PLEASE NOTE: Responding to legal requests is not a substitute for seeking legal advice from an attorney in your state. The content of this website and answers to questions are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. This website, the information it contains and the answers to the questions addressed to this column are not intended to establish and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely on the information provided on this website or in a response to your request without seeking the advice of a state attorney regarding the facts of your specific situation. Organized cruelty such as dog fighting, cockfighting and other bloodthirsty sports is illegal in all 50 states and linked to other criminal activities such as human violence, gambling and drug trafficking. If you hear or witness such events, report them immediately to local authorities and HSUS. Remember that your eyes may be the only witness to the suffering of an animal in distress and that your intervention can be crucial to save its life. A person commits a criminal offence if he knowingly contravenes this section. Detaining each injured dog is a separate offence.
For situations where your state`s anti-cruelty laws have been violated, check out the Animal Legal Defense Fund`s information on anti-cruelty criminal cases. Stand up for animals that can`t speak for themselves. Learn how to report animal cruelty and who the appropriate authorities can work with. Neglect or failure to meet an animal`s basic needs accounts for the vast majority of cruelty cases in which animal control officers respond. Neglect often includes hoarding, lack of shelter or veterinary care, attachment and abandonment, and other forms of abuse. Cockfighting is a crime in Texas, where it is a felony punishable by two years in a state prison and/or a $10,000 fine. Since 2002, a federal law has prohibited the interstate or foreign transportation of animal fighters. If you witness direct physical violence against an animal, report the incident to the authorities immediately. If you decide to intervene in any way, use your best judgment and do not allow yourself to physically interfere with the situation; Keep in mind that even well-intentioned actions could interfere with the process of investigating alleged abuse. Tethered dogs constantly suffer tremendously, both from social isolation and exposure to predators and the elements. For emergency situations where the life or safety of an animal is in imminent danger, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately or call 911.
Hoarding behavior often attacks animals. People with hoarding disorder can severely neglect animals by providing far more housing than they can adequately care for. Contact your local animal welfare authority if you learn more about animal hoarding. Some animal hoarding situations may be more difficult to resolve than others. A single case of major neglect can involve hundreds of animals, as in cases of hoarding, puppy mills, and farm animal neglect. Texas Penal Code sections 42.09 “Cruelty to farm animals” and 42.092 “Cruelty to non-agricultural animals” prohibit a person from knowingly, knowingly, or recklessly treating an animal. If the pet guardian is unreachable or if you suspect the animal is suffering from abuse and neglect, alert law enforcement, your local humane society or your local SPCA (whichever is appropriate in your area) of the situation. It will be helpful to document what you experienced, including noting dates, locations, and specific incidents and issues in a detailed diary. Photos, videos and other evidence of abusive conditions are helpful and persuasive.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund does not have an investigation unit, so it is imperative that local authorities fully investigate the case. With each case initiated by HSUS, we not only assist in the rescue, handling and housing of animals, but also in the subsequent prosecution of each case. The owner must not restrain a dog outside and unattended with a restraint system that: is a chain, has weights attached, is shorter than the largest of five times the length of the dog, measured from the tip of the dog`s nose to the base of the dog`s tail; or 10 feet; or attached to a collar or harness that doesn`t fit properly. An astonishing number of animals die every year when people leave their homes and simply leave the animals behind. Sometimes the barking of an abandoned dog or the howling of a cat can alert neighbors, but it`s wise to keep an eye out for a recently vacated home, especially if the former residents have suddenly moved. Pets kept in cages or tanks are often overlooked during a resident`s sudden death and can also be overlooked. If you find or know abandoned animals, contact your local animal welfare authority immediately. These are just common examples of animal cruelty. Even if a case doesn`t exactly fit into these categories, take action if something goes wrong. In many cases, you may be the only chance an animal has to escape cruelty or neglect. We never know when disasters will happen or when animals need to be rescued urgently, but we do know we need to be prepared. Your support makes this life-saving work possible.
In general, people who believe an animal is being abused cannot legally take the animal away from the pet`s “owner,” although sometimes the offer to buy an animal works to free the pet from a bad situation. The transfer of “ownership agreements” should be in writing to avoid future disputes. Some SPCA (Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) enforce animal cruelty and neglect laws, so contact them. The police can also be contacted. People who violate these laws can be prosecuted and their animals confiscated by law enforcement. Untreated wounds are a warning signal that requires immediate attention; Wasting, scabs and hair loss can also be a sign of untreated diseases. If you can, inform the owner of the animal`s condition and alert local authorities as soon as possible of the suspicion of neglect. Animal neglect is the inability to provide the basic care necessary for an animal to thrive. At first glance, such cases may seem less egregious than a single brutal act of violent violence, but gross neglect can mean prolonged periods of extreme suffering resulting in permanent injury or death. Compared to other states, Texas` animal cruelty laws are very narrow because they exclude certain types of animals — including circus animals, wildlife, and animals used in experiments — from protection from animal cruelty laws. If a person is prosecuted in criminal proceedings, they may face sanctions such as fines, imprisonment, community service and/or probation. Persons under the age of 18 must also seek counselling if they have been convicted of cruelty to animals.
Time is of the essence when it comes to reporting pets left in parked cars. Even if the outside temperature seems cool, these animals may be minutes away from death or irreversible organ damage. If you can`t find the owner right away, don`t be afraid to call local authorities and list your location, as well as the make, model, and license plate of the vehicle the pet is in. In extreme heat or cold, temperatures can be fatal. It may seem intimidating or unnecessary to report neglect due to inadequate housing, but conditions can change quickly and lead to suffering or even death of the animal. Contact a local animal welfare organization immediately if you see an animal in an inadequate shelter and document the incident using a cell phone camera if possible. Puerto Rico`s only zoo is not a safe place for animals. Please sign the petition below to close the zoo and find a new home for these animals. If the regulator does not respond, you must circulate a petition, which you can then submit to the agency, asking that the abusive conditions be corrected immediately. Consider using local media such as newspapers, radio and television stations to publicize the situation. Every state has laws prohibiting cruelty to animals, and all contain provisions on crimes. However, a law is only effective if it is enforced, which is why animals rely on you to protect them by reporting animal abuse.
It can be heartbreaking to see a neighbor`s pet suffer in a situation of neglect. Depending on the situation, there are different ways to help the affected animal or animals.