How Do I Report an Abused or Neglected Animal?

How Do I Report an Abused or Neglected Animal?

In order to effectively report an alleged animal cruelty incident, you should be able to provide the following information to the local Animal Control or Sheriffs Department.

Witness: The name, address and telephone number of the person who witnessed the alleged incident. Such information may be kept confidential, depending on the particular agency; however, it is helpful for investigators to have a point of contact in the event of misdirection or miscommunication. Remember, the burden of proof falls upon the accuser.

Who: An accurate identity of the alleged perpetrator, if known, including name, address and telephone number, if possible and known associates or co-participants in the alleged criminal activity.

What and How: An accurate and exact description of the incident witnessed. The investigator must receive sufficient details and be able to verify substantial portions of the information as true before being used to establish probable cause. Document complete descriptions of the animals and associated conditions and include:

Pertinent conversations with the alleged perpetrator;

Eyewitness accounts to reconstruct the exact happenings of what and how the incident occurred (written notes and PHOTOGRAPHS are very valuable – a picture is worth a thousand words);

Written documents or reports that verify conditions (i.e., veterinary examination findings);

When: The date(s) and time(s) of the incident(s)

Where: The specific location where the incident was witnessed (physical address and city, community, or county), including directions.

Who do I call to report an alleged animal cruelty incident?
Please refer to the following lists to report animal cruelty or humane care violations against different species:

For Companion Animals (e.g., dogs, cats, exotic birds, pet rabbits, pot–bellied pigs)

  • Report those persons holding an Animal Protection License issued by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (or those that should be licensed) to the Animal Protection Section at 1-800-282-5852, ext. 4914 or 404-656-4914, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Report all other persons to the local law enforcement agency and the animal control office, if one exists in the area.  Report to the municipal or county police department or county sheriff’s department using the non-emergency number, unless the alleged perpetrator is actively involved in an act that threatens an animal’s life. If you suspect that other crimes (e.g., illegal drug activity or gambling) are involved, be sure to report this as a part of the call.

Learn more about animal abuse advocates in the Fall Edition of the The GA Vet.