VACTF Manual: Chapter 2 - Receiving an Animal Cruelty Complaint-

Overview

Most of the animal related complaints you receive will stem from violations of Title 13, Section 352, which deals with neglect and abuse. They will generally involve the failure to provide proper sustenance, which means the animals:

Though many complaints will be anonymous, you should still investigate them. Most anonymous complaints are legitimate; people often refuse to give their names because they fear reprisal from their neighbors. You should note that completely anonymous tips are generally considered to be less reliable than known individuals, but may be enough if the tips are detailed, demonstrate knowledge not readily known, and can be at least partially corroborated by the humane officer. Names may be kept confidential if the humane officer explains in detail how he has corroborated the information given (i.e. demonstrate why this person's information is reliable in this instance), or the humane officer may give historical information about the reliability of this person if the officer has relied on information provided by this person before.

Questions to ask with regard to animal complaints

Regardless of whether the complaint is anonymous or not, ask the following questions:

Based on the response to these questions, you can determine the laws which may be being violated and the urgency of the situation.

Is there a time limit to investigate the complaint?

You should investigate the complaint as soon as possible to bring relief to the animals that are suffering.

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