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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.

Advice on Anonymously Reporting Animal Abuse
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Advice on Anonymously Reporting Animal Abuse
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.

13 CommentsLeave a comment

  • a dog is been kept outside with no visible food or shelter and has been crying n howling for the 14hrs I believe this is neglect

  • I don’t know if their being abused but I live very close like wall to wall to my neighbors and they have two dogs, I have one myself and I don’t ever see them out during the day at all,(and im home all day)I take my puppy for walks and out to play, at night I hear them run across their floor and like slip and slide across the floor and I hear growling sometimes and yelping like in pain, and lots of doors slamming sometimes, they go out at night probably once a day and I hear them, Im sure that’s not enough exercise for huge dogs like the ones they just worried.

  • Hi, I’m new on here. But I have almost the same problem. When I first moved into my house over 4 years ago. I noticed there was this cat that would hang around. He’s really a stray but my neighbors “KIND OF” take care of him. As in feed him a bit and let him in there house. But recently the elderly woman living with them died, who was sort of caring for him. He is really sweet and wants a home. But seems like a indoor outdoor type of cat. I feel horrible because I want to take him in, care, and give him a real home. He stays mostly outside no food or water. He always tries to come into my house and to get away from the heat. I live in Florida so it is like summer all year round which can be very hot. But they don’t have a collar on him, and I’m not even sure if they let him in at night. I decided to start taking care of him, as in food, water and such. An he needs vet care for an infection that you can tell has been needed to be treated for months now and hasn’t. You can look at him and know he need to go to the vet. But they acted all surprised…not really seemed to care as well. That he needs help. An do to that he doesnt have a collar, if someone seems him in the neighborhood. They could just come up and take him and my neighbors wouldn’t even probably care. Thats what has me so mad and in tears. Because I would give him the care that he needs and a good home than they would. I’ve seen with my own eyes the shape he is in. He is a stray but they won’t take care of him claiming they are. I cant call it in because I’m a single mother who can’t have this fight with them. I would call it in without saying who I am. But since I was the one to recently say something to them about wanting him. They would put two and two together and know it was me who called on them. They actually have to strays but I’m not sire on the other cats condition.

    I’m not sure what to do. I want to call on them so he can get help but I also can’t have my neighbors find out it was me who called on them.

    Does anyone have any advice on how I can get help for him but them not find out it was me?

  • I’m not sure if this should be reported (can somebody tell me if so?) but one of my neighbors –such a rude old woman but that’s besides the point. She has a fairly large dog in her home and she NEVER brings it outside. She’s been living here I believe 5 years or so, and I’ve never seen that dog ever being brought out. Every time it barks or anything she immediately hits it and yells at it constantly. You can hear the dog howling in pain at least 20 – 40 feet away. It cries constantly and in return it’s hit so hard you can hear a slap and again, a LOUD howl in pain. I feel so bad for that dog getting hit constantly. I really want that dog to be taken away from her. Apparently, the only reason she has it is because its a “comfort dog” (pets aren’t allowed to be owned in my complex) ??? For what purpose, she’s comforted by hitting it all the time? Again, should this be reported?

  • YES, report this. It is outright abuse and neglect. She hits this poor animal so loudly you can hear it! And hear it howl in pain. Please report immediately to the SPCA or Humane Society or call your local police. Animals rely on us to help them.

  • I have a new neighbour of one year she has taken on a cat and could not cope so she gave him away. She now has a very large black Labrador dog who is now a year old. He never gets walked and left in the back yard with rubbish. How do I report it can’t get any joy with Rspca number over week end. Where can I report it. Who can I ring. ?? So angry and upsetting me now.

  • I have a neighbor with a dog tied up to the pole , there’s a dog house but mostly the dog get tangled up to the roof of that house that he or she cannot even lay down flat to the ground, it’s very cold it was freezing last night and he was outside, he bark to call the owner but nobody cares. Today 12/16/17 another cold freezing night and that dog is in the same place, I feel really bad, I cried laying in bed listening to him bark at night, I know how cold it is , If I go outside my hands turn red and hurt from the freezing cold in just a few minutes or hours how much more that dog that stay there all the time. They tied him up there ever since they got that dog , it’s probably a year or so now, don’t know for sure. As Im writing this I cry, I called the local police, they said yes they will check it out, I saw them passed by and left, didn’t even talk to the owner. Very sad, I hate living close to the people who treated animals this way.

  • where can we report for animals that aren’t dogs? My neighbor has pet rabbits that he just puts a crate over and they have to lay on the ground where it’s been cold and raining a lot lately. They are like this all the time tho. They arent very good pet owners. They left their dog outside in the pouring rain for 3 hrs to the point of me taking a towel and wrapping him up and take him in my garage after giving him a warm bath.

  • Report this guy!! Before something terrible happens to someone, even you!! It’s so easy to report it, just do it!!

  • Didn’t you read this article, you report it to the Humane Society or the ASPCA, and get going cause this dog might not live through another day. Just do it. Why even talk about something so abusive?

  • Read the article, it really does explain it very well. Just report it. Anyway you can.

  • Just report it anonymously, let the authorities figure it out. Don’t make yourself crazy, I know that feeling. That’s what you CAN do, report it.

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