Did you know that an estimated 1 billion animals are abused each year? That’s one animal abused every 10 seconds. The good news is that there are ways to report this abuse and help make a difference. In this blog post, we will discuss how to report animal abuse and the importance of doing so. We will also talk about the Wounded Paw Project, which is working hard to bring awareness to these issues.

Defining Animal Abuse

Animal abuse can be defined as any physical or emotional harm inflicted upon an animal. This includes everything from neglect and abandonment to deliberate acts of violence. Unfortunately, many cases of animal abuse go unreported. This is often because people are unaware of the signs of abuse or don’t know how to report it. Understanding the different types of abuse that animals may experience is the first thing you need to know when determining how to report animal abuse.

report animal abuse


One of the most common forms of animal abuse is neglect. This is when an animal is not given the basic necessities of life, such as food, water, shelter, or veterinary care. Signs of neglect include emaciation (extreme thinness), dehydration, untreated injuries or illnesses, and a lack of grooming.

Direct Abuse

Direct abuse is when another person purposely harms an animal. This can include everything from hitting and kicking to burning and choking. Signs of direct abuse include bruises, broken bones, open wounds, and internal injuries. If an animal is behaving unusually fearful or aggressive, this could also be a sign that you should report animal abuse.

Inadequate Shelter

When determining if you should report animal abuse or if abuse is even taking place, it’s important to consider the animal’s living conditions in question. If an animal does not have access to adequate shelter, this is considered abuse. Animals should be protected from the elements and have a clean and dry space. Signs of inadequate shelter include being exposed to extreme weather conditions, being kept in unsanitary conditions, and not having access to food or water.

Chained Dogs

One of the most common forms of animal abuse is chaining dogs. Dogs are social animals that need companionship, exercise, and mental stimulation. They often become frustrated, anxious, and depressed when they are chained up. Signs of a chained dog include being tethered to a stationary object for long periods and having a collar that is too tight or is embedded in their neck.

Abandoned Dog on the Road


Abandonment is when an animal is left alone without food, water, or shelter. This can happen when people move and leave their pets behind or when they simply dump them in a park or on the side of the road. Signs of abandonment include being lost or stranded in an unfamiliar place, being afraid of humans, and appearing thin or malnourished. If you see any animals displaying these signs, it’s important to call and report animal abuse right away.


Hoarding is a type of animal abuse that is often overlooked. Hoarding occurs when an individual keeps many animals in their home but does not provide adequate care. This can result in the animals being malnourished, living in unsanitary conditions, and not receiving veterinary care. If you know someone living in these conditions and you aren’t sure if you should call to report animal abuse, the answer is always yes.

Lack of Vet Care

Another form of animal abuse is the lack of veterinary care. This means that an animal is not being taken to the vet for routine check-ups, vaccinations, or other medical needs. This can often be a sign of neglect or financial abuse. If you see an animal that needs medical attention, it’s important to report animal abuse right away.

Pets Left in Cars

With summer comes the heat, and with the heat comes the danger of leaving your pet in the car. Pets should never be left alone in a car, even for a short period of time. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise very quickly, and animals can suffer from heatstroke, dehydration, and even death. If you see a pet that has been left in a car, it’s important to report animal abuse right away.

Dogfighting and Organized Cruelty

Dogfighting is a type of animal abuse that often goes unnoticed. Dogfights are usually organized by two people who bet on which dog will win. The dogs are often forced to fight to the death, and the losing dog is often killed or abandoned. If you see any signs of dogfighting, such as dogs with injuries or scars, it’s important to report animal abuse. Click here to learn more about dogfighting and signs of abuse related to dogfighting rings.

How to Report Animal Abuse

So now that you have a better understanding of the different types of animal abuse, how do you report animal abuse?

The simple answer is that if you see an animal that you think is being abused, the best thing to do is call animal control or 911.

When you call, be prepared to give the dispatcher your name, address, and phone number in case they need to follow up with you. You will also need to provide them with a description of the animal and the abuse you are witnessing. It is crucial to stay on the line until the dispatcher has all the information they need.

If you are not comfortable calling animal control or 911, there are other options. You can report animal abuse to your local humane society or SPCA. You can also report abuse to the ASPCA’s Cruelty Intervention and Prevention team.

Reporting animal abuse is the first step in helping to end animal cruelty. Wounded Paw Project is committed to bringing awareness to these issues, and we need your help. If you see an animal you think is being abused, please don’t hesitate to report it. Together, we can make a difference for these animals.