How to report abuse.
If you suspect animal cruelty or neglect you should contact your local police department. If you want to report a concern about conditions or a situation that has previously or continues to occur, please contact the NON-EMERGENCY number of your local law enforcement agency and make your report.
If you live in the City of Milwaukee, and you feel an animal is not being housed or cared for properly you can also contact the Department of Neighborhood Services at 414-286-2268.
MADACC does not investigate mistreatment cases, however, we provide assistance to local law enforcement and will pick up and care for animals that are seized for violations of local and state statutes.
What constitutes animal mistreatment?
When helping animals in mistreatment situations, it is important to first know and understand what constitutes animal mistreatment under law. Many people have different standards of care for their pets. While someone may not love and care for their pet like you do, it may not be an abuse situation.
Ultimately, it will be up to law enforcement, prosecutors, veterinarians and a judge to determine if a particular case is animal abuse/neglect or not, but the following is a basic guideline:
- • Animal does not have access to sufficient food and potable water to maintain good health
- • Animal does not have necessary shelter to protect it from heat, cold or inclement weather
- • Animal is tied or chained on too short of a length of material
- • Animal has been abandoned
- • Animal is kept in cramped, unsanitary or generally unhealthy conditions
- • Animal has a serious injury or life threatening medical condition which remain untreated
What should I do if I see someone neglecting or abusing an animal?
If you see someone abusing an animal, you may want to run over and tell the person to stop. Unless you know that confronting the person will change their behavior and not risk any harm to yourself, don’t do it. You may be putting yourself at risk as well as the animal. Instead take photographs or videotape if you can. This evidence will be invaluable to investigators. In the case of a child or children abusing an animal, the parent(s) may be unaware of the behavior. Animal abuse has been linked with other types of abuse in the home (child abuse, domestic violence). It is better to let law enforcement investigate. Remember, it’s important to report animal abuse/neglect. If you don’t, who will? Helpless animals depend on you. Contact your local law enforcement agency to file a report and provide evidence if you have it available.