How to Report Animal Cruelty

Help abused animals by relaying the information you have — wisely.

spcaLA is Law Enforcement.
If you suspect animal cruelty, submit an official tip online or by phone: (800) 540-SPCA(7722) x285. The more thorough you are, the better you will equip spcaLA Humane Officers to investigate your complaint.

When reporting animal cruelty, please DO:

  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Spell out names of people and streets.
  • Include the exact address, as well as the nearest cross street.
  • Include a detailed description of the animal(s), the type of cruelty suspected, and the place on the property you observed the animal(s).
  • Include pictures, if reporting online.

Stay off of social media
Posting pictures, video, addresses, and other information about suspected abuse on social media can:

  • Put you in danger
    If you’re posting a picture to a public page, everyone – including the suspect – can see your information.
  • Compromise the case
    If alerted, the suspect may destroy, move, or otherwise tamper with evidence.
  • Incite vigilantism
    If your posts inspire well-meaning animal-lovers to take matters in their own hands (by removing the animal, for example), the vigilantes could face theft or other charges, civil litigation, and the animal abuser may go free.

The spcaLA Cruelty Tipline is a message service, for a reason.
spcaLA Humane Officers may follow up with you in regard to your complaint, but cruelty tips are evidence, and as such, they need to be appropriately recorded.

Your information is confidential.
spcaLA will not share your information, but choosing to provide your contact information can be useful for the investigating Humane Officer.

When reporting animal cruelty, please DO NOT:

  • Confront the suspected abuser
    Animal abuse does not exist in a vacuum: drugs, gang violence, and other violent crime are often present in abuse situations. Do not put yourself in danger.
  • Take the law into your own hands
    What you see as “rescuing” an animal could lead to your being charged with burglary, theft or other crimes, and can compromise the case against the alleged abuser.
  • Submit a “tip” on social media
    Not only could you put yourself at risk, or compromise the case, but private messaging spcaLA is not an official method of reporting of an incident, nor is it checked with the same frequency as the tipline.

If you see an animal or child locked in hot car, call 911.
Local law enforcement can respond immediately, and take any force necessary to save those in danger.

Much of the suspected animal cruelty spcaLA investigates is not animal cruelty.
Animal cruelty does not include barking dogs, loud cats or loose animals. If you have a problem with a loud animal, call your local police agency. If you see a loose or vicious animal, or an injured animal on the side of the road, call your local animal control.