Report Animal Abuse
The Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) assists Washington residents in identifying and reporting cases of animal cruelty. PAWS has no legal authority to intervene on behalf of abused and neglected animals, but we can provide resources and support to citizens. The following information is intended to aid you in your ability to take initiative to address animal abuse.
If you witness or suspect animal cruelty, you should contact animal control immediately.
Click here for Seattle-area Animal Control phone numbers.
What to Look For (Physical Observations):
- Does the animal have access to food, water and shelter?
- Is his/her area clean?
- Does the animal have apparent injuries that have not been treated?
- Does the animal appear to be overly aggressive or timid?
- Does the animal appear to be neglected? (Neglect is vaguely defined as failure to provide an animal with necessary food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, ventilation, space, or medical attention).
Documenting the incident with photographs and videotape can be very helpful in prosecution. If such cruelty is not witnessed directly but is suspected, animal control authorities should be notified. Reports of animal cruelty should be as detailed as possible. Dates, times and circumstances should be noted and related to animal control authorities, who should also be made aware of any physical evidence (photos, video, etc.).
A person reporting animal cruelty should ask for the name of the animal control officer and ask what action is planned. Follow up, and report any change observed in the animal's condition and situation. A person reporting animal cruelty need not be concerned with confidentiality. An investigating officer is not likely to identify the source of the complaint. Should the keeper of the animal be prosecuted, witnesses may be called to testify, but the immediate condition of the animal should outweigh concerns about having to testify months from now.
Click on one of the below links for more information on the topic:
All About Animal Abuse
Washington State Laws
Local Animal Control Phone Numbers
Animal Hoarding (too many animals)
Animal/Human Abuse Connection
Links to Additional Information