Authorities can do our best investigative work when they have as much information as possible. Please provide the following information when you call:
- The nature of the abuse.
- A description of the animal, as detailed as possible. Include the species, color, age, gender, name, unusual identifying marks, and any other important identifying information.
- The precise location of the animal. Include the street address, location of the animal on the property (inside, backyard, etc.), and a description of the property and any buildings on it (in rural areas – trees, outbuildings, etc. In urban areas – the color of the house, etc.).
- Name, address, phone numbers, vehicle description and license plate, physical description (as detailed as possible) of the suspect. Names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses.
Anonymity Often times callers are concerned over retribution for making a complaint, and wish to remain anonymous. The Investigations Department will take anonymous complaints. However, they often need to repeatedly contact complainants for clarification of facts or for further information. The authorities protect the anonymity of complainants to the fullest extent of the law. They ask that you do provide your name and phone numbers so they can reach you if necessary How to be a Good Witness Since animals can’t speak to tell us what happened to them, authorities rely on human witnesses to provide them with necessary information. Your actions as a witness can help make a solid case for education, intervention, or enforcement action to protect the animals. Follow these guidelines to be the most effective witness possible:
- Pay attention to important details, such as license plates, addresses, and suspect descriptions.
- Report your complaint as soon as possible. The sooner we can begin a case, the better our chances (and the animal’s) for success.
- Don’t place yourself, or the animal, in danger. Provoking the suspect can cause injury to you, or retribution to the animal.
- Don’t break any laws to gather information or intervene.
- Be willing to testify, identify suspects, or participate in the prosecution of a case, if needed. Your eyewitness statements can be the key to whether a case can be pursued. Be patient. The investigative and legal processes can take what seems to be a long time. However, it is critical that the job is done right the first time, and some information may be difficult to obtain.
“When it comes to feelings, like pain, hunger, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” ...Ingrid Newkirk