Tag Archives: animal cruelty

What to Do if You Suspect an Animal Is Being Abused

The good news: all fifty states have laws against animal cruelty.  The bad news: the law is only as good as the people who report animal cruelty.  If you witness an animal being abused or suspect cruelty, it’s imperative you report the abuse.  More likely than not, you’re the only hope for the animal to get help, as well as for charges being filed against the abuser.

And animal abuse is not something to take lightly, by any means.  Animal abuse typically signifies other types of abuse. For instance, one study found that animal abuse occurred in 88 percent of homes where child abuse had been discovered.  Another study found that up to 83 percent of women entering domestic violence shelters report that their abusers also abuse the family pet.  In fact, animal abusers are five times more likely to abuse people.


If you do witness animal abuse, what exactly are the steps to take?  Who should you call? Seeing an animal be abused is traumatic, but being prepared helps.  Here is a handy breakdown of what to do.  Remember it’s important to always speak up but please be prepared so you don’t put yourself (or others) in dangers!

First, Call Your Local Animal Control Agency

Always contact a professional first.  If you are unfamiliar with local organizations, dial 911.  Animal control agencies are required to investigate if a report of alleged animal cruelty is made, according to the Humane Society of the United States.  One Green Planet also offers the largest database of local hotlines to help rescue abandoned, injured, stranded, sick, and lost animals in need.  It’s important to contact a professional first before you potentially endanger yourself.  While it’s hard to see animal abuse, don’t try to steal the animal because then you could be charged with trespassing.

Document the Abuse 

Documenting the abuse in as much detail is crucial.  Take note of dates, times, any specific details.  Any photos or videos can also be helpful when agencies conduct an investigation.  But please don’t put yourself in danger.  Don’t enter someone else’s property and use caution when approaching an animal who may be frightened or in pain, according to the ASPCA.

Follow Up

Be persistent!  If you’re not getting answers from law-enforcement officers, ask for their supervisor’s contact information.  According to PETA, if you have personally witnessed an act of animal cruelty, you can go directly to your local magistrate or police commissioner and ask for a warrant to summon the abuser to court.  The animal rights organization also notes that expert witnesses can be helpful, such as a veterinarian signing a statement that in his or her “expert opinion”.

And what exactly is animal cruelty?

The ASPCA also offers a comprehensive list of physical signs, as well as environmental signs of cruelty to be on the look out for.  Be sure to review the below lists so you know animal abuse when you see it!

Physical Signs of Cruelty

  • Tight collar that has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck
  • Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated
  • Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes
  • Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible
  • Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites
  • Patches of bumpy, scaly skin rashes
  • Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails, and dirty coat
  • Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally
  • Heavy discharge from eyes or nose
  • An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
  • Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness

Environmental Signs of Cruelty

  • Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary
  • Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter
  • Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
  • Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements

Animal Cruelty Seen on the Internet

The Internet can be a wonderful place for helping dogs find homes, get cat care tips and more but unfortunately, the Internet also always for many dangers for our furry friends.


First, you’ll have to find the background information for the particular website.  You can visit WhoIs and perform a search of the site.  Then, contact the website’s ISP (Internet service provider) to report the animal abuse.  If you believe the animal is an immediate danger, contact the offender’s local FBI branch, based on the WhoIs search.

You Are Their Voice 

Just the thought of animal abuse is enough to bring any animal lover to tears.  Tragic stories involving humans abusing animals seem to make headlines on a daily basis. Reading these stories can be difficult and make you feel as if no progress is being made to save and protect all the animals humans interact with or take responsibility for. Without voices to speak up for themselves or proper laws (and enforcement of the laws that do exist) to shield them from neglect or physical abuse, it is up to us to step in and do all we can to end the violence.  This involves speaking out and raising awareness for animals who are the victims of abuse and also even working help get laws changed or improved on a state or national level.

Please share this article within your network so others can also learn what to do if they see animal abuse!  It’s important to always speak up for those we cannot.

Lead image source: behumann34/Pixabay

Leave a comment

Filed under advocacy, animal abuse, animal cruelty, education, safety

If you believe an animal is being cruelly treated…


Related image

The Houston SPCA has nine full-time, highly-trained animal cruelty investigators and responds to over 7,000 cases primarily in Harris, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties. If you believe an animal is being cruelly treated, please contact us and complete the Online Animal Cruelty Report or call 713-869-7722.

Accurate information is critical to our response. You can help us by providing the following information:

  • Nearest major intersection.
  • Suspect address, city, zip code and county.
  • Apartment complex name or subdivision name.
  • Major concern (lack of food, water, shelter, no medical attention, etc.).
  • Animal species, breed, color, number of animals on the property and their location.
  • Your contact information if we have any questions about the report.

What is animal cruelty? Penal Code Sec. 42.09.- 42.105.

To report animal cruelty, complete the Online Animal Cruelty Report or call 713-869-7722.

If the county or state you’re contacting us about is outside our jurisdiction, please contact the animal control organization, animal shelter or local law enforcement agency for that area. We cannot respond outside our jurisdiction unless requested by law enforcement.

Leave a comment

Filed under animal abuse, animal cruelty, education, safety

Reporting Animal Cruelty Just Got Easier



Every day, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund works to find justice in the legal system for animals who have been abused.  The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s brand new smartphone app — thanks to our partnership with LiveSafe — is designed to help you report abuse and neglect of animals in your community.  Your crime tip will immediately alert local law enforcement when animals are in need of help.

In 2013, an orange tabby cat was captured by a Brooklyn man who used liquid accelerant to set the cat on fire. The cat, Michael, was discovered and brought to the North Shore Animal League.  Despite heroic efforts by veterinary staff, Michael had to be euthanized to relieve intense suffering from deep tissue burn injuries — the fire had torn through Michael’s fur and skin and melted his claws.

To aid the investigation, we offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.  Four brave young witnesses came forward and identified Denzell Oglesby in a photo array.  In March of 2014, Oglesby pled guilty to aggravated animal abuse and will serve one year in jail on that charge.  He is also prohibited by court order from owning, living with, or having any control or custody over an animal for five years.  This terrible story is a perfect example of why we need this LiveSafe app, and the kinds of situations where the power of technology can help us in the fight for justice for animals.  Animal cruelty is far too common and reporting a crime and collecting evidence is the first step toward putting abusers behind bars, where they belong.

That’s why we launched the first-ever animal abuse reporting app during our National Justice for Animals Week in the spring of 2013.  Now, we’re partnering with LiveSafe to bring you even more easy-to-use features.  With ALDF’s LiveSafe app you can help secure the legal justice animals deserve.

When you submit a tip about animal abuse, a GPS embedded text, photo, video, or audio report is sent to a LiveSafe call center.  LiveSafe will forward your tip to the appropriate authorities in your area.  From your Android or iOS device, open Google Play or the Apple App Store.  Search for “LiveSafe.”  Open the app and fill out your profile information.  Select “Animal Legal Defense Fund” as your agency.

LiveSafe has already been adopted by colleges, universities, and event venues across the nation, and now community animal shelters are getting on board too.  Groups like the Houston Humane Society, Vermont Humane Federation, Dutchess County SPCA, and Delaware SPCA are encouraging their communities to report animal cruelty using LiveSafe.  If your animal abuse enforcement organization is interested in partnering with us to bring this resource to your area, please contact us at info@aldf.org.

Leave a comment

Filed under advocacy, education, safety

Take Action On The Philippines’ Dog Meat Trade

Close to 500,000 dogs, many of them stolen pets, are rounded up and slaughtered every year in the Philippines for the illegal dog meat trade.  Conditions within the dog meat industry are barbaric, with thousands of dogs dying during transport to slaughter and the survivors having their throats cut in make shift slaughterhouses.  Despite new legislation, the industry continues to flourish because the Filipino police are not tasked strongly enough with enforcing laws that combat the dog meat trade.

The international tourism market is very important to the Philippines.
Please write to the President and tell him that you will think twice before travelling to the Philippines until the dog meat trade laws are enforced and this cruel trade eradicated for good.

Click THIS LINK to view,
and electronically submit,
your letter to President Aquino.

Write To The President Of The Philippines.

Scenes from March and June 2014 Network For Animals raids on Filipino dog meat traders


Leave a comment

Filed under animal abuse, animal cruelty, education

Poached Poodle or Baked Bichon?

Dog meat festival
Sat, Jun 14 2014, 09:02 AM

This week, Peter Li, China specialist with Humane Society International (HSI), arrived in Yulin in China’s Guangxi province – a city that is about to host an infamous annual event where thousands of dogs are slaughtered for meat.  He found the town uneasy and alert to growing concerns at home and abroad about this culinary monstrosity.  All signs in restaurants advertising dog meat have been removed and dishes featuring dog meat have been taken off the menu.  A slaughterhouse Peter visited had no dogs around, although there was evidence of dog slaughter, principally in the form of hair left behind after the clean-up operation.

Yulin dogs

Small cages packed with frightened dogs
are arriving in Yulin, China,
for the dog meat festival.
Sign this petition to express your outrage.
Photo: Humane Society International

“Local authorities,” Peter wrote, “are under tremendous pressure… activists and journalists are converging in Yulin from across the country.”

It’s better than it was in 2012, when the killing was all out in the open and the streets of Yulin were painted red with the blood of dogs.  Thousands of dogs crammed in cages and transported over great distances arrived at the Yulin dog meat festival that year – traumatized, sick, exhausted, hungry and dying.  In the end, they were bludgeoned to death, in front of other dogs.

Although the festival is still slated to take place, there has been a change in attitude, particularly among the public and Chinese media, and it’s got the dog meat traders and the authorities in Yulin on the defensive.  A lot of that is due to the work being done by HSI partner groups on the ground in China such as Vshine, Shoushan of Guangdong, Xi’An Xijin, Capital Animal Welfare Association and Animals Asia Foundation.

Our partner groups have mobilized thousands of Chinese in a series of public protests held at key venues, sending a strong message to local authorities that brutality brings no tourists or economic profit — only shame and stigma.

Last year, 46,000 supporters from around the world signed our pledge against the cruelty, and our campaign continues to grow.  This month alone, more than 100,000 people have signed on to express their outrage, and we’re letting authorities know the spotlight is on them.  HSI partner groups have joined activists and protestors to rally against the festival, including at a recent event in Dalian in northeast China, where more than 1,000 supporters and dozens of dogs represented Vshine to protest the Yulin event.  Yesterday, HSI partner groups in China held a protest in front of the mayor’s office in Yulin, and instantly images of the protest swept across Chinese media.

Our partners met with Yulin’s Food Safety Office and submitted an investigative report  on shocking violations by dog meat traders, including fake certificates issued in provinces thousands of miles north of Guangxi that illustrate how far the dogs must travel under terrible conditions.

If you haven’t already signed the petition, please do so here.  Or you can contribute toward ending the brutal dog meat trade here.

The dog meat festival culminates on June 21 in Yulin, much to the horror of dog lovers in China and the world over.  Small cages packed with frightened dogs, carried on the backs of motorcycles, are already arriving in the city.  But we can also confront this reality knowing that Peter and HSI and our friends in China are there to bear witness, to ensure that international attention remains focused on Yulin, and to continue our efforts to convince Chinese authorities that this barbaric trade in dog meat has to stop once and for all.

The HSUS and HSI want the dog meat trade ended in China and in any other place where it finds any favor, whether out in the open at a festival or in some dark, dingy corner.

Dog meat festival

Leave a comment

Filed under animal abuse, animal cruelty, education

Cruelty in Dallas

A Chihuahua puppy died after being thrown from car


Another incident linking domestic abuse to animal cruelty.

According to Thursday’s CBS DFW News, a six-week-old puppy died instantly after being hurled from a fast-moving vehicle on Interstate 20 in Parker County, Texas.

The Parker County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release which announced the Tuesday arrest of the man believed to be responsible for the act of animal cruelty. The suspect, Marquael Odoric Greer, 32, of Lancaster, was identified by his girlfriend, 33-year-old Shaquitha Pratt.

According to Pratt, last Friday she and Greer were in the midst of a heated argument while traveling at a high rate of speed on Interstate 20.  Pratt told the authorities that Greer grabbed the tiny Chihuahua puppy from her lap and hurled him out the window of the moving car, causing the pup’s death.  Pratt also told the authorities that she was physically assaulted by the man.

Responding deputies found the puppy’s body alongside the interstate and determined that he likely died instantly.  On Tuesday, Greer was located in Dallas and arrested on a charge of felony cruelty to non-livestock animals – he was taken to jail.

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said the puppy’s death is the latest incident proving that:

“Parker County does not have an animal problem. We have a people problem.”

Sheriff: Man Threw Puppy From Speeding Vehicle

109008152 Sheriff: Lancaster Man Threw Girlfriends Puppy From Speeding Vehicle
Domestic abuse leads to animal abuse.
Intentional abuse in any form should be taken seriously.
Knowing that there is a Link, agencies involved in preventing family violence need to work together for a more effective,
species-spanning response.
The Link“.
* * * * * * *

Leave a comment

Filed under animal abuse, animal cruelty, education

Annual Festival of Cruelty – Yulin, China

Scenes from March and June 2014 Network For Animals raids on Filipino dog meat traders

This barbaric event happens in the city of Yulin, in China’s Guangxi province.  Thousands of dogs, many of them stolen pets, are captured and transported over long distances under horrific conditions.

Once in Yulin, they’re held in crowded cages without food or water until they are killed.  Often, they are beaten and their throats are slit in front of other terrified animals.  Most Chinese citizens reject this practice, and we’re committed to supporting them in changing their laws.

Please sign Humane Society International’s petition now to show Chinese officials that the international community is outraged by this carnage! 

Go to the petition here:  http://bit.ly/1lXSjlU


Dog meat festival

Leave a comment

Filed under animal abuse, animal cruelty, education