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Advice on Anonymously Reporting Animal Abuse

Report Animal Abuse

Animal abuse is a terrible crime that often goes unreported. When reports of animal abuse and neglect appear on the nightly news, the instances you are hearing about are often just the tip of the iceberg. Numerous cases of animal abuse go unreported because witnesses are unwilling to file a report. Animal rescue agencies and law enforcement lack the resources to patrol the streets in search of animal abuse. As such, these organizations rely upon reports from the public. Those who are uncomfortable filing a public report should consider filing an animal abuse report anonymously.

How Serious Is The Animal Abuse Problem?

Unfortunately, each year thousands of pets are abused in the United States. Abuse can take on a number of different forms. Abuse can be as clear as physical violence or as difficult to spot as intimidation and mental abuse. Animal abuse is particularly tragic because an animal lacks the ability to speak out. Whereas a human can lodge a police report following a violent altercation, animals cannot simply walk into a local shelter and report the behavior of their owners.



Why Animal Abuse Goes Unreported

Animal abuse goes unreported due in large part to confusion and fear on the behalf of those who witness the neglect or mistreatment of animals. While it is easy to identify an owner striking its dog in a public park as animal abuse, it may not be as easy to identify when an animal lives in fear of that action from its owner. Mental abuse in animals is just as real as physical abuse.

Witnesses face an even more difficult task in reporting cases of animal abuse to the authorities. For starters, most witnesses do not know where to file reports of animal abuse. Should they call the local police department? Is it proper to dial 9-1-1? What about a veterinary office?

Fear, as mentioned above, plays a critical role in the reporting of animal abuse. While a witness may experience an emotional reaction to seeing an owner strike a pet in public, it is difficult (and even dangerous) to muster up the courage to confront that individual. The fear of retaliation is a very real concern for members of a community who witness animal abuse by a neighbor.

Will YOU Speak Up?

At the end of the day, someone needs to speak out and provide the victims of abuse with a voice. How can you be that voice? Is it possible to anonymously report animal abuse? The following tips will help you navigate the situation and get an animal the help it needs.

Know Who to Contact

In the United States a number of animal rescue organizations have a national footprint. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing animal cruelty. The ASPCA operates shelters in every state in the US and has a Humane Law Enforcement division devoted to investigating cases of animal cruelty.

Another major organization advocating for the health and well-being of animals is the Humane Society of the United States. The Humane Society operates shelters in numerous states and has field representatives operating in 44 states across the US.

Both of these groups have 24-hour hotlines that allow witnesses to report cases of animal cruelty at their convenience. These hotlines do not require individuals to leave a name or contact information, and both groups are dedicated to investigating anonymous reports of animal abuse with equal determination.

In addition to telephone hotlines, both the ASPCA and HSUS operate websites that allow witnesses to report cases of animal abuse using an email form. In the case of the ASPCA, the form in question requires only an email address and information about the location, timing, and details of the abuse.

Taking Action in an Underserved Region

Try as they might, national agencies such as the ASPCA and HSUS are represented in every community in the US. If these groups do not have any agencies in your region you can always contact People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

PETA’s website has an anonymous form that can be filled out and submitted without leaving your name or contact information beyond an email address. Their concern at PETA is the animal in question, not your identity. The only mandatory information they ask for is an address where the animal can be found, with the specific city and state listed. It is also beneficial to leave a description of the animal and the suspected form of abuse so representatives from PETA know what to look for upon arrival.

Utilizing Government Agencies To Report Animal Abuse

As strange as it seems, contacting the local police department or emergency officials via 9-1-1 is not a great option for anonymously reporting cases of animal abuse. Animal cruelty laws differ greatly across the US. The authorities might not have the power to do much based upon an anonymous report if local laws are not strict enough.

With that said, governmental agencies that can be contacted for assistance in reporting animal abuse. You can call the local animal control agency (often affiliated with the police department) to report animal cruelty. In the event you witness cruelty to livestock or wildlife you should contact the US Department of Agriculture, US Fish & Wildlife Service, or the state Game & Fish Department.

Last but not least, if you find it hard to make contact with or anonymously report animal cruelty to these organizations, do some research on the existence of a local animal cruelty task force. Many underserved parts of the US have citizen-organized animal cruelty task forces that work in concert with local officials to prevent and investigate cases of animal abuse. These groups can take your anonymous report and provide the information to local officials, protecting your identity in the process.

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Advice on Anonymously Reporting Animal Abuse
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Advice on Anonymously Reporting Animal Abuse
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Are you aware of an animal abuse situation but you're not sure how to report it? Anonymously reporting animal abuse is much easier now than ever before.
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