If you happen to witness an animal being abused or suspect that an animal is abandoned, please call the City of Dallas for help. During business hours you can call Dallas Animal Services at 214-670-8248.
If you need assistance after hours, please follow these instructions: Call 311, press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, then 0 for operator. When the operator comes on the line you will need to let them know you are reporting a cruelty case and provide them with all of the information you possibly can. They will your name and phone number in case the cruelty team needs to ask any additional questions. Your information will be kept confidential.
Repeat offenses of animal cruelty crimes are a rule, not an exception - and there are many times when an investigation into an animal cruelty crime uncovers human-related crimes as well. When officers go to the home to investigate an animal cruelty issues, they often find evidence of domestic abuse, child neglect, drugs and other dangerous situations.
While you shouldn't try to resolve the animal cruelty complaint yourself, there are things you can do to help the case:
- Take photos. Make sure the timestamp feature of your camera is enabled, if you have one. However, only take photos if you can do so safely and without trespassing.
- Document phone calls, complaints, etc. Keep a written log of the dates and times you have called authorities asking them to investigate.
- If you have spoken with the suspected abuser, keep notes on the time, dates, location and subject matter discussed. If the suspect has threatened you, your family or your pets, make sure to include the dates and times in your documentation.
1. The Actual Situation:
Assess what you are dealing with. There are some minimum standards that all animal owners should need to meet:
Fresh food and water available to the animal(s)
Shelter from the elements - sun in summer, rain all year, cold in winter
Sanitary yard free of feces and urine or space adequate to be free of these.
Tethering may or may not be illegal in your community - check your city's website for animal codes or call the Animal Services department in the city you are reporting to check. Though tethering may be legal, the animal should still have access to all of the above items.
2. Complete Information:
When reporting you should give adequate information about the exact nature of the complaint. Provide the appropriate authorities with the following:
Exact address of the cruelty situation, or at the very least two intersecting streets with a North, South, East, or West direction for the location at the intersection.
If an apartment complex, include the apartment number and gate code or a contact number.
Name of the owner if known.
Number of animals present
Description of breed, size and gender as possible
Your name and contact phone - cell phone, home or office phone etc
3. Who can report a cruelty?
If a person who wishes to report animal cruelty has "standing" (meaning they live or work in the city and have connection) that is always powerful because they pay taxes or work there and contribute to the tax base.
Even if you are just passing through, you can still report cruelty as you are a witness to the law being broken. As a citizen of the state, you have a right to be concerned that minimum standards of state law be enforced. You will be taken more seriously if you live or work in a community because when you complain to elected officials, they will have more reason to listen - that's just the reality!
4. Who are the authorities you can contact?
The City's Animal Service Division - this may be reached by calling 311 within the city or by calling 411 information, or by referencing the city's website for that information.
The Office of the Mayor
The Office of the City Attorney
Your City Council representative
All of the above may be reached by calling 411 information, by referencing the city's website for that information or by referring to a telephone directory.
Animal Cruelty Complaints
Online: go to Report Abuse (on www.spca.org), complete the form and file it via email.
Rescue & Investigations
The SPCA Rescue & Investigations team focuses on 8 counties to better respond to animals in need: Dallas, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains and Van Zandt.
4.2 Contacting local authorities
If the county you're referring to is outside the SPCA service area, you can help by contacting your local law enforcement. Texas law protects animals from cruelty and abuse. Your local law enforcement officials will be able to assist the animal(s) you're concerned for.
The last option to try is to report the case to the media. Even if you do not have contacts in the media, all TV and radio stations have links or forms on their websites to report breaking news or news items. USE THEM!!!!
Also, many reporters accept e-mails through the station's websites. If you know of a reporter who has done animal stories, then seek them out on the website, or look for the stations' number in a telephone directory or through 411, then call and ask for that reporter.
Again, be a squeaky wheel. It works!
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