Just Who DO you Call when you see a case of suspected animal neglect or cruelty?
Let me tell you, it is NOTHING Like Animal Planet’s Animal Cop show.
This is likely the second most frequently asked question we get after how to re-feed the starved horse.
1. Reasonable, calm Calls to your Local Sheriff or Animal Control Office through the county where the suspected neglect is taking place is the first line of action.
2. Encourage others who witness the situation to call the Sheriff or Animal Control as there is power in numbers and ask they do so in a rational manner.
3. While it varies state to state, I do not know a single state where the county animal control agency is not the link to action through the legal system (Animal control is frequently considered the local “Pound.”) Animal abuse and neglect is a crime.
4. NO private or non-profit rescue or national advocacy group has ANY legal authority to do ANYTHING to seize animals from private parties. The HSUS, the ASPCA, The Humane Society (which is just a random title of no particular group throw around a lot from the well intended) and local rescues CANNOT remove or investigate. We can assist when law enforcement reaches out to us.
5. If going to the proper legal authorities with a call or in person yields nothing, reaching out to the state HSUS director, Animal advocacy groups and rescues with documentation of the case, photos and all information can help. They can also call, offer assistance to law enforcement and animal control if a seizure is made, try to bring attention to a case if it is truly urgent and being ignored.
6. If all else fails, intelligent statements and well documented information sent to the local media can be helpful after you have exhausted other avenues.
7. Calls to your local state officials requesting pressure on law enforcement or animal control is another option after other options have been exhausted. This can include the County Commission and your State elected officials.
Anger and Hysteria does not help a situation. Requesting help from the wrong organizations wastes time.