Report Animal Cruelty

It is our duty as responsible human beings to report animal abuse.

Hundreds of precious animals would be saved everyday if people would speak up - now is your chance. If you witness or even suspect animal abuse, please report it immediately to your local A.S.P.C.A, Police Department or Animal Control.

To find Humane Societies, Animal Shelters and Pet Adoption organizations in your area please click here.

Urge Your Elected Officials to Protect ALL Animals by Implementing Stronger Laws

It is equally as important to contact the elected officials in your area and ask them to support animal protection and to propose stronger laws in your state. Please use the links below to find and contact your elected officials: 

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
State Governors

Animal Cruelty Is A Crime In Every State

Animal cruelty is a crime in every state in the US. If you witness or hear about animal abuse, animal neglect or animal fight, report it to your local or state police department. You should also contact your animal control agency, the SPCA and Humane Society. If it’s an emergency, call 911.

What Constitutes Cruelty

  • Neglect – denying an animal adequate food, water, shelter (a dog house) medical care (has apparent injuries that have not been treated), clean area, socialization (is the animal aggressive or timid when approached by owner), or chained up in a yard.
  • Violence – deliberately torturing, beating, mutilating an animal.
  • Crime - Almost all acts of violence or negligence to animals are punishable by law. Laws vary not only from state to state but from region to region.

Other types of Animal Abuse: 

If your area lacks the proper animal welfare agency, and your local authorities are not equipped to deal with animal cruelty cases, you can also email or call The HSUS and ask to speak with one of our experts about the suspected abuse.

Be sure to document the case as well as you can, with dates, times, specific details and, if possible, footage and photographs from a cell phone. All of these things can help appropriate agencies during any investigation they may do of the suspected cruelty.


Hoarding behavior often victimizes animals. Sufferers of a hoarding disorder may impose severe neglect on animals by housing far more than they are able to adequately take care of. Contact your local animal control agency if you find out about animal hoarding. Some animal hoarding situations can be more difficult than others to solve. What you can do »

Lack of veterinary care

Untreated wounds are a red flag that demand immediate attention; emaciation, scabs and hair loss can also be a sign of untreated diseases. If you can, alert the owner to the animal's condition and alert local authorities of suspected neglect as soon as possible.

Inadequate shelter

In extreme heat or cold temperatures can be deadly. It can seem daunting or unnecessary to report neglect for inadequate sheltering, but conditions can change quickly, causing suffering or even death of the animal. Contact a local animal control agency immediately if you see an animal in inadequate shelter and document the incident with a cell phone camera if possible.

Chained dogs

Dogs who are tethered continuously suffer tremendously, both from social isolation and exposure to predators and the elements. What you can do for chained dogs »


A startling number of animals die every year when people move out of their residences and simply leave the animals behind. Sometimes, an abandoned dog's barking or cat's howling can alert the neighbors, but it's wise to keep an eye on a recently vacated home, especially if the former residents moved suddenly. Companion animals kept in cages or tanks are often overlooked upon a residents’ sudden passing, and may suffer neglect as well. If you find or know of abandoned animals, contact your local animal control agency immediately.

Pets left in cars

Time is of the essence when reporting pets left in parked cars. Even if the outside temperature seems cool, these animals could be minutes away from death or irreversible organ damage. If you cannot locate the owner immediately, don’t be afraid to call local authorities, detailing your location and the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle the animal is inside. Learn more about pets in hot cars »  

Beating and physical abuse

If you witness direct physical violence to an animal, report the incident immediately to authorities. If you decide to intervene in any way, use your best judgement and do not become physically involved in the situation; remember, even well-intentioned actions could compromise the process of investigation into suspected abuse.

Animal fighting and organized cruelty

Organized cruelty, such as dogfighting, cockfighting and other bloodsports, is illegal in all 50 states, and is linked to other criminal activities such as human violence, gambling and drug distribution. If you hear about or witness events like these, immediately report them to the local authorities and the HSUS. 

These are just common examples of animal cruelty. Even if a case doesn’t fit neatly into these categories, take action if something feels off. In many cases, you may be the only chance an animal has at escaping cruelty or neglect.


Get as much information as you can to give to the authorities. Document the incident with photos or videos of the location, animal(s) involved and surrounding area. Be as detailed as possible. Dates, times, circumstances and statements from other people who have witnessed the cruelty should be noted and related to the authorities.

Reporting Cruelty

Provide the authorities with written documentation and always keep a copy for yourself. Keep careful record of who you spoke with, date, content and outcome of discussion. Ask what action is planned.

When calling to report animal cruelty, be sure to include the following:

  1. Name of the person you believe is involved, if known.
  2. Is this person the owner of the animal(s)?
  3. Exact address and city where the animal is located. If you have a zip code it is helpful. If you do not have the precise address, give cross streets or accurate directions to the site.
  4. What type of animal? dog, cat, horse, etc.
  5. How many animals may be involved?
  6. What type of cruelty are you reporting? neglect, violence.
  7. Is it an owned animal(s) or a stray(s)?
  8. Be sure to leave your full name and contact information.


Don’t assume the situation was addressed. Always follow-up with the officer in charge of the case to inquire about progress of the investigation. If dissatisfied, request to have a meeting to discuss the situation further or ask to speak to a supervisor. You may be the only hope for this animal. His life could depend on you.


Dog Fighting Hotline

Dog fighting is a particularly heinous kind of cruelty- it cant not be tolerated. Do not look away if you know of any of these fights are being organized.

  • The Dog Fighting Hotline 1-877-847-4787 is sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States.
  • The line is answered 24/7.
  • You can receive an award of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a dogfighter.
  • All information is kept confidential.
  • You can leave a message, talk to an investigator, or get their e-mail address and leave your own.
  • If a dogfight is in progress, immediately call the police, 9-1-1. Then call the hotline.