Brown and white large dog

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s Animal Control Division is the only law enforcement entity that investigates and makes arrests in association with complaints of animal cruelty and neglect.

Your local animal control department and its officers investigate small companion animal and livestock cruelty complaints including illegal animal fighting and animal hoarding. If sufficient evidence pursuant to Section 53-247 of the Connecticut General Statutes is gathered, your local department will prepare a request for a search warrant.

If you believe that you have observed animal cruelty and/or neglect, you must make a report to the animal control department of the town where the alleged incident(s) has taken place.

To make the most productive use of your local animal control officer’s (ACO) time and resources and to ensure that your report is responded to in a timely manner, try to gather the following information before submitting a report of animal cruelty or neglect:

Witness information:

Provide your name, address and phone number when making the report. In Connecticut, an ACO will not respond to complaints based on hearsay. The eyewitness of the abuse must make the report.

Perpetrator information:

Provide as accurate an identity of the perpetrator as possible. Include: name, address, phone number, physical description and if possible vehicle description/tag number, place of employment, known associates/co-perpetrators of the acts of cruelty.

What happened and how:

Provide as many details as you possibly can of the incident and/or conditions you have observed. Include descriptions of the animals and their conditions, any available written reports/documents verifying the conditions, any pertinent conversations you may have had with the perpetrator(s), and names of others who may have witnessed the incident/conditions along with you. If possible, include photos and/or a video. Please, do not put yourself in danger or enter another person’s property without permission. Exercise great caution around unfamiliar animals who may be frightened or in pain.

When and where:

Provide date, time and specific location of where the incident/conditions were observed.

Not sure if what you’ve observed is animal cruelty or neglect? Learn the signs.