11 signs of animal cruelty and how you can help

11 signs of animal cruelty and how you can help

Animal cruelty is not only abhorrent in its own right, but it is often a gateway crime to violence against adults and children.

If you witness any act of abuse, neglect or cruelty against an animal it is your moral responsibility to report it to local law enforcement, or to whomever is responsible for cruelty investigations in your community.

In most cases you may do so anonymously if you fear reprisal. Doing nothing does nothing to help animals in need.

DO NOT ask us in the comments section what to do if you suspect cruelty or abuse. Contact your local police department and/or humane society even if you are unsure if what you observe qualifies as animal cruelty since laws vary by state and municipality. PLEASE STOP ASKING US WHAT TO DO; TAKE LEGAL ACTION!

The 11 signs of animal abuse, neglect or cruelty

11 signs of animal cruelty and how you can help
1 – Poor body condition and noticeable trauma

The animal has severe matting and a filthy coat, open sores or obvious wounds. He appears to be flea or tick infested. He is underweight with bones visible clearly. He might be limping or unable to walk at all, or have congested eyes or ears. He is in obvious physical distress and in need of veterinary care.

2 – Lack of food or water

Every time you see this animal you notice that she has no obvious sources of food and/or water. She may be aggressive due to starvation and thirst, and perhaps very lethargic.

3 – Lack of shelter

The animal is contained in an area that is largely or fully exposed to inclement weather or constant sun. In many states, if an animal dies as a result of being left alone in a hot car the owner can be charged. See the laws in your state.

4 – Lack of sanitation

Feces and/or debris cover the animal’s living area.

5 – Abandoned

The animal is left in a house, yard, or other area that appears empty or devoid of normal human activity. Reports of companion animals abandoned and left to die inside vacant buildings are alarmingly common.

It is a crime in all 50 states to abandon an animal.

11 signs of animal cruelty and how you can help

If you notice a neighbor has moved or has stopped visiting a residence where you know animal live, be extra vigilant. Some dogs bark and whine to express anxiety at being left alone. But a dog who is howling or barking for several hours is sending a signal that it is in need of immediate, life-saving care.

6 – The animal is tied or caged

She has little or no room to move, and/or is unable to stand or turn.

7 – Chains or padlocks around the animal’s neck

Be on the lookout for anything around an animal’s neck that may have become embedded and/or infected, including regular collars. A chained animal is an abused animal.

Chaining or tethering is illegal in many states.

8 – Signs of an animal being trained to or having been used to fight

This is especially common with bully breed dogs, and even roosters. You may see training implements, treadmills, spring poles, etc. More likely you will notice obvious signs of trauma, including scars, open wounds, infections, and even missing body parts, such as ears or tails.

9 – The animal’s behavior is abnormal

She may be very aggressive or severely shy, e.g., cowering, hiding, fear-biting, even with or especially with her owner.

10 – Too many animals living on one property

This can be a sign of animal hoarding, which makes the conditions no less cruel. An estimated 250,000 animals are hoarding victims each year.

11 – Overt acts of violence

An owner or any person who is being overtly violent against the animal, striking or throwing objects at him, or otherwise physically abusing him.

There is no violence against an animal that is justified. And a person who would abuse an animal in public or plain sight is likely doing far worse outside of view.

Download our flyer: 11 signs of animal cruelty and how you can help
11 signs of animal cruelty and how you can help

The worst thing you can do if you witness or suspect animal cruelty or neglect is nothing. Be that animal’s voice and get him out of his abusive situation immediately. If you have to make multiple reports, do it.

Four steps to help an animal who is a cruelty victim

Animal cruelty is illegal in every state and a felony most. If you make a report of alleged animal cruelty the responding agency is required to investigate.

If you see an animal in distress, do not assume that someone else will take care of the situation. Animals cannot speak for themselves; it is up to you to speak for them.

1 – Be prepared

Most municipalities have a local animal control department, or animal shelter or humane society that is responsible for cruelty investigations.

Do an online search to identify the agency in your area and program the number into your mobile phone. This way you are always prepared to report abuse.

2 – Speak up or call 911

If you witness overt violence against an animal or suspect it, speak up! If you do not feel safe intervening in a situation directly, call 911.

It is essential to contact law enforcement when violence is involved since it is likely part of an ongoing pattern that may include violence against people as well. If you are traveling or in a community that is not familiar to you, you can look up the local police department.

3 – Document the details

Tell the officer as many details of the situation as you can: location, date, time, description of the people and animals involved.

Video and photographic documentation, even on a mobile phone, can bolster a legal case. Provide names of others who may have witnessed the incident. Remain on the scene until authorities arrive if you can do so safely.

4 – Prepare to testify

While you may remain anonymous, the legal case will be much stronger if you are willing to identify yourself and testify to what you witnessed. A human witness is crucial for building a strong, prosecutable case.

Additional resources

DO NOT ask in the comments section what to do if you suspect cruelty or abuse. Contact your local police department and/or humane society even if you are unsure if what you observe qualifies as animal cruelty since laws vary by state and municipality.


  1. bethz

    Deborah, continue to call animal control as long as you are observing animal neglect. You may want to contact your local humane society as well to see if they have other suggestions or local resources in addition to animal control. Thank you for being this dog’s voice!

  2. Deborah

    This dog has. Even reported twice and nothing was done. It’s tied and they are hardly ever at home. We have them a dog house. Our animal control is not doing anything. So what can you do?

  3. Mary

    Sophia! What are you thinking! That dog is abused! Call the Humane Society or your local animal control. Why are you guys asking these questions? If you are not sure, call animal control or the police! Tell them you want to be anonymous!

  4. Raewyn

    I called the police because the dog was outside two days in a row (first day I was sadly oblivious as I was cold too) but the next day I noticed and Animal Control never even paid a visit. Today I thought they had as the dog was wearing a vest, but still cold. I then noticed it was cowering. A month ago it did not cower to me. I gave it a snack I had in my vehicle (tossed it over the fence). It ate it. I told the police I want to speak to the person who attends the animal welfare check and haven’t received a call. It’s now night and we’re probably going past the house to see if the dog is still outside and if so, we’ll drop some food over the fence. Not a lot I can do since I don’t know the dog well (only its name) and the police don’t seem that interested. I don’t want to trespass – outside of my work hours I would be trespassing. This strong dog is literally shaking with fear and the tail is going right up between its legs when I address her by name and I’m concerned, but what to do? I asked if it could bark for me to try and get the attention of the people inside and the cowering was awful to watch. If I find the dog is outside tonight, do I call the police again? Or is there someone else who I should be contacting (police are animal control here)?

  5. Barb

    A close family relative is using a “cinch” collar on his dog. I have tried to talk to him about it. He swears it is a good training collar. I have observed him “walking ” the dog. He pulls and yanks on the leash. He has no control on the dog. I am so afraid the dog is going to get hurt using this collar. It looks medieval to me.

    The dog has some behavioral issues but is a sweet dog. It is a 1 year old Lab. He doesn’t have a fenced in yard. There are too many people in a small house and I think this is the reason he acts out. He can’t run in the yard. Then the owner rough houses with him and wonders why he bites and lunges at people.

    He got the dog as a puppy and has no clue as to how to train a dog. The trainer he hired had the bright idea to use this awful collar. The dogs behavior hasn’t changed other than it may be more aggressive.

    I’m am tired of arguing with him. He thinks collar is good for training the dog and doesn’t believe it is harmful and/or capable for causing injury to the dog because this trainer says it mimics what his mother would do to train him as a pup.

    Please help me persuade him to look into other options.

  6. bethz

    Worried mom – this site is not for medical advice. You MUST take your pup to a veterinarian immediately. If your regular veterinarian is not open we urge you to seek out an emergency veterinarian.

  7. worried mom

    So we just got a puppy for our kids …found out she was left outside tied up and left there so we took her she was great and happy playing ….but now she keeps vomiting white fome won’t really eat and barley drinks ….I have looked up a lot of stuff but nothing is giving us a clear picture of her problem ..
    If anyone can help I’m open to suggestions

  8. cathy vess

    my nieghber has three dobermans one momma two pups that are over a year old now he leaves them alone for days his dad comes to feed them when hes not home which is never there locked in a fenced in area thats not big enough for three grown dobermans yes they get fead once a day and waterd at that time but no one ever takes them out or spends time with them i feel this is neglect cruel no human conpanionship what do i do turn him in i hate whats happening to them i have two dogs of my own and would never leave them like this is this considerd cruelty or negleckd

  9. Ysabeau

    One of my boyfriend family members brought a cat home from the shelter . After they got bored of her they just lock her in the backyard. The only person who even comes out to check on her is a grandma who gets in trouble for letting the cat in . The cat keeps crying to come inside .They do not know how to care for a cat but will not let me take the cat out of their hands . is this something that is reportable ?


    ALL YOU PEOPLE COMMENTING ON WHAT TO DO? HOW ABOUT YOU RESCUE THEM! Take pictures of their living conditions report them to the police and ASPCA and take the pet in your hands until you find them a good home. No ANIMAL SHOULD BE NEGLECTED! STOP EATING MEAT AND DAIRY!

  11. Michael

    Hi I know a dog that runs in too the bath and in the garden won’t come bk in too owner after the owner shouts this happens every day nearly Please somebody tell me what too do ?? Thanks

  12. Michael

    I know a Dog! That when owner starts shouting! It runs too hide in the bath! Or garden! And won’t go near the owner!! What should I do please someone help me dicide!! Thanks

  13. Cassandra Burgdorf

    We live in Chester, Illinois and we have this neighbor and she has an outside cat (grey and white) and just two nights ago my sister and I were outside on the porch and our neighbor grabbed her outside cat by the paw and tossed him into her house and since that night I have not seen him but this morning when I took my dog out to go potty I saw him and he came running up to me rubbing his head on the bottom of my legs. 🙁



  15. Sophia

    Someone I know is leaving their dog caged up for 10-12 hours a day, sometimes longer, 6 days a week. She will have urinated in the cage by the time the owner returns. I’m not sure if the dog has access to food or water during this time, I doubt it does though because the cage is small and I’ve never seen bowls in there when I’ve been around. The dog is scared of her owner, she will cower when he enters a room and will often pee when she sees him. She is really anxious around him. I fear he may have hit her when frustrated and I know he yells at her frequently, using the cage as punishment. She is rarely taken out for walks and he recently reported that he is “sick of her” and that he doesn’t let her around him. He has talked about having the humane society come take her back but feels hes spent too much money on her to do that. I’ve offered to take her or at least keep her when he is gone but he refuses. Is this animal abuse? It feels like it to me. It just doesn’t seem right and I just want to make sure the dog is ok!

  16. Cynthia Stewart

    Last night I convinced an owner to relinquish her severely emaciated great Dane to my care. I am mediately rushed the dog to the local university veterinarian department as a dog could barely stand. They placed him in ICU and begin fluids. Called later to let me know his liver enzymes did not look good. Waiting to hear this morning if his condition proved or we will need to euthanize him. My question, are there organizations that will help with the considerable cost I am incurring to help this boy?

  17. Julia Miller

    I’m struggling with a situation regarding a Chihuahua pup that is tied up all day, everyday there is food and water, however, he can only move a couple of feet with the leash he’s on …. He cries and howls during the day, I see someone come to the residence every so often for a few minutes then she’s gone, I approached the pup petted and played with him for a while his coat feels dirty and his eyes have stuff caked in the corners, I feel this pup is being emotionally and mentally abused I see the sadness in his eyes when I look at him and it breaks my heart, can I do anything legally? Please Advise Thank You

  18. Smithf73

    Can you add a Blackberry template? This web page is tricky to read otherwise for those of us browsing with cell phones. Otherwise, in the event you can place a RSS link up, that would be good also. dgffeekegabkgkfc

  19. Renee Axton

    I have been on this street for 13 years and neighbors across the street lived here when we moved n. They r kinda like the copy cat neighbors. But Live never witbrssed a breed if provoke like this before n my life. They had 2 pit mix and 2 Chihuahuas last year. The female pit mix was so Mal nourished and pregnant. I have witnessed. 1 week feedings if that and no water. Little dogs left inside too urinate and mess everywhere . They have abandoned these dogs several times. Something needs to b done. They don’t deserve these dogs. They r so irresponsible they can’t even take care of themselves. Im in N.E Oklahoma. Cops won’t do anything nor will the humane society. They have been abandoned over a month

  20. Keke P

    I have been hearing a dog scream or whining every night for a week. I have tried to find where the dog is but I am having trouble. I know it is coming from a house in my neighborhood, but can’t seem to find where. Advice please

  21. bethz

    Kelly, we replied to you privately via email. Please check your inbox and spam folders for a message from web [at] petsforpatriots.org.

  22. Kelly

    When and how and from whom do I receive a response to my comment above?

  23. Kelly

    I have new neighbors in the apartment complex where I live that own 2 large dogs, I think they are a black and yellow labs in which live in cages 100% of the time except when they are taken outside a few feet away to go to the bathroom for a few minutes only and only one time in the evening. I cant imagine them holding it all night and day before they are able to relieve themselves. When they are outside on their leashes, they are so uncontrollable and that its obvious they have spent zero time with them. The cages are not even big enough for them to stand up in and I know that they are in their cages because I’ve watched them through the open blinds take them directly back inside right back into their cages, even when they are home with them. Then the blinds close and another telling sign is that I never see the blinds move and with two dogs, you better believe those blinds would be moving out of the way so they could see outside. They bark and cry all day and into the night. What can be done about this, what can I do? I knocked on their door once for something unrelated and could hear the dogs barking and thrashing in their cages. By the way these are not crates these are wire cages. These are two young women that are doing this. I can’t imagine why they own animals if they don’t enjoy them and allow them to be loved. Should I talk to them, should I write them a letter? I’ve called the Humane Society and I got an answer back that what is going on is not considered abuse. I have no proof that they are not healthy or being fed or have water. They definitely get no exercise since they are caged up all the time. We live in a wooded area where there are a lot of wonderful trails so its a shame they aren’t out enjoying the great outdoors. My dog gets walked 5 to 6 times a day and this breaks my heart to hear their tortured souls when they hear us going outside.

  24. Anon

    I just bought a house, and the neighbors behind me just got a pitbull puppy. It is on a rope outside day and night. It looks like it has mange already on its back. (Fur is missing in big patches). I do see them feed and water the dog. It’s shelter is a flipped over couch that is disgusting. I just saw one of the boys come out to “play” with him. He would pick him up by his collar, throw him down, and the dog would run back to be repeated. I have also heard the dog whimpering quite a bit while they “play”. I feel like they are training to fight him. I don’t know what to do because if I call authorities they will know it was me. I am the only neighbor that can see the dog. These are not nice people either, and I don’t want reporcussions on my house or my dog if action is taken. I know I sound like the biggest chicken, but I am a single female that lives alone. How do I get the dog out of there while keeping the peace?

    • bethz

      We just emailed you to take the conversation offline. Please look for an email from web [at] petsforpatriots [dot] org.

  25. Arlette Galarza

    I agree that there are many ways to prevent animal cruelty and all of these ideas are great. As a community, we can work together to save all types of animals from dogs, cats, birds, horses, and pigs to more exotic animals like gorillas, cheetahs, and elephants. Fortunately, we have seen many changes like the end of killer whale shows at SeaWorld and elephant use during shows for Ringling Bros circuses. Though, maybe we should keep in mind that the people we should be educating about animal cruelty are not just the people who commit the crime, but also the people who are responsible for dealing with animal cruelty cases. There have been many cases where not even officers are familiar with the laws of animal cruelty nor have they been trained. Thus, we should also work together to make sure that they are properly educated about the topic as well. My Blog: http://aagalarz.wixsite.com/arlettegalarza/blog

  26. Remi

    So sorry about the spelling mistakes.. Not nose, hose.
    Also not his.. Hid behind the couch.
    Kindest regards..

  27. Remi

    I have a little chiuawa, and I just moved into a new place. My dog is 4 and has always stayed home if I had to go out to run errands. My neighbor at first, loved my dog… Now because of an argument between us, which had nothing to do with my dog… She utters foul language towards my dog when she walks towards her. I sit on my porch with my dog of course, we are inseparable, and we do so at least 4 times a day. One morning I took my dog for her daily walk, and noticed animal pheses on the driveway… My dog has NEVER done this.. This woman has lost her mind, my dog was with me all night and at night may use a diaper pas to pee on, if that. We share the same driveway, and she calls the landlord outside to witness it.. Now is it just me? Or does anyone recognize their dog poo, well I do. My dog won’t even go to the grass in front of the house to do her business, we have a routine. The landlord loves my dog.. and said to the women, why didn’t you just wash it off with the nose if it was so disturbing to you… I cannot leave my dog home alone anymore because she screams at her son so much, and now she does it more because she knows it scares my dog.. In fact, she heard me say that when my dog was left alone she his behind the couch, and had diarrhea because of her son’s screams. Now, she has separation anxiety…and throws up when the screaming goes on. Please help me with this matter. I have never had a problem with my fog being aggressive with anyone, in fact she is adored by everyone.. Especially the mailman.

  28. Tim

    I just recently attended my daughters wedding and was forced to place my companion dog in a kennel for three days. I received an emergency call while away that my dog had blood in his stool and they were concerned. The next day I got another call that he was passing nothing but blood now so I authorized them to take him to a emergency animal clinic for care. The vet basically said that it could be something minor and or very serious but either way he gave him a 50% survival rate. By the time I was able to make it home to pick him up, I had not slept for 48 hours. I then asked my now ex-girlfriend to watch him for me while I got some rest and told her what was going on. She agreed and came by but once I fell asleep she left leaving my dying dog isolated away from me. When I awoke, I found a lethargic dog laying stiff on the floor with puddles of blood in my living room. I had no idea what happened or why she would just leave him without waking me. Where I’m sure this is pretty cruel, I’m not sure if it would be considered animal cruelty or not.

  29. Heidi

    a lady down the road from me has a dog named Barret that got loose. Apparently he’d been missing for over ten hours. I brought him back to his home and When I went to leave he was whimpering, and I lifted my hand to pet him and he cowared away. He had broken his tie-up and his owner told me “I’ll have to put him inside, even though he’s not allowed.” I looked in their backyard and it had a (approximately) 4foot by 2 foot homemade wooden box with a dog tie up next to it. I asked about it and they said that’s where Barret stays all year. I live in Michigan which means temperatures can range from 90 degrees in summer to -15 in winter with 6+feet of snow easily Barret being a full grown husky that “shelter” is nowhere near big enough. Nor does it have enough protection from wind, rain, or snow. I didn’t see fresh water or food. I left their home with an uneasy feeling. And 10 minutes later I saw Barret running past my house. I caught him and returned him. When I handed him to his owner she didn’t make an attempt to hold his collar to keep him from running. He ran off and she said “he’ll come back eventually” I felt defeated because she was doing everything to keep me from catching her dog (again) so I walked home and when I got almost there I looked back and Barret was at my heels. I walked him back and she said “put him in the garage” so I brought him over to the garage door and he kept backing up. I physically had to pull him into the garage I hugged him and told him to be a good boy. The garage had no natural lighting and it smelled strongly of gasoline. I’m very very worried about Barret. I know he’s not my dog, and he’s not my responsibility but I can’t help but feel uneasy about this whole situation. Is there anything I can do?

  30. Elaine

    I am Elaine with a varied mammal household which bring me great joy. This site has been a great sense of unity as although I live in Cairo I see many people experiencing similar senses of frustration and impotence Way over in the U S of A. My consternation is my neighbour, he is on a one to one basis a pleasant man, and his sister in law is my landlady. He has had a beautiful natured rottie called Gucci which is frequently left for weeks, confined to a foot and a half by foot and a half wrought iron cage (even though they have a fortress of a garden which would have allowed it limitless access and they Never walked her. Eventually in such a little cage to Guccis size, unprotected from the heat of summer, no excape for the freezing win Gucci died a slow death. I prayed to Prince Frances and he’s not inserted a rather forelorn red setter…. kind, confused and rather in need of a wash. It also seems timid. AS soon as I realised this super \macho guy with had replaced for his late

  31. bethz

    Hi Nyah’s pop,

    Hi Ray,

    Thank you for your service and for reaching out about the recent issues with your dog while he was left in the care of a family member.

    We’re not aware of any ways to definitively determine if your dog was abused, though his behavior when this family member enters the room is troubling. We recommend your wife do the following asap:

    – Do not allow this family member anywhere near your dog
    – Take the dog to your veterinarian immediately for a thorough examination, making sure to share his recent change of behavior around this family member

    We hope your pup is okay and that there is a more innocent explanation to his behavior. Please keep us posted!

  32. Ray

    I need some help, I am a Soldier, and I’m doing a Rotation at a Specialized Training Facility half way across the country, I’ve been away for a few weeks now, my wife had to take her Mom to her Uncle’s place a few states away was gone a week, my dog was left in the custody of a family member, and now when ever this family member walks in the room my dog shakes and cowers. I cant really investigate as I’m still gone for another couple of weeks. Can anyone give me a few solid ways to tell if me pup has been physically (ie….hit, kicked, ect…) abused? PLEASE, I promise I wont hurt anyone, but I do want to help my pup. I will monitor this site for response. just respond to NYAH’s POP

  33. Mary ward

    Is it abuse to leave a Akita puppy under a year alone X 23 hours a day while owner is away. This is a first time and new low for this woman as far as I’m concerned.
    She’s a single mother and I understand she has to work but even when hike she never walks or plays with the dog. She does not have a fenced in yard . So, her routine is as follows: before she leaves for work, dog out alone for 1/2 hour chained to her picnic table then back into house for 8 or 9 hours. Home from work, immediately dog out and chained to table for 1/2 hour . Same routine all year long. I don’t know what goes on inside the house but seriously doubt any play. No toys outside
    Dog looks well fed and looks well. She leaves air conditioner on and has someone let dog out X 2 a day when away. I hate to get involved because person is a neighbor and clearly provides well for the dog in all aspects except socialization and play. I would be more than happy to help out when person is away or at work , but person is very private and not at all approachable. another neighbor has offered to spend time with the dog but owner ignored her offer. It just kills me to see such a big and beautiful dog left alone alone so much. Is there someone I can reach out to mane warn the owner of neglect or something that will give the dog a better life.

  34. bethz


    What is happening to your stepfather’s dog is very serious abuse. People who abuse animals are more likely than others to abuse people as well.

    We’re not sure how old you are, but if you’re a minor perhaps there is a trusted adult – such as a member of the clergy or teacher – you can speak to, and get help to confidentially report this situation. If you are an adult, we advise you to contact your local law enforcement or animal control and request to make the report confidentially since you are concerned about your mother’s response.

    This dog needs to be removed from the home immediately.

  35. Sarah

    My stp dad dog is blind coz he kicks her in the head all the time and she in the cage all the time he yells at her and kicks and she has bad skin she never really gets a bath. I don’t know who to tell and I’m scarred to tell coz if my mom finds out I told I’ll be in big trouble please tell me who to tell and what to do

  36. Unknown

    My neighbour has 5 cats in total, she does not like my family and uses the cats to do there business in our garden. Two of the cats have befriended my self and my family and we have grown to love them. Two cats out side today were screaming as the owners were treading on their tails i went down and gave them water and a few biscuits. the owner through abuse and called my family all sorts of unkind words. We have witnessed the cats dink from our dirty pond so we have gave them clean water, some of the cats a too small for there age as most of them are round 3-4, and two of them are considerably small. We have left cat milk for them. I dont really know what to do I am not a cat person but have grown very attached to two of them, i know they are not mine but these people do not treat them well. Can you give advice please.

  37. Leslie

    I live in Broward County, Florida. I have 2 dogs that mean the world to me. 3 1/2 months ago we moved into a small house.When we moved in the air conditioning wasn’t working. The landlords called a company, they brought over a unit that was the right size for the house, but this landlord keeps the unit on the roof of the house, so the unit was too big for the roof. The next size down fit on the roof, but the BTU’s weren’t adequate to cool the house properly. (All the other houses on the block have units on the ground, as we did when we lived in New York). Bottom line is the since it’s Florida, and summer is starting, the lowest we can get the temperature is 75 to 76 degrees during the day. The house is HOT! Landlord refuses to do anything about it, as well as letting us out of the lease (his neighbors tell us he is a very cheap man). My poor dogs are panting all the time. (We are so hot, too)! As I am on disability, I am going to contact The Florida Disability office on Monday, to see if they can do anything for me, which in turn will help my dogs. Does anyone know what they would consider a reasonable temperature to have the house at in Florida in summer for it to be cooled off properly? My poor little one sits in front of a fab all day long! Miserable landlord.

  38. Elizabeth

    I just moved into a mobile home isolated on 14 acres except for my immediate next door neighbors, who are also the property managers. Initially they told me the previous owners had left their dog, buddy, behind. This dog used to only ever be outside. I noticed his back leg didn’t work (he’d cross it and limp) and he appeared severely malnourished so I asked my neighbors if they would like me to call animal control. My neighbor then said no the dog was his and he intended to put him down soon because the vet had said bone cancer was killing him. When I didn’t see him for about a week I figured they had taken care of it but I’ve come to realize they’re only keeping him inside during the day (presumably so animal control can’t pick him up). I’ve had to put down 2 old dogs and it’s heartbreaking and I would never do it behind their back but I’m concerned about buddy. He’s always on my porch at night and he’s clearly barely able to get around. Every time I give him food he inhales it like he’s starving and he smells so bad! How do I convince my neighbors to do the right thing?

  39. Margz

    My neighbours have been verbally and physically abusing all their animals and have been reported once three days ago he threw her out the back door against a shed and me and the kids opened holes that were covered from previous visits by all the dogs but this time I’ve kept her here and re training her not to be afraid of mops brooms and various things my question is can I keep her because I don’t want her to go back and they havnt came to claim her back …..

    • bethz

      You need to check with your municipalities rules and laws to determine if you can keep the pet if unclaimed.

  40. Marco Rivera Rosa

    i don’t fully suspect animal cruelty, but the way the dog looked and acted to his/her owner and the way the owner reacted to the dog gave me suspicions. The dog might have been naturally bald as it had very little fur on its belly and tail region, with wrinkly skin like an elephant’s trunk tail. The dog greeted me very kindly, but greeting its owner with fear and shyness. The dog followed me until I decided to return the animal to where i found it. The owner had more than two dogs in the house that he shouted at at the top of his lungs. There was a wooden fence that was approximately 7-8 feet tall. The man claimed the dog ran away and snuck out, but the dog looked to old to jump and there were no signs that it dug out. The dog is a medium sized dog, and I have no idea what breed it is. Please reply to me and let me know if it could be animal cruelty, or not. The dog looked as if it had chemical burns on its skin too, but it might be a disease as the owner did claim, “The thing has medicine all over it.” Thank you. It might be paranoia but I’m really worried about this dog. Please reply as soon as possible.

    • bethz

      Marco, we believe in erring on the side of protecting an animal who may be subject to abuse or neglect. Please call your local animal control or law enforcement to report this suspected abuse. Ideally they will send someone to check on the dog’s welfare and will make a determination if further action is required.

  41. Erin

    My dad abused my dog and it scares me every time he dose I try to stop it it never worked I remember one time he lifted her off the floor by her Collar and she couldn’t breath and after chained her up outside. The worst part is he wants another dog and for his retirement my mom’s getting him one I don’t want another dog to go through that

    • bethz

      Erin, we strongly urge you to speak with your mother about your concerns and if the abuse continues you must call law enforcement or local animal control.

  42. Anonymous

    We have a neighbor who neglects her dog. He’s a small shitzu or bishon. He’s left outside all day every day till late hours at night. He’s left without food or water. He runs around the neighborhood all day and often in the streets. He’s often left out in the pouring rain with no shelter. I felt so bad for him I gave him some leftover food i had once and he gobbled it up like it’s the first thing he’s eaten in awhile. He’s so filthy and uncared for. Most times I’ll see him laying outside with his head down like he’s sad. We’ve called animal control twice and the first time they picked him up. She got him back 2 days later. The same stuff still went on. We called a second time. When he was left out in the pouring rain for atleast 20 minutes soaking wet begging to get in his house. They came out but did nothing. Is there anything else we can do? I’m really worried about the poor dog especially as it starts to get hotter. This is also our neighbors 3rd dog in less than a year. Her first one was taken by animal control for leaving a dog out without food and water durring the summer. The second one was a small yorkie. I don’t know what happened to him. He was left outside all day and night never allowed inside. One day he just stopped showing up. I’m hoping someone picked him up and he went to a good home.

    • bethz

      Keep calling law enforcement and local animal control. This is clearly abuse. Sadly, it often takes multiple calls/visits for action to be taken.


  1. Potential Signs of Animal Abuse – Stacy Cary's WordPress Blog - […] individual who sees an incident of animal abuse should report the occurrence to the local authorities and any nearby…
  2. Senior dog and Air Force veteran saved by kindness of strangers - […] suspects that Buddy was mistreated, however, since he flinches when things are thrown in his direction. Despite whatever may have […]
  3. Cruelty survivor competes for 2016 Hero Dog Awards - […] for Hooch, the big dog’s story is bittersweet: rescued from a cruelty situation, the French Mastiff has badly cropped…
  4. Navy war veteran finds a real buddy in homeless dog - Pets for Patriots - […] believed he was actually closer to four. Although Buddy appears to be healthy, there is evidence of abuse in his past:…
  5. Why you should adopt your next pet - Pets for Patriots - […] with rescue groups, waiting for their forever families. They may have been surrendered, abandoned, abused or otherwise neglected –…
  6. Second chance dog overcomes her fears to heal Army family - […] have stories that, in some respects, mirror those of their saviors. They may have been subject to abuse or abandonment,…
  7. Marine Corps family gives fairytale life to dog in need - […] members in Caleigh’s Marine Corps family, including a hard-luck shelter dog who escaped a life of abuse and now…
  8. Nay veteran gives lifeline to abused old dog - […] wonders how an abused old dog could be such a sweetheart after all he had been through. The Navy…

Give with Confidence

candid platinum transparency 2023
candid platinum transparency 2023
candid platinum transparency 2023
candid platinum transparency 2023
Petco Foundation

Shop 1800PetMeds for all of your pet’s health needs and we’ll get 10% of your purchase!

Shop BISSELL for your home cleaning needs and they will donate 10% of your purchase to us!

Because a shelter is not a home

Long-term shelter pets available for adoption