If you see or know of any cruelty to animals immediately call your local Animal Control Office or the Siskiyou Animal Control Office. If an animal’s life is in emanate danger, being tortured or if there is any dog / cock fighting immediately call 911 as these are felony charges. What is Classified as Cruelty to Animals? California’s Penal Code 596-597 states: Cruelty to animals is defined as “Maliciously and intentionally mains, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal; or overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter, cruelly beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills any animal or causes or procures any animal to be so treated.” Animals shall be seized and impounded and ownership forfeited. These crimes may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, with punishment of a fine up to $20,000 and/or imprisonment up to 1 year. If a defendant is granted probation for a conviction, the defendant must pay for and successfully complete counseling as determined by the court. It is also a misdemeanor to “Carry or causes to be carried in or upon any vehicle or otherwise any domestic animal in a cruel or inhumane manner.” Exemptions are made for farming, hunting and research. Barking dogs, loud cats and stray animals are not classified as abuse.
Helpful Tips If You Suspect or See Animal Abuse
- Identify abuse, neglect and cruelty. Whenever you see an animal, run through a mental checklist. Make sure the animal has food, water and shelter; has a clean pen or area; has no untreated injuries and looks relatively healthy overall. If the animal does not meet these criteria, investigate further.
- If you feel an animal is being neglected and are comfortable doing so, talk to the animal owners. You might find out that the horse you thought was ill-treated has just been rescued off a feedlot, or the dog with the open wounds is receiving medical attention. You might also find that the people lack the resources to provide the best care to their animal, and need financial assistance.
- Document abuse and neglect. Include dates, times and the nature of the problem, even if you just suspect abuse or neglect. Photographs and videos are helpful and may be necessary to provide officers with evidence.
- Call your local animal control (link to resource & referral page) to report most forms of abuse and for neglect. After you provide full details, ask for the animal control officer’s name and ask what action will likely be taken.
- At no time should you intervene on the animal’s behalf if it puts you at risk of danger. This includes while photographing, videotaping or documenting the abuse you witness.
- No matter how bad the animal’s situation, do not try to personally rescue him unless you fear for his life. Animals are considered property, so this action amounts to theft. Instead, talk to animal control about the problem, stressing its severity.
- In some states it is illegal to visually document animal treatment at dog breeding facilities, auction facilities and other animal business-oriented locations. Check your local laws for regulations.
- If the individual who abused the animal is prosecuted, you may be called to testify as a witness. You can decline, but it may mean the abuser is not prosecuted.
- Be advised that animal control/law enforcement may be unable to take action based on your report if they arrive at the scene and do not witness the neglect/abuse themselves. Photos and videos are helpful to them as evidence since they are not always able to go off verbal reports.
Siskiyou County Animal Control
525 Foothill Drive,Yreka, CA 96097
Dunsmuir Animal Control
Phone: 530-235-4822 Ext.102
Mount Shasta Police Department
Lake Shastina Community Services
Weed Animal Control
Weed Police Department
City Of Yreka Animal Control
Shasta County Animal Control