Oregon Humane Society
Emergency Services
  Animal Cruelty

The Oregon Humane Society encourages everyone to speak out when they suspect an animal is being abused or neglected. Studies confirm there is a strong connection between animal abuse and violence towards humans. Detecting and reporting animal cruelty are two of the most important steps in bringing an end to violence towards animals and humans.


Crimes of animal abuse or neglect can be complex with many factors to consider; however here are some things to look for and report to authorities:

  • Weight – does the animal look thin or emaciated?
  • Age – is the animal very old or very young and does this play a factor in any physical appearance or condition?
  • Temperature – is the animal outside for longer than 2 hours in freezing temperatures? Is the animal without shade during the heat of the summer? Is the animal in an unventilated car when the outside temperature is above 70º?
  • Condition – does the animal have drinkable (potable) water? Is the animal fed once a day? Is the collar too tight? Is the chain too short? Can the animal stand up and turn around in its living environment (cage, house, kennel)? Is the living environment unsanitary? Has the animal been abandoned?
  • Health – is the animal sick, injured, lethargic, or distressed?

There is a difference between unintentional or intentional neglect and abuse. Unintentional neglect generally happens when the pet's owner is not aware how to properly care for the animal and may include:

  • ignorant of the type and amount of food to feed the animal
  • does not know the pet needs regular brushing or grooming
  • may not understand signs of disease or distress in their pet
  • may not be aware that someone else is hurting their pet or not understand the consequences of their actions

However, intentional neglect is when the owner purposefully does not feed or provide water, leaves the pet outside in harsh weather; forces the pet to live in a dangerous, unsanitary condition. Abuse can be easier to identify and may include witnesses someone choking, beating, kicking, etc., an animal*.


Report suspected animal cruelty to the authorities: your local police or sheriffs, county animal control agency, or your local humane society.


Read more about the OHS Humane Investigations Department.