UPAWS is a private non-profit that does not have jurisdiction to investigate or enforce animal abuse or neglect laws. But we care deeply for the animals in our community and we want to help. If you suspect neglect or cruelty towards an animal please contact your local police department to file your initial report of animal abuse or neglect. Please also contact UPAWS to file a report. We will follow up with the police if needed to see if our expertise is required. In some cases we will evaluate the situation and work directly with the police.
Common signs of animal cruelty and neglect:
- Lack of grooming, for example overgrown nails or matted fur
- Basic needs not met, such as lack of food, water, shelter and vet care
- Bruises and scarring on skin or visible signs of poor health
- Being kept in unsanitary conditions or extreme temperatures
- Malnourished or dehydrated appearance where bones are visible through fur
To file a complaint:
The proper evidence and witnesses are required to successfully build a case for seizure and/or prosecution. Every effort is made to maintain confidentiality.
- Have the following available to provide the police and UPAWS:
- Name, exact address and contact information of the owner, if known.
- Date(s) the complaint occurred
- Brief but specific account of the facts and circumstances involved
- Your name and daytime phone number—we may need to follow up with you to get more specific details.
Contact us during normal business hours or leave a message after hours. UPAWS will do our best to help the animal and resolve the situation, but please keep in mind that the steps taken and final decision are made by local law enforcement.