Action Tips: Report Animal Cruelty

cat in metal pot

Why Should You Report Animal Cruelty?

The ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department finds out about most instances of animal abuse through phone calls from concerned citizens who witness cruelty in their neighborhoods. If you don’t report crimes, the animals will continue to be harmed. Remember, anonymous reports are investigated with just as much attention, so don't be afraid to voice a concern without giving your name.

How You Can Report Animal Cruelty

  • In New York City, contact the ASPCA at or (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450.
  • In New Jersey, contact the NJSPCA at (800) 582-5979
  • Outside the NYC Area
    • You will need to find out the name of the persons in your area who are responsible for investigating and enforcing the anti-cruelty codes in your town, county and/or state. These people typically work for your local humane organization, animal control agency, taxpayer-funded animal shelter or police precinct.
    • To find out what agencies are authorized to investigate and arrest instances of animal cruelty in your state (i.e, does the enforcement of animal cruelty laws fall under the authority of the police department or animal control officers?), visit ASPCA’s state-by-state list of state anti-cruelty investigatory-arrest powers.
    • If you run into trouble finding the correct agency to contact, you may wish to call or visit your local police department and ask for their help in enforcing the law. Similarly, you can ask at your local shelter or animal control agency for help. To find contact information for your local shelter, check the yellow pages or visit the ASPCA’s searchable database of nearly 5,000 community SPCAs, humane societies and animal control organizations.

Tips for Reporting Animal Cruelty

  • Write down what you observed, give dates and times when possible.
  • Take pictures of the animals in question, but do not put yourself in danger.
  • Do not enter someone’s property without their permission.
  • If you can, provide the names and contact information of other people who have firsthand information about the abusive situation.