Skip to main content

Tips for Incident Reporting

When reporting animal cruelty, please DO:

  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Spell out names of people and streets.
  • Include the exact address, as well as the nearest cross street.
  • Include a detailed description of the animal(s), the type of cruelty suspected, and the place on the property you observed the animal(s).
  • Include pictures, if reporting online.
  • Stay off of social media

If you see an animal or child locked in a hot car, call 911. Local law enforcement can respond immediately, and take any force necessary to save those in danger.

When reporting animal cruelty, please DO NOT:

  • Confront the suspected abuser - Animal abuse does not exist in a vacuum: drugs, gang violence, and other violent crimes are often present in abuse situations. Do not put yourself in danger.
  • Take the law into your own hands - What you see as “rescuing” an animal could lead to your being charged with burglary, theft, or other crimes, and can compromise the case against the alleged abuser.
  • Submit a “tip” on social media - Not only could you put yourself at risk, or compromise the case, but private messaging is not an official method of reporting an incident.
  • Post pictures, videos, addresses, and other information about suspected abuse on social media. Doing this can: (1) put you in danger - If you’re posting a picture to a public page, everyone – including the suspect – can see your information. (2) Compromise the case: If alerted, the suspect may destroy, move, or otherwise tamper with evidence. (3) Incite vigilantism - If your posts inspire well-meaning animal-lovers to take matters into their own hands (by removing the animal, for example), the vigilantes could face theft or other charges, civil litigation, and the animal abuser may go free.

Contra Costa County Animal Services


Antioch Only Animal Services