Reporting animal neglect or cruelty
Since animal cruelty occurs in a wide variety of settings, jurisdictions and situations the specifics of each occurence will dictate what agency is responsible for investigation. While some larger municipal or county jurisdictions may have specific animal control units and officers, other areas may rely solely on their law enforcement officers or investigators commissioned by the Colorado Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Protection to investigate animal cruelty. Matters which involve wildlife may be handled by law enforcement or Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officers.
As a general rule, if you suspect animal neglect or cruelty, you can contact your local law enforcement agency and they can direct you to the appropriate investigative agency for that jurisdiction. Law enforcement should always be contacted in emergency situations (911) and/or if there is knowledge regarding animal cruelty in conjunction with other criminal behavior and/or violence and/or human maltreatment issues. They can also coordinate with other necessary agencies and resources as needed.
The following Humane Societies can investigate animal cruelty, however, some jurisdictions in these counties may also have animal control officers. Initial contact through the local law enforcement agency dispatch can direct you to the appropriate investigative agents.
- calling their toll free animal cruelty hotline (1-800-249-5121) or
- calling Crimestoppers (Metro Denver) (720-913-STOP (7867) or by text at 274637 (CRIMES), then title DMCS and enter the message) or
- reporting on-line
The Dumb Friends League can investigate animal cruelty and neglect in Adams, Arapahoe, Elbert, Jefferson, Douglas, Broomfield, Weld, and Denver counties. To report animal neglect or cruelty to Denver Dumb Friends League call 303-923-0022 or click here to file an on-line report.
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region can investigate animal cruelty and neglect in Arapahoe, Douglas, El Paso and Pueblo counties. To report animal cruelty to Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region call 719-473- 1741.
The La Plata County Humane Society can investigate animal cruelty and negelct in Durango and La Plata County. To report animal cruelty to La Plata County Humane Society call 970-385-2900.
The Larimer Humane Society can investigate animal cruelty and negelct in Larimer County, Fort Collins and Loveland . To report animal cruelty to Larimer Humane Society call 970- 226-3647 ext. 7.
List of municipal animal services
For a list of county animal services and sheriffs
Bureau of Animal Protection Interactive Map (click on the blue areas for agency info)
What to report:
It is strongly suggested that even if you only suspect any of the following you make a report.
( Remember the General Standards of Humane Care for Animals ).
– pets left outside without adequate shelter, food or water
– animals that appears ill / injured and do not appear to have had medical attention
– a pet with a badly matted coat
– an animal (including wildlife) that has been intentionally harmed
– abandoned properties with animals left behind
– animal fighting activities
How To Report:
– describe what you witnessed
– provide the dates, times and locations of the incident or suspected incident ( document patterns of progressively more harmful behaviors)
– provide the names and addresses of involved parties if known
-provide physical descriptions of the animal(s) involved (e.g., species, color, and size)
– describe what was done to the animal(s)
– provide physical descriptions of the people involved (e.g., male/female, clothing type/ color, facial hair, unusual characteristics, etc.)
– provide descriptions of vehicles- make, color, type, license numbers, distinguishing characteristics (e.g., racks, bumper stickers, etc.)
– describe and potential safety concerns for responding investigators such as:
- multiple or progressively more harmful incidents of abuse
- use or presence of weapons
- booby traps
- dangerous animals on site ( running loose, trained attack animals, etc)
- previous disturbances/conflicts with others
- threats to harm another person or animal
- other known or suspected criminal behaviors at the location
- other known or suspected safety hazards