How to Report Animal Abuse

Unlike humans animals cannot voice their concerns about mistreatment or stand up for themselves this is why it is important to report any cases of animal abuse that you may witness. With proper reporting, an investigation can be conducted to ensure the person who is abusing the animal receives justice. I will discuss many of the different things that should be done when reporting animal abuse, including how to recognize animal abuse, report abuse, and gather relevant evidence.

dog looking through a fence


How to Recognize Animal Cruelty

There are several signs that will show that an animal is being abused. Below are some of the signs that one should watch out for:

Extreme thinness or emaciation

This is usually a dead giveaway that an animal is being mistreated. Extreme thinness can also oftentimes be a sign of starvation. Although there are some exceptions to this, most pets will lose weight if they are being mistreated.

Untreated injuries

An animal will have injuries that are not treated properly with proper bandaging and medicine they would need to recover from the injury and feel better. When an animal is sick or injured and the owner refuses to treat the animal it can be a sign that the owner does not care.

The use of tight collars may sometime lead to bleeding

In some cases, it is not uncommon for a pet to have a collar that is too tight on them. In some cases the collar may be so tight that it can cut off the circulation in their bodies; this will cause the animal to become ill and even die.

Fur that is infested with fleas, ticks, or presence of other parasites

Animals are a host to many kinds of parasites, but most of these parasites will not cause the animal to get sick or die. However, some parasites that animals can come into contact with can be deadly. If an animal has a lot of fleas or ticks on them it can be a sign that the animal is being mistreated and the owner does not care about their pet.

Inadequate grooming

It is important to groom your animals because it will keep them healthy and prevent skin conditions from forming. When an animal is being mistreated it will not be getting proper grooming which causes skin issues like scabies, skin fungal infections, and more.

Aside from the physical signs, there are also other environmental signs that will show that the animal is being mistreated.

Animals left outside for a long period of time without food and water

This can lead to heat exhaustion, dehydration, and starvation of the animal.

Extremely dirty conditions

If an animal is kept in a place that is extremely dirty and seems like the owner does not care about cleaning up, this can be a sign that the animal may be being mistreated.

Animals confined in very small kernels or cage

If a pet is being kept in an area where it cannot move around or interact with other animals and people it can be a sign of cruelty and this may cause the animal to change their personality or even become hostile.

two vets looking at a dog

How to report animal abuse

There are several measures you can take once you witness any of the above-mentioned signs that an animal is being abused.

First, call the local animal control officer or animal control center and report what you have witnessed. If there is no animal control in the area then you may call 911 instead. Secondly, take photos of all the signs of abuse to be able to provide evidence after the investigation is done. Once the cruelty is reported the relevant authorities are likely to investigate the case. Be sure to record all the details pertaining to the cruelty, this will be instrumental in helping the authorities investigate the case.

Other key issues to report


Each year a large number of pets and animals die from abandonment and neglect when you witness any of such cases, for example, a pet roaming around with now owner for a long period of time it’s advisable to report the issue to the relevant authorities.

Pets left in cars

It is common to witness pets left in cars in parking. while this may be perceived as normal behavior these pets are likely in danger from issues such as suffocation or even self-harm. To prevent this from occurring call the authorities if you witness such a case.

Animal fighting and organized cruelty

This is a severe form of cruelty where organized groups of people will meet to fight dogs or other animals. To prevent this from occurring you should report such incidents to the relevant authorities.

paw in hand

Bottom line

Animals cannot voice their concerns or stand up for themselves. However, it is important that we do what we can to report any signs of animal abuse so that the case can be investigated and in most cases, the abuser can receive proper justice.