If you have ever seen an act of animal cruelty, you may feel overwhelmed and not sure what to do. It can be difficult to know how to report animal cruelty, especially if you don’t know the correct authorities to contact. In this blog post, we will discuss the different ways that you can report animal cruelty and what kind of evidence you need in order to make a report. We will also talk about ways that you can work to prevent animal cruelty from happening in your community!

Before You Report Animal Cruelty You Have to Know What It Is

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When people report animal cruelty, it is typically about instances where the animal in question is being neglected rather than acts of direct violence. At times, it can be tricky to decide if what you’ve seen is an instance of animal abuse or not. To help classify potential acts of cruelty, here are a few examples that may help you differentiate the types of abuse so you can report animal cruelty.


Most animal cruelty cases that officers respond to involve neglect: hoarding, scarce shelter or veterinary care, chaining and abandonment, as well as other forms of mistreatment. Neglect fundamentally comprises a failure to provide basic needs for an animal.

Direct Abuse

This type of abuse involves a malicious intent to inflict pain, injury, or death upon an animal. It can include anything from physical abuse such as beatings, choking, and kicking to confinement in small cages or other restrictive forms of containment. 

How to Report Animal Cruelty

Once you have identified what type of animal cruelty is taking place, it is important to contact the proper authorities. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may want to contact local law enforcement or animal welfare organizations. It is important to note that each state has different laws and regulations to adhere to when it comes to how you should report animal cruelty, so it would be wise to research your state’s statutes prior to reporting a case.

When making a report, try to provide as much detailed information as possible. This includes the location where the animal is being abused, any pertinent information about the suspected abuser, and any evidence of the abuse that you may have collected (photos, videos, etc.). It is also important to note that anonymous reports are accepted in some states, so if you fear retribution for reporting a case, do not hesitate to report animal cruelty anonymously.

Preventing Animal Cruelty

The best way to help stop animal cruelty is to be proactive and work towards preventing it from happening in the first place. This can include educating yourself on proper animal care, participating in local awareness campaigns, and speaking out against cases of abuse when you see them taking place. Another important part of trying to prevent and report animal cruelty is by understanding the signs,

Physical Signs

  • Signs of inadequate grooming, including matted fur and overgrown nails that interfere with the animal’s ability to function normally in their day-to-day life.
  • Signs of confinement such as chained dogs living outside in extreme weather conditions or caged animals with limited access to food and water.
  • Fur that is infested with fleas, ticks, or other parasites
  • A dog that is severely emaciated -sometimes their bones may be visible
  • Someone striking or physically hurting an animal
  • A collar that has rubbed the animal’s skin raw or has become embedded in their neck
  • Signs of an illness or injury that isn’t being treated. For example, an animal that has broken bones or open wounds

Environmental Signs

  • Animals that are cruelly trapped outdoors and deprived of necessary sustenance such as food and water for extended periods.
  • Animals that are left outdoors in harsh weather conditions and deprived of the proper shelter
  • Animals that are left in a space that is covered in feces, urine, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them.
  • Animals that are kept in kennels or cages that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements.

Knowing the signs to keep an eye out for is a huge help when you are trying to determine how to report animal cruelty. It is important to remember that even if you think the case may be too small for your local authorities to take action on, it is still helpful to report, as every little bit helps.

Types of Animal Cruelty

report animal cruelty

Animal cruelty is a heinous act and includes any preventable action that harms or causes suffering to an animal, either physically or mentally. It is important to be aware of the different types of abuse in order to recognize it and know how best to report animal cruelty if you witness it

Leaving Your Pet in the Car

Leaving your pet in the car on a hot day is not only dangerous but it can also be considered animal cruelty. Pets can suffer from heat exhaustion and dehydration if left in a car for too long, even with the windows cracked open. If you see an animal locked inside of a hot vehicle, contact local law enforcement or an animal rescue organization as soon as possible.

Lack of Veterinary Care

Animals should be taken to the vet regularly for check-ups and vaccinations. If you suspect that an animal is not receiving proper veterinary care, contact an animal rescue organization.


Hoarding is a major form of animal cruelty that involves large numbers of animals being kept in a single residence or property with inadequate food, space, and/or veterinary care. Hoarders may also fail to recognize the suffering of the animals in their possession.

Animal Fighting and Organized Cruelty

Animal fighting, also known as blood sport, is a form of organized animal cruelty in which two animals are pitted against each other in a violent matchup that can often result in serious injury or death. Baiting is the practice of setting wild animals up to attack domestic animals for entertainment.

Beating and Physical Abuse

Physical abuse includes any physical force inflicted upon an animal, whether it be hitting, kicking, beating or even burning the animal. These types of acts are considered cruel and can be reported immediately to local authorities if witnessed.


Abandonment is a form of animal cruelty in which animals are left outdoors without adequate shelter, food or water. This can lead to starvation, hypothermia, and other medical conditions that can be fatal for the animal.

Inadequate Shelter

Animals should be provided with adequate shelter, such as a dog house or warm bedding in the winter months. Animals kept outdoors for long periods of time should have access to a large enough space to move comfortably and out of the elements when needed.

How to Report Animal Cruelty with the Help of WPP

Animal cruelty is a serious offense that should be reported if witnessed. It is important to be aware of the different signs and types of animal cruelty so that you can take action and report it when necessary. By understanding how to identify the different types of animal abuse and cruelty, we can come together as a community and ensure that animals are treated with respect and compassion. You can even report animal cruelty completely anonymously directly to our team at Wounded Paw Project by calling our Animal Abuse Hotline at (844)-728-279.