Over 10 million cases of animal cruelty are reported each year in the United States, according to the Humane Society of the United States. That’s a staggering number of defenseless pets suffering at the hands of humans.
As a dog lover myself, stories of abuse or neglect really get my blood boiling.
So, how can you help the dog if your neighbor keeps it in a cage all day? Here’s what you can do:
- Contact your local animal control agency
- Call 911
- File a report with the ASPCA
- Contact animal welfare organizations
- Contact veterinarians
- Document the situation
- Remain anonymous
If this sounds familiar, your neighbors may be committing animal cruelty. But here’s the kicker – we can actually do something to help.
This handy guide will show you 7 ways to report animal abuse right in your own neighborhood.
Is leaving a dog in a cage all day animal abuse?
The short answer is yes. Locking a dog up for extended periods is absolutely considered abuse. I know it stinks, but it’s true. Here’s why:
- Dogs are social critters who need exercise and time to sniff around. Being cooped up all day leads to both physical and mental issues. We’re talking about muscle loss, obesity, and even depression. Not cool.
- Pups require interaction with their humans. Solitary confinement can cause them major separation anxiety and stress.
- A cage doesn’t allow basic needs like pee breaks, food, water, and playtime. Serious neglect.
- In some cases, nonstop caging makes dogs aggressive or destructive. They act out from lack of stimulation.
|Dogs become territorial and lash out from lack of socialization
|Dogs chew, dig, bark excessively from boredom and stress
|Dogs bark constantly to get attention and stimulation
Bottom line: Even the comfiest cage isn’t an okay place for a dog to live. They need space to run around and be dogs.
If your neighbors keep their pup locked up all day while they’re at work, it’s time to take action.
How to report animal cruelty in your area
Alright, so you’ve spotted what looks like animal abuse next door. Now what? Here are some ways to get the ball rolling and report it in your neighborhood:
1. Contact local animal control
- Most cities or counties have an animal control agency that is responsible for enforcing laws and investigating cruelty.
- Call the local animal control office for your area and explain in detail what kinds of mistreatment you have witnessed your neighbors inflicting on their dog.
- An animal control officer will then come to the location, assess the situation, and take appropriate action if abuse is found.
|It’s their job
|Animal control officers are responsible for investigating abuse cases
|They can inspect properties, seize animals, and enforce laws
|They have specialized training in identifying and responding to cruelty
|They have tools, staff, and facilities to assist abused animals
|They regularly handle these types of cases in the community
2. Call 911 for emergencies
- If you see an animal in immediate physical danger that requires emergency response, such as locked in a hot car, call 911 right away.
- The dispatcher can send police to the scene quickly to check on the animal’s welfare and remove them from the dangerous situation.
- Calling 911 ensures fastest response time for saving animals from life-threatening conditions.
3. File a report with the ASPCA
- The ASPCA has a national animal cruelty hotline as well as an online form to submit reports of abuse.
- When you call 1-800-628-0028 or complete the online form, your report will be reviewed and forwarded to law enforcement agencies.
- The ASPCA works closely with police across the country to investigate animal cruelty cases.
4. Notify local animal welfare organizations
- Many local animal rescue groups and humane societies, such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), have their own protocols for accepting and investigating reports of abuse in the community.
- Contact a local organization in your area to file a complaint about the mistreatment you have witnessed.
- They can collaborate with police to check on the animal and get them removed from abusive conditions.
5. Talk to veterinarians
- Veterinarians are mandated reporters when it comes to suspected animal abuse based on physical exams.
- If you take the dog to a local vet and explain your concerns about its living conditions, the vet can document any injuries or health issues.
- The vet can then involve authorities to intervene since they are required to report probable cruelty and neglect cases.
6. Take photos/videos
- Any visual evidence you can safely obtain will be extremely helpful for investigators.
- Try discreetly capturing images or footage that document the dog being confined in a small cage for extended periods.
- However, make sure to take care to record evidence in a cautious manner without trespassing or putting yourself in harm’s way.
- Photos or videos can provide solid proof of the ongoing abuse.
7. Remain anonymous
- You often have the option to report animal abuse anonymously if you fear retaliation from the pet owners.
- However, giving your name and contact information is preferred since it allows investigators to follow up if they need additional details.
- If you want to remain unnamed, explain that up front so officials know not to disclose your identity to the people you are reporting.
The key is providing details like when you saw the abuse, exactly where it occurred, descriptions of the animal and mistreatment, contact info for other witnesses, etc. The more evidence, the better.
Tips for reporting animal cruelty
When making a report, keep these tips in mind:
- Stay calm and professional. Don’t get emotional or accusatory.
- Stick to just the facts – be clear, concise, and accurate.
- Answer any questions thoroughly and honestly.
- If unsure who to contact, call the local police department first.
- Always err on the side of reporting. Better safe than sorry when it comes to animal welfare.
What information to provide when reporting cruelty
When filing a report, be ready to provide:
- Date and time you witnessed the abuse
- Exact location of where it occurred
- Descriptions of the animal(s) involved
- Details of the neglect/abuse you observed
- Contact info for any witnesses
- Photos/videos to back up the claims
The more precise you can be, the better. Even small specifics like the color and breed of the dog can aid investigators. The goal is to paint a clear picture of what’s happening.
Here’s an example of the kind of details to have ready:
|Yes, I took photos from my yard showing the dog in cage
|Neighbor’s backyard at 123 Main St.
|Brown pitbull mix, female, approx. 1 year old
|Dog left in small cage all day with no food/water
|Neighbor at 125 Main St. also saw this
|Yes, I took photos from my yard showing the dog in the cage
Conclusion: Take action against animal cruelty
Seeing animal abuse in your community is heart-wrenching. But thankfully, you can speak up and be the voice for suffering pets.
Use one of these 7 methods to report mistreatment and get help for animals in need. At the end of the day, we all want safe, happy, and humane treatment for our furry friends. They deserve compassion and care, not cruelty and neglect.
So, if you notice a neighbor’s dog left alone in a tiny cage day after day, don’t turn a blind eye.
With persistence and the right contacts, you can stop the abuse. By doing so, you help ensure every pet has a chance at a healthy life full of belly rubs, playtime, and love. And that makes reporting cruelty so very worth it.