Recognizing Animal Cruelty



Animal cruelty is not only wrong -- it is against the law. If you see signs of animal abuse, don’t keep it to yourself; abuse of any kind should be reported immediately. We need your eyes and ears in order to identify cases of cruelty, abuse and neglect in our community. Our animal cruelty investigators would not know about most cases of animal abuse without phone calls from concerned citizens.


By reporting animal cruelty you ensure that animals in jeopardy can receive lifesaving care and intervention.  By calling 516-THE-SPCA to make a complaint, you help ensure that animals in need are rescued and that perpetrators of animal cruelty are brought to justice.


Some Signs of Animal Abuse:

  • collar so tight that it has caused a neck wound
  • open wounds
  • untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes
  • extreme thinness or emaciation
  • fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites
  • signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting, overgrown nails or dirty coat
  • weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally
  • heavy discharge from eyes or nose
  • a person striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
  • animal abandoned in a residence, dumped out of vehicle or turned loose
  • animals tied up outside for long periods of time without sufficient amounts of nutritious food or clean water
  • animals being overworked
  • animals kept outside in inclement weather without adequate shelter
  • animals confined in automobile for prolonged period during extremely hot or cold weather
  • animals kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
  • animals kept in kennels or cages  that are too small to allow them to stand up or turn around


Animal Hoarding

Animal hoarding is another type of cruelty and is a complex and intricate public health and community issue.  Its effects are far-reaching and encompass mental health, animal welfare and public safety concerns.  A companion animal hoarder is someone who:

  • possesses a large number of companion animals
  • fails to or is unable to provide what is required by law
  • keeps the companion animals in severely overcrowded environment; and
  • displays an inability to recognize or understand the nature of or has reckless disregard for the conditions under which the companion animals are living and the deleterious impact they have on the companion animals’ and owner’s health and well-being.