What to Do if You Suspect Animal Cruelty


It’s a sad thought, but some precious pets are faced with animal cruelty and abuse everyday. And it can happen in the most unlikely places. The movie A Dog’s Purpose was recently thrust into controversy. A video was released that showed the producers allegedly abusing the animals on set. Animal lovers around the country were appalled.

And multiple businesses in the pet industry had even rallied around the movie as a chance to raise money for animals in need. Then sadly, we were faced with the fact that animals during filming were forced to do terrifying stunts. Something no true pet lover would ever do, especially for the sake of entertainment.

Animal cruelty usually hides in the shadows. And that is why this is a perfect opportunity to shed light on this terrible subject. Because this movie proves that abuse can show up any where. So what should you do if you suspect animal cruelty?

Here are a few things that you should know.

  • Find out the agency in your area that is responsible for enforcing and investigating animal cruelty and abuse.

Depending on where you live this could be the SPCA, a local humane society. Residents of smaller jurisdictions can call your local police or sheriff’s department. See below for a list of helpful links to help you narrow down your search.

  • Safely Gather Evidence. 

Okay, so this is not a call to become Nancy Drew or the Hardy boys. But if you can, try to safely take pictures or film with corresponding date.  Also, when you observe suspicious behavior, take down short, but factual notes. It will help law enforcement determine the proper course of action.

  •  Officials should next check out the animal(s), their home and interview you and/or neighbors.

According to Peta.org this is what usually happens next: “Law-enforcement officials should inspect the animal visually, and if possible, conduct a hands-on field exam (referred to as “palpating” the animal) in order to find injuries or an otherwise unhealthy physical condition that may be obscured by the victim’s fur. Officials will often be fooled by a dog who “acts happy,” but manic or social behavior does not mean that the animal is safe; he or she may just be anxious to please or desperate for attention. A more thorough examination is necessary, and an injured or clearly endangered animal must not be left behind. The crime scene should also be thoroughly inspected for any indication that abuse has occurred. Suspects and neighbors (potential witnesses) should be interviewed. If the investigator agrees that your complaint has merit, a warning may be issued, charges filed, a warrant served, and/or the animal(s) removed.”

  • Persistence can save lives. 

Once reported, warnings are issued and charges could be filed. But this doesn’t guarantee that the pets are safe. Go to supervisors and government officials if necessary. Call your local media, news coverage can do wonders to stop abuse. If you feel in your heart that animals are still in danger, do not stop.




PETA – Report Animal Cruelty

National Link Coalition