to do. Animal control officers never remove an animal from the home unless absolutely necessary. A seized animal will then have the chance to get much-needed veterinary and behavior care.
  • Can I remain anonymous when I file an animal cruelty complaint?
    Yes, and it is better to file an anonymous report than to do nothing—but please consider providing your information. Agencies have limited resources, and the case is more likely to be pursued when there are credible witnesses willing to stand behind the report and, if necessary, testify in court.

Get all the facts about recognizing animal cruelty in our Reporting Cruelty FAQ.