How You Can Help
Reporting Animal Abuse
Animal cruelty is a very serious issue in America. But you can make a difference in the lives of neglected and abused animals! Here's how:
1. Know who to call to report animal cruelty.
All over America, it is different. You may need the police department to investigate, or the local animal control or even a local vet who has been delegated with this responsibility.
2. Look out for the animals in your neighborhood.
Have you noticed that the horse next door which was once hefty is now looking pretty skinny? That is a possible indicator of abuse.
3. Make the call.
Without phone calls from concerned citizens JUST LIKE YOU, who report cruelty in their neighborhoods, we wouldn’t know! It all comes from the public. It’s so important to keep your eyes and ears open.
4. Provide as much as information as possible.
When reporting animal cruelty, write down the type of cruelty you witnessed, who was involved, the date of the incident and where it took place.
5. Contact local law enforcement departments at random.
Let your local law enforcement officials know that investigating animal cruelty should be a priority! Animal cruelty is a crime. Police must investigate crimes.
6. Set a good example.
For all your pets, show the love and care they deserve. That means more than just food, water, and of course at all times adequate shelter. If you think your animal could be sick, go to the veterinarian promptly. All vets are usually happy to work out payment plans, or hold a check until next Friday. Problems will only get worse and many are much more easily solved when nipped in the bud. And don’t forget lots of hugs! Hugging and petting itself is healing.
7. Talk to kids about how animals should be treated.
We regularly see children in homes where animal abuse has occurred. This can be an automatic “in”: if a parent isn’t treating the family’s pet right, we tell the kids what to do. We say, for example, that their pet would really appreciate fresh water every day and daily playtime. If the animal has been left outside without shelter, we could say something like “You know if you get cold, you can put a coat on, or go inside your nice warm house. But your dog can’t do that. Most dog houses aren’t warm at all. Have you ever crawled inside one? Even with straw they are pretty uncomfortable. And some don’t even have straw!” Children understand that animals are living creatures too which have the ability to feel pain, joy, and sadness.
8. Support your local shelter or animal rescue organization.
It’s a great way to make a difference. Some of our volunteers foster animals that have been abused in their former homes, giving these farm animals the chance they deserve to have a good life.
9. Start a Neighborhood Watch Program.
Get to know the animals in your neighborhood and invite your friends and neighbors to do the same. Together you can keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviors—abuse and neglect of companion animals, the mistreatment of local wildlife, dogs left in hot cars, and other signs of abuse.
If you have any leads on suspected animal cruelty please contact your local animal control office or your County Sheriff’s department.