Report Cruelty or Neglect

Many crimes against animals go unpunished because they are not reported. In addition, laws pertaining to animals are sometimes misunderstood, even by authorities who are charged with enforcing them. For that reason, those who care about animals need to be familiar with the laws intended to protect animals and know who to contact for help.

What is Animal Cruelty?

The American Society for the Protection of Animals (ASPCA) defines animal cruelty as “Intentionally injuring or harming an animal, or when a person willfully deprives an animal of food, water, or necessary medical care.”

Signs of neglect or abuse include:
o Tick or flea infestations
o Wounds on the body
o Patches of missing hair
o Extremely thin, staving animal
o Limping
o An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
o Dogs who are repeatedly left alone without food and water, and often chained in a yard
o Dogs who have been hit by a car and have not been taken to a veterinarian
o Dogs who are kept outside without shelter in extreme weather conditions
o Animals who cower in fear or act aggressively when approached by their owner

Where Do I Report Animal Cruelty that took or is taking place in Schenectady County?

  • The first step to reporting animal cruelty is to contact the Schenectady County SPCA at (518) 755-9517. You can also file a complaint online:
  • To report crimes that are in progress, or if you believe that an animal is in immediate danger, call 911
  • If you witness or suspect animal cruelty outside of Schenectady County please call local police enforcement. Click here for police and SPCA phone numbers by county.

Additional Resources

Schenectady County SPCA

ASPCA Reporting Animal Cruelty FAQ

The Humane Society of the United States

Teaching Children About Animal Cruelty

FBI Animal Cruelty Tracking

Five Easy Ways You Can Prevent Animal Cruelty