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

    Hi Tina,

    The treatment your uncle’s dog is receiving is inhumane. There is no reason for the dog not to be spayed, and she should not have to forage in the garbage for food.

    As noted in our article you should contact your local humane law enforcement immediately, and request anonymity because it is family. If the laws in your state permit take photos/videos to document the conditions in which the dog lives and provide to the authorities.

    You must be the voice for this poor dog.

    Pets for Patriots

  2. Tina

    My uncle owns a german shepherd.and she just gave birth to four pups from a pittbull. Two weeks after she gave birth my uncle took the pups away from her.i felt really bad for the dog when she started crying for her pups.this time she’s pregnant again.but my uncle never feeds her so she just tears trashbags to find food.what should i do to help her?my uncle wont let me touch her.

  3. caterina

    Thanks for answering, I’ve already called.

  4. bethz

    Hi Caterina,

    You must call your local animal control immediately about these dogs, whose lives may be in danger if not humanely rescued.

    Pets for Patriots

  5. caterina

    please respond

  6. caterina

    Hello, my neighbor is moving houses, and she left the dogs in the house that she is moving. They have fleas, and they are outside every day in the sun, the water that they have is dirty, and no one is inside the house. She says that her dogs are fine but they are not, I already told the building attendant but they say that she is moving in a few days. The dogs have been barking and howling for a month now. What should I do?

  7. bethz

    Hi Hailey,

    Contact local authorities and report what you are witnessing and ask to remain anonymous under the circumstances; these animals are suffering and being held in inhumane conditions. If legally permitted in your state or if you reside in the home, take pictures/videos for potential evidence.

    Pets for Patriots

  8. Hailey

    Alright, my dad and my step mom own two dogs. They are both from humane societies and one of them was being neglected and abused before they had even got him. Everything was going fine with the dogs for a while but I noticed that my dad and step mother would let the dogs poop and pee all over the floor and leave it. I used to come home to dog poop and pee everywhere. They would get frustrated and yell at the dogs all the time although it was their fault for not taking care of the dogs. They eventually bought two ridiculously small cages and the dogs spend most of the time in them and sit in their own feces. They only get taken out of the cages when they get fed (every once and a while), and when my step mom goes to bed. I rarely see them bathe the dogs and the dogs hair is matted and gross and they reek of pee. The youngest one, his name is Linus, had a skin issue because he was previously abused and neglected, and my dad and step mom haven’t tried very hard to fix it and it is getting increasingly worse. You can see their rib cages as well, I think this is neglect. But I’m not sure what to do because they are my father’s dogs and he claims that they are fine when I believe they are not.

  9. bethz

    Hi Secret,

    Most animal controls/animal welfare organizations that are responsible for cruelty investigations allow for anonymous tips because of the sensitivity of the information and the potential danger from these abusers. Please contact your local law/humane enforcement immediately.

    If you’re aware of vidoes that exist, make sure you share what you know as well even if you don’t have access to them. Law enforcement may have ways to find this evidence. Thank you.

    Pets for Patriots

  10. Secret

    Hi i am aware that someone is abusing their cat and their is videos of them abusing it but I can’t get hold of the evidence. I know who the person is and want to get help for their cat but I don’t want them to know that I have told anyone about this and I want it to be fully confidential otherwise it could be bad for me so how can I help the cat.

  11. bethz

    Hi Autumn,

    Such a sad story. If you don’t have animal control in your town, you must find out what organization has animal enforcement jurisdiction where you live. This may be a city or even county humane society. Especially if you live in a small town, animal enforcement and cruelty investigations may be handled by a larger municipal shelter outside of your town, or even one that is privately run and contracted for such responsibilities.

    We suggest doing a Google map search for humane societies/animal shelters near you. Contact each to find out who may have responsibility for humane enforcement/investigations. Once you find out, tell them everything you have witnessed, share the photos and keep following up.

    Thank you for caring!

    Pets for Patriots

  12. Autumn

    I have two small puppies that are in an empty lot beside my house. They stay tied to a fence without much room to run or play. The owners feed the pups in large buckets and put some water in another bucket. Then leave. They don’t play with the pups or let them loose. They don’t even pet them. The only shelter they have is a trashcan, a plywood board with two sides and an abandoned car. We don’t have animal control in my town and the officer I spoke to (and showed pictures) said because there wasn’t a “definition” of shelter (it just says shelter) that that was acceptable and there wasn’t anything the officers could do. The pups constantly cry for attention, but I’m not legally able to be on their land. And I don’t know where the owners live. Any suggestions?

  13. bethz

    Hi Steven,

    We urge you to call your local animal control or humane society, whomever is responsible for enforcing animal care ordinances where you live. While laws differ in every state, at minimum these dogs sound like they’re being severely neglected.

    Please take action immediately and be sure to detail everything to the authorities when you contact them.

    Pets for Patriots

  14. steven kurthausen

    I have a roomate : that leaves long period of times, and now she has taken all cleaning products and supplies to clean the area where the animals stay. Furthermore, both animals once every two days , might be able to go outside. One is a 13 year old blind dog with a serious itching disorder and I reviewed Pet MD and this animals falls under all categories just about. The other dog also is in the same condition. On my own terms, I have cleaned the area and spent time with them. However, she leaves weeks and days on a time. Now , I can not get to these animals. To help understand , she lives in a garage (closed in as a bedroom) and she lets them go to the bathroom in the laundry room. Yes, she does have pads for them. However, the male dog is not neutered and the smell gets so strong where it makes me sick as well my 12 year old son. I am sadden by this because she avoids me and thinks I am being nasty to her when I ask her to take care of her responsibilities. I personally, can live with cleaning the mess up, but now I am looking at a week of this situation and it will only get worse. When I first moved to the house the 13 year old blind dog, has seizures and she doesn’t take them to the vet to get checked out. What options can I work with to help these animals.

  15. bethz

    Hi Marcus,

    It doesn’t matter if your friend understands that her behavior is cruelty or not; it is, and you can’t wait for her to get enlightened. It’s unlikely to happen.

    If she’s unwilling to surrender her animals so that they can find responsible homes, we urge you to contact the local humane enforcement (which may be the police/animal control, or local shelter) and report her immediately. If the law in her state permits, take pictures of the conditions of the animals and their habitat as evidence.

    You should be worried. Your friend has no concept of even the most basic animal care, and these animals are suffering. You must set aside that you are her friend, and speak up for the voiceless.

    Pets for Patriots

  16. Marcus

    I was visiting for a few days with a friend and realized she does quite a bit of cruelty by unintentional neglect. I’ll just mention a couple of items but wanted to know what I can do as I think my friend really isn’t capable of understanding that it is abuse.

    1) small dog, lives under her bed and the bedroom is full of trash, ashes from cigs, left over paper plates with food on them gone moldy …well you get the idea. She did however take the dog to the vet when the dog couldn’t move and was crying. It turned out to be pain in the spine and she went home and recovered. I suggest not letting the dog go under the large bed as my friend would not be able to reach her if this happened again. Nothing changed and things are back to filth. I was however able to get the dog groomed and its crazy long twisted nails cut. My friend said she hasn’t given her dog shots since it was a puppy.

    She had 4 cats and now 2. Two of them never returned home as they were allowed outside at night (this area has coyotes, some less than kind folks with guns etc.). One of the cats is deaf and remains isolated in the front of the home. She had an upper respiratory problem along with what appears as conjunctivitis. Upon further notice, this 100% indoor cat had to use a litter box that was so full that if you got within 3 feet your eyes would literally start burning from the ammonia. Add to this, the cat’s food was a bowl where food was thrown on top of old food continuously and was a mix of both dry and wet. I was able to start cleaning that cat’s box weekly and making sure the cat had fresh water (also was not available but stagnant water) and cleaned out the cat’s plate for food. There was over my stay a remarkable improvement. The cat still has some respiratory problems the nose doesn’t run as much and the eyes have below just “crust” rather that the very thick good going down her entire face.

    So tell me, is there anything I can do????? I’ll be leaving here in a few days and my friend has started up this trend with her animals again as she told me now she’ll deal with them (as I wont be around soon). All I can say is what I offered was just the very basic of normal animal care and it made a huge difference…I am worried.

  17. bethz

    Hi Jean,

    We don’t know the laws in your state, but at minimum it’s worth a call to your local humane enforcement (which may be the police department, municipal animal control or shelter under contract with your city).

    Animals cannot speak for themselves and it’s our responsibility as citizens to do so on their behalf. Thank you for caring, and we do hope that you make the call.

    Pets for Patriots

  18. Jean

    A neighbor with a pit bull cross just got a puppy (looks to be pit also). He ties both dogs outside on long ground ties and leaves them there for long periods at all times of day and night. I suspect it’s when he goes to work because the pup literally screams for hours. I’ve noticed the dogs get tangled up so when the adult lies down, the pup is ‘stuck’. Neither look to be starving or unkempt but it really bothers me (and my female GSD) to hear the poor pup crying. My husband does not want me to interfere but my heart says otherwise. Is this considered cruelty? We live in FL.

  19. bethz

    Hi Adriana,

    We have no voice outside the US, but are horrified at what you wrote. We did find this petition that received thousands of signatures, but people in your community must pressure their elected officials to investigate. Perhaps you should contact an investigative journalist to cover the story. They always have ways of getting pictures/videos even where none are permitted so as to document what’s going on.

    FYI here’s the petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/966/392/511/stop-killing-dogs-in-skopje-shut-down-vardariste/

    Pets for Patriots

  20. Adriana Popovich

    Hey guys! Love the post.
    Anyway, I was wondering. Isn’t there anything that could be done for countries other than the U.S.? Documenting or sharing the situation perhaps?
    Here’s what’s happening: I live in Macedonia, it’s in southeast Europe. Over here we have only one state shelter, and the employees abuse and kill the animals. And when I say this I do mean literally.
    It’s kind of like a money laundering thing – they get huge donations from some EU country for operating a humane shelter, they take the money for themselves and nothing goes to the animals. Cameras are not allowed (so the EU country doesn’t find out their money doesn’t go to the right place), the dogs get no water or food, they are beaten daily until they die.
    I adopted mine 3 months ago, and it was so tough keeping him alive. It was freezing, the employees were pouring them with water so they die sooner, and this little guy was extremely dehydrated and weighed only 6 pounds (the vet estimated he was supposed to weigh at least 20 pounds).
    I know this may sound crazy to anyone reading but it’s the sad truth. The shelter is called Vardarishte, you can Google it.
    Thanks guys!

  21. bethz

    Hi Ana,

    Since you’ve been documenting the dog’s neglect we urge you to contact your local animal control or humane society – whomever investigates cruelty/neglect cases in your area. Thank you for being this dog’s voice!

    Pets for Patriots

  22. Ana

    Hi I’m Ana,
    I live in a house with a few other roommates, one of them has a beautiful husky/wolf mix.
    As soon as they moved in she tore up my couches (I thought it was due to the stress of moving) but as the month went on she constantly kept destroying things which I found weird as none of my animals had ever done that and I was told she never did that. Now I’ve been living with the person for about 2 months and they rarely pay any attention to their dog. I have a big backyard so I take her outside and my other roommates play with her. We recently bathed her because she was covered in fleas, and we brushed her brushed her winter coat was starting to get matted in her normal coat. We also have taken her for walks because the owner doesn’t so she just lays all day. She gets no attention from her owner except when her owner has people over and wants to show her off. Her owner also gets mad when we give her dog any attention.
    The roommate has also not been home for 3 days now and left her and didn’t tell anyone. She has no food, we have been documenting everyday and everything we have been doing to take care of this dog because her owner lies about taking care of the dog when we all witness what’s going on.
    The owner now wants to make the dog her emotional support dog but hasn’t even come home to take care of her.
    Another roommate just bought food for it because we love the dog and don’t want anything bad to happen to her, I’m scared that if this roommate moves out anytime soon and takes the dog with her that dog will die. Is there anything I can do?

    There is no way she would surrender the dog to us, she likes the idea of having and showing it off to much.

  23. bethz

    Hi Fran,

    Thanks for sharing your story; it’s heartbreaking on many fronts.

    The dog sounds like she’s in a serious stage of neglect and your boyfriend is unable and/or unwilling to provide even the most essential care. At this point it doesn’t matter that he looks at her for emotional support if he cannot or will not take care of her. Frankly, it’s selfish and cruel.

    If you believe your boyfriend would not willingly surrender the dog to the MSPCA so that the dog has a chance to find a deserving home, we do believe you should speak with the shelter to make an anonymous report. Take photographs if you can and, if not, be prepared to describe in detail the state of neglect that the dog has been living in for all of this time, the dog’s physical and emotional condition, and anything else pertaining to how the dog is being maintained.

    If your boyfriend truly loves this dog, he should realize that she is not living the life she deserves and it would be humane to surrender her so that she has a chance at a good life. Should he be unable to accept this, we hope that you will be this dog’s voice and speak up on her behalf.

    Please keep us posted!

    Pets for Patriots

  24. Fran

    Hello.. I could really use some advise, so my boyfriend age 22 has a dog.. , when I first met him, she was terribly taken care of… she had not been to a vet in over a year and a half, she was aggressive and anytime someone would talk to loud she would bite at us… she NEVER goes outside. She hadn’t been outside in months when I met her, she is not potty trained and has ruined so many things in his home. She didn’t have a water bowl when I met her she drank from the toilet. He would run out of food for days at a time… now please take into consideration i met him months before I even knew about this dog so my love for him was well before I saw how terrible he treated this poor pup. I came into her life and the first thing I did was get her a water bowl a huge bag of food and different toys she could enjoy… however I’m in and out all the time I don’t have the time to stop by and make sure she is okay… I’d leave for a month and when I returned it’s the same situation she would be a mess. She still doesn’t ever go outside unless I take her like twice a month. Her nails are growing over her paws.. he doesn’t care he sees her and does love her he looks at her as an emotional support… but he can’t take care of her… what should I do? I’m at the point of leaving all together… but I love him and I want to see her be better cared for. I’m scared if I call MSPCA they won’t do anything or my case will not be strong enough… I want to do it anonymously but like I said I’m not sure… thank you for reading.

  25. bethz


    If your comment is a bad attempt at humor there is nothing funny about animal cruelty. If you did in fact “beat up” your dog, you’re exactly the type of person who should never be around animals.

    Pets for Patriots

  26. Christopher Mitchell

    I beat up my dog for destroying my Dad’s smartphone. Is that bad? She’s being incredibly shy and stodgy.

  27. Kelly

    That’s terrible Lauren. Poor pooch. What’s the point of having an animal if he or she is left outside alone like that? I would definitely see what resources are available to save this poor baby in your town. Good on you for checking into it!

  28. bethz

    Hi Melody,

    It would be extremely unusual for animal control not to investigate seemingly abandoned cats living in a home piled with filth. Since you did not make the report yourself and are relaying what you were told by someone else – which may not be accurate – we urge you to call animal control yourself.

    If you can legally go to the property again you might want to take photographs of what you see so that you can share them with law enforcement. Please check the laws in your state before doing so, but in any case we urge you to call animal control.

    Pets for Patriots

  29. Melody Turner

    My husband and I were looking at some property today on Camano Island, Wa and found two cats in a house that has garbage up to the middle of the walls, you could not see the floors! Someone has called animal control but they said they could do nothing because a neighbor says they are not abandoned. I guess someone comes and feeds them but no one lives there? How can you be allowed to have cats in a house that is full of trash up to the middle of the walls? This is not okay!! What can i do to help these cats?

  30. bethz

    Hi Lauren,

    We don’t know the animal welfare laws in your state, but as our article suggests please contact your local animal/humane enforcement and report what you have both witnessed and experienced with respect to your neighbor’s dog. They will be able to make a determination if any laws are being violated and take appropriate action.

    As an alternative, if you’re able to adopt this dog, you could consider approaching the owner to see if he is willing to surrender him to you. Again, please check with the laws in your state regarding person-to-person transfer of animal ownership so that if he agrees, you are complying with relevant laws.

    Thank you for caring!

    Pets for Patriots

  31. Lauren

    One of my semi neighbors is very old, he’s a farmer so he’s home basically all day. He has this cage outside his house with an iglo inside it with hay in the iglo and every single time I would drive past his house about 6-8 times a day I see this beautiful lab walking back and fourth in the cage or just sitting there, so I finally went and knocked on his door to tell him that I was concerned for his dogs well being. When I rang the door bell I heard 1 or 2 smaller dogs barking from inside, this was our conversation “Hi My names Lauren and I was concerned about your dog becuase every time I drive by he’s outside and I was just wondering what the situation was” The farmer then says to me “I keep him outside all day and night, I put hay in his iglo and he buries himself in the hay, I’ve kept the dog outside in -20 degree weather without any problems and if I bring him inside I’m spoiling him so I let him out for an hour in the morning” I asked “only an hour” and he said “yes” I didn’t know what else to do so I left but as I walked up to the dog to see if he was aggressive, he physically started jumping up and down as soon as I got close to the cage door and when I pet him he shoved his face into the wire to feel my touch and i don’t think I’ve ever seen a more depressed dog. I don’t know what to do. I know that the dog doesn’t get attention. Or the exercise he needs. Please let me know what I can do.

  32. bethz

    Maggie, we don’t know the laws in your state, but it’s neglectful at best. Animals need more than food; they need attention, cleaning, medical care.

    Please contact your local animal welfare authorities to report the situation and request an immediate check on the cats.

  33. Maggie

    3cats have been left in a house where the owner has been hospitalized for 9 months. Someone does come by a couple times a week and feeds the cats. Does this constitute abuse?

  34. bethz


    Perhaps you might try first talking to your mom about your concerns that the puppy is not getting the love, time and attention he deserves because everyone in the family is too busy to care for him. Talk to her about bringing him to a local shelter where he can find a person or family who can offer him a more suitable home. Tell her that because you love the puppy you want the best for him, and believe that now is not the right time in your household for a pet.

    If she is unwilling to consider giving the pup a chance to find a home where he will be loved and given proper care, call your local shelter or animal control to describe the situation and ask what can be done. We don’t know the laws in your state or municipality about what constitutes neglect.

    Thank you for having the maturity to recognize that this pup deserves a more fitting home. Keep us posted!

    Pets for Patriots

  35. Jaden B.

    Hi, my mom purchased a puppy saying it is for me and my brother which arent very close, but I never agreed to having a dog because I wouldnt have tje patience and time to care for a dog. The puppy barks alot so my mom puts it in the garage at night. But recently they have been putting the puppy in the cage in the garage alot even when we are home. I have things to do and my brother feeds the dog takes it out and puts it back in the cage in the garage. My mom only feels to care for the dog when she wants to play with it which is rare and I feel the dog is negleted in the garage cage a majority of the time. Im considering calling some sort of animal center, but there isnt anything serious besides the puppy being neglected in the cold garage. It is about 65 degrees in florida at night when the puppy is in the garage. What approach should I take to the situation?

  36. bethz


    Regarding your comment on our blog post about animal cruelty, why did you a) not report your friend for the abuse and serious injury inflicted upon your dog and b) continue to allow your dog to be near this person so that there are eight other similar events?

    And why would you leave your dog with a person who you know has bad anger issues?

    You need to take responsibility immediately and report this individual, and keep your dog away from this “friend” completely. If you are unable to protect your dog you should consider surrendering him to a local shelter or rescue for responsible re-homing.

    Pets for Patriots

  37. mark

    my dog was abused by a so called friend late one night. he kicked my dog and broke 5 ribs and collapsed lung. sense ive had my dog back he wont go near my so called friends place in month and a half i have encountered 8 times of this happening. other then is story not matching up with what he said and knowing he has bad anger issues. as well as telling him his anger was badly handled and was not a healthy way to handles situations is that a strong enough case to pursue. he has denied his wrong doings. this guy needs serious help before somebody get hurt again.

  38. bethz

    Shelby, thank you for caring for this sweet dog. We don’t know the laws in your state, but suggest that you contact your local animal control to ask about the legality of keeping the dog, or what may be involved in asking the owner to surrender him to you.

  39. Shelby

    I live in Arkansas and I was wondering of anyone could give advise….

    I had a young dog approach our house scared, and cold. He had a collar on but no ID tags, he was very friendly and loving and I let him inside to get warm and gave him some water. I drove the neighborhood for 2 hours looking for his owner, drove to all of the vets and groomers in the area to see if they recognized him so we could get him back home. People in our neighborhood had seen him running the streets for the last 2 weeks and the vets confirmed he was not microchiped. When we got home, I posted his picture on a neighborhood website as well as FB to see if someone knew where he belonged. Finally found a neighbor that knew the dog and the owner but said he wasn’t well taken care of. I gave her my contact info and 3 days later I finally received a call from the supposed owner. She had a photo of him, but he would not respond to his name, nor when reunited with her did he wants to leave my arms. My fiance and I have fallen in love with him. This lady has no fence, nor is the dog neutered and has no tags to identify if he has had his shots. He is allowed to run the neighborhood without a leash and has no fence or lead to stay safe on. Is there anything we can do legally that will protect the dog and make sure he gets the loving home he deserves?

  40. tj brown

    Heidi. Barrett was telling you everything. You ignored it. Call animal control or go get the dog and ve good to it or better yet leave it the heck alone if its still alive and runs off. Thanks to your supposed niceness the dog may have suffered more cruelty. Are you ignorant to the signs. You spoke of them yet you still played dumb to cruelty and neglect going on. Leave Barrett alone if escapes. Many escape bad situations. Get a clue.

  41. bethz

    Natasha, if you were going to adopt the dog anyway if he remained unclaimed, we hope that you keep him and give him a loving home for the rest of his life. Sounds like he was abandoned, or at best not given any opportunity to be found since he lacked a collar and microchip.

  42. Natasha

    While I was driving down the road I saw a dog following a car with a woman driving really slowly while on the phone. When she noticed that I took notice of her and the dog following her car she sped off. The dog stayed in the road and was almost hit twice he had a harness on but that was it. He stayed in the same area I saw in him so I put him in my car and took him to the animal shelter to try and drop him off. I told them what happen and that I would like to be notified if they were unable to adopt him and I would come back and adopt him. I also told them it looked like someone just dropped him off on the side of the road because he was following that car and acting like he was looking for his car. But they told me that there was no way for me to adopt the dog and that there was a 50 percent chance that he would be put to sleep so I took him home. The checked for a micro chip but there was none and tags on the dog either. I checked missing dog poster but still nothing found. Will continue to search for owners even though it looked like he was just dropped off at the side of the road.

  43. Tom

    That so sad

  44. bethz


    You must contact your local humane law enforcement IMMEDIATELY if you have witnessed your cousins abusing their dogs.

  45. Jose Zavala

    My cousins have 4 dogs two little ones and two big ones. They two big ones have fought 2 times already. Tried stopping them but i couldn’t. I called both my cousins to check there doings because they were fight never picked up. One of my cousins got home i told him what happened he didn’t care until the next day. Now they leave one dog inside while the other stays in the back porch in the cooled. When one of the small dogs pees or poops he hits them really bad to the point where they scream like crazy. I want to scream at my cousins to take care of there dogs and take responsibility, but i dont know how.

  46. bethz

    Hi Gracie,

    Even though you are a minor, you should tell a responsible adult – your parent or guardian – about the dog down the street immediately. Ask them to contact your local humane society, animal control or police department, whomever is responsible for cruelty enforcement where you live.

    Kids can make a difference! Speak up to the adults around you and make sure they take steps to contact the authorities on behalf of this poor dog. Thank you.

    Pets for Patriots

  47. Gracie

    There is a dog down the street who has no water or food and we overheard the owner saying that they didn’t like the dog and didn’t want him. He was recently left outside during a hail storm and he is not able to lie down due to the rope. We are just kids though, so nobody believes us.



    Heidi: “Nor does it have enough protection from wind, rain, or snow. I didn’t see fresh water or food.” “I physically had to pull him into the garage I hugged him and told him to be a good boy.”

    KELLY: “They bark and cry all day and into the night.” “…this breaks my heart to hear their tortured souls…”

    Renee Axton: “The female pit mix was so Mal nourished and pregnant. I have witnessed. 1 week feedings if that and no water.” “They have been abandoned over a month”

    Julia Miller: “He cries and howls during the day, I see someone come to the residence every so often…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?”

    Ysabeau: “The only person who even comes out to check on her is a grandma who gets in trouble for letting the cat in .”

    VEGAN4LYFE:….. “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!”


  49. bethz

    Joshua, please follow the suggestions and contact your local humane society, animal control and/or police department – whomever in your area is responsible for cruelty investigations. Thank you.

  50. Joshua Johnson

    There is this family that lives across from my friend; they have four dogs. They are all fenced in or caged because it’s only like 15 ft long but in between there is a wall to cut them off. There is two dogs in each little pen. One out of the four is still just a puppy and is in a cage with a full grown German shepherd. The puppy can escape this little pen somehow and it seems to go to my friends house howling and crying. One day when I was taking it back to its pin the closer I got the more it would shake and more whimpering it would do. Now I’ve heard this family is cruel to animals but I don’t know what to do. What should I do about this?

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