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Injured Animals

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Many people do not know what to do when an animal is injured, killed or mistreated. The following FAQs will help you identify what acts constitute animal cruelty and will help you in deciding what to do when you encounter an injured or dead animal.

What constitutes cruelty to animals?

Cruelty to an animal consists of torture in some violent, wanton and cruel manner that produces pain and suffering to the animal. The definition is quite broad, encompassing acts such as beating an animal or the failure to take proper care of an animal (neglect).

The following actions constitute animal cruelty:

  • torture;
  • failure to provide food, care or shelter;
  • abandonment;
  • transportation or confinement of an animal in a cruel manner;
  • killing, seriously injuring or poisoning an animal;
  • causing an animal to fight with another; and
  • seriously overworking an animal.

TIP: For information about animal cruelty, or for assistance in reporting a case of animal cruelty, contact:

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA)

424 East 92nd Street

New York, NY 10128-6804

212.876.7700

You can also contact your local Humane Society.

My neighbor keeps his dog outside in the middle of winter and does not feed it regularly. Can I rescue it?

You should not do it yourself because you could subject yourself to trespassing charges and possible physical injury. It would be better if you notified the local police department or Humane Society of the neglect and allowed them to handle the situation.

My pet died after eating bits of solder left in the yard by some utility company workers. Should the utility company be held liable for my loss?

Yes, if your state has adopted legislation allowing you to recover for the negligent loss of a pet. You will be allowed to recover for the loss of companionship and affection of your pet, but there will likely be a limit on the amount that you can collect.

I passed a dead dog on the highway. What should I do?

The dog needs to be removed, but not by you. For removal, contact you local Humane Society or call a carcass removal service; you can usually find one in the telephone book.