Humane Law Enforcement
Report Animal Cruelty
You may use the form below to report a case of animal cruelty or neglect, however, if this is a true emergency or an in-progress event call us immediately, don't submit the form.
You may submit the report anonymously, if you wish. Alternatively, if you prefer to mail in or drop off a paper report, you may download PDF form.
Please note: Animal cruelty investigations do not include barking dogs, loud cats or loose animals.
Barking Dog Complaints
For expediency regarding barking dog complaints, you may fill out and submit the form below or call 619-299-7012, ext. 2617.
Animal complaints (strays, off-leash, etc.) for the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista are handled by San Diego Humane Society.
If you are a resident outside of these cities and 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.
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 page at Michigan State University College of Law.
About San Diego Humane Society's Humane Law Enforcement
On June 9, 1880, San Diego Humane Society officers levied the first fine against animal cruelty to “Mr. Collins’ boy for overriding a colt.” Since that day, our officers have been dedicated to enforcing animal cruelty and neglect laws so that all animals are treated with the respect they deserve.
San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement 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. Humane Officers are appointed by the State and undergo substantial training in animal care, state humane laws and continue education throughout their careers.
Not only can San Diego Humane Society Officers issue citations, make arrests, file criminal charges and serve warrants, they also respond and rescue animals in disaster situations in San Diego and surrounding areas with the assistance of the Humane Society’s 24-hour volunteer-operated Emergency Response Team (ERT). Officers and ERT members provide emergency assistance to animals near and far and work with our Community Engagement department speaking to children throughout San Diego County.
Information and Resources
Emergency Response Team (ERT)
A group of highly-trained volunteers dedicated to assisting people during disasters by safely evacuating horses, livestock, and household pets. Learn More
Learn how you can train to become a Humane Officer. Learn More