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What To Do If You Suspect Animal Cruelty

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 11:00am

Animal cruelty can happen anywhere. From hoarding to neglect, animals are placed in dangerous situations every single day. It’s an upsetting fact, but you can help prevent and stop animal cruelty from happening in your neighborhood.

Here are some steps you can take to be an advocate for animals:

Learn how to recognize signs of animal cruelty. There are often warning signs that are indicators that animals are being treated inhumanely. Some are more apparent than others, but by studying this list, you’ll know what to look out for.

Know who to call. Find out who is responsible for investigating and enforcing the anti-cruelty codes in your town, county or state. This might include your local humane organization, animal control agency, taxpayer-funded animal shelter or police precinct.

Provide a detailed report. When reporting animal cruelty, it is best to give a concise statement about what you’ve witnessed or suspect. Include photos if at all possible. Don’t forget to include dates, times, and as many details as you can in your report. Keep copies for your own records and take notes!

Follow up. If you don't receive a response from the officer assigned to your case within a reasonable length of time, don't be afraid to contact his supervisor and, if necessary, local government officials.

For more information about reporting animal cruelty, please check out our Animal Cruelty FAQ.

If you witness or suspect animal cruelty in New York City, please contact ASPCA's Humane Law Enforcement department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450, or [email protected].