San Diego Humane Society and SPCA
Tis the Season

Programs & Services


The San Diego Humane Society is dedicated to protecting animals throughout San Diego County, either by enforcing animal cruelty and neglect laws so that all animals are treated with respect or by placing them in appropriate homes.

The San Diego Humane Society's Investigation Department has officers in the field seven days a week, handling a variety of animal cruelty complaints. Humane Officers get their enforcement powers from the California Corporations Code 14502, and can exercise the powers of a peace officer while investigating animal-related crimes.

While our primary focus is educating owners about proper care for their animals, we will use all the authority that we have been given to ensure every animal receives care as set forth by the law. Animal cruelty encompasses behavior harmful to animals ranging from neglect to malicious killing. Most cruelty investigated by Humane Officers is unintentional neglect that can be resolved through education. Intentional cruelty, or abuse, is knowingly depriving an animal of food, water, shelter, or veterinary care; or maliciously torturing, maiming, mutilating, or killing an animal.

Our Humane Officers also respond to rescue animals from disasters in San Diego and other areas with the assistance of the Humane Society’s 24-hour volunteer operated Animal Rescue Reserve.

On average we respond to over 1500 reports of animal cruelty annually. Our Humane Officers continue to work daily to promote humane law enforcement to the public, and the animals we serve.


Please note:
Animal cruelty investigations do not include barking dogs, loud cats, or loose animals. If you have a concern with a loud animal, call your local police agency or code compliance department. If you see a loose or vicious animal, or an injured animal on the side of the road, call your local animal control.


Important information & links:

Report Animal Cruelty: Call us (619) 243-3466 or use our online complaint form to report a case of animal cruelty or neglect. You can send the report anonymously, if you wish.

California Animal Laws: If you aren't sure what's legal and what's illegal when it comes to the treatment of animals, see this web page from the Michigan State University College of law has a list of California statutes:

Animal Rescue Reserve: Highly trained volunteers dedicated to assisting people during disasters, by safely evacuating horses, livestock and household pets. Read more here»

Humane Academy:  Learn how you can train to become a Humane Officer. Read more here».


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