Reporting Animal Cruelty

Do and Do Not

When you witness an act of animal cruelty, go to the nearest phone and call 911. It is important to report the crime quickly and from the area where the crime occurred.

Because different organizations respond to animal cruelty cases, you may be asked to make a couple of different calls.

When making your call, it is helpful to know who, what, where, why, when and how. Under most circumstances, 911 will require you to leave your contact information. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact 88-CRIME or the Animal Cruelty Taskforce’s Public Reporting Line.

ANONYMOUS REPORTING TO 88-CRIME

Text: 274637, enter “Tip 259” plus text message
Type: www.88crime.org
Talk: (520) 882-7463

ANONYMOUS REPORTING TO THE A.C.T. LINE

(520) 547-0260

88-CRIME and the ACT Public Reporting Line are not emergency numbers so the reaction time will be delayed. If your report is urgent, these numbers are not your best option for reporting a crime in progress.

WHY DON’T MORE PEOPLE REPORT ANIMAL CRUELTY?

Reprinted from Breaking the Circle of Violence by Phil Arkow, The Latham Foundation

Many cases of abused children, spouses and animals never come to the attention of Child Protective Services, law enforcement agencies, or animal protection agencies. There are several reasons for this including, but not limited to, the following:

  • People don’t want to get involved.
  • People don’t want to report an abuser whom they know well.
  • People may think they can accomplish more by working with the family themselves.
  • Reporting an incident may jeopardize a professional-client relationship, as in the case of veterinarians.
  • People presume nothing will be done.
  • People may think a report will subject the victim to even greater risk.
  • People may be afraid of retaliation.
  • There may be no local agency to which a report can be made.
  • People resent governmental intrusion into what they feel are private matters.
  • People feel the legal headaches and public exposure will not be worth it.

These concerns transcend individual disciplines. Caregivers in the above three fields should set the standards and, by their actions, convince the public that increased reporting of suspected abuse and neglect is a matter worthy of widespread concern.

HOW OUR COMMUNITY CAN HELP STRENGTHEN ANIMAL CRUELTY LAWS

Assign tracking numbers to animal cruelty convictions to support research into early childhood cruelty to animals and later juvenile delinquency and adult criminal patterns.

Evidence of acts of animal cruelty in a convicted perpetrators record could be used in a sentencing review or parole / probation hearings.

Require cross-training, cross-reporting and information exchange between agencies. Design interagency referral and reporting forms.

Design laws that provide a treatment requirement for animal abuse charges.

Make penalties strong enough to plea-bargain an offender into treatment.

WORKING TOGETHER TO STOP CRUELTY

Try to form a coalition for cross-reporting utilizing existing organizations, which are already concerned with domestic violence and abuse issues. Look under government listings or headings like “domestic violence,” “child abuse,” or “violence” in the phonebook. The local humane organization, mayor’s office, chief of police, board of supervisors, or other government agencies may have more information. If building a coalition from the ground up, it should include representatives from animal-welfare organizations, state and local law enforcement agencies, the medical community, social-service agencies, family crisis centers, community programs and intervention groups, schools, legislative bodies, veterinary clinics, churches, and the media. Begin organizing by sending out a letter to all the parties and follow up with personal phone calls.