Report Animal Abuse

If you witness or suspect animal cruelty, you should contact animal control immediately.

If you feel that an animal is being neglected or abused, please contact the Seattle Animal Shelter at (206) 386-7387.

What to Look For:

  • 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.).

Reporting Cruelty:

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.

More information:

Find out more about how to report Animal Abuse or Cruelty at the Seattle Animal Shelter website here.