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What is animal cruelty?

"What is animal cruelty?"

Animal cruelty encompasses a range of behaviors harmful to animals, 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. Animal "hoarding" is a situation that happens when someone has collected so many animals that they are unable to provide proper care for them. In New Hampshire there are numerous laws that protect the welfare of animals.

"How do I report cruelty?"

If you witness an act of animal torture or abuse call your local police immediately. If you know or suspect that an animal is being neglected or abused, report your information by calling our investigative agent at 603-772-2921 ext. 111. Any inquiries regarding suspected neglect or abuse is welcome. Your calls are confidential and our agent will require information to receive a valid report.

Important facts you should know

  • All domestic animals must be provided food, water, shelter and proper veterinary care.
  • Abandonment, serious neglect, abuse, poisoning and torture are all types of animal cruelty and can carry felony penalties in some cases.
  • Animals should not be left inside a vehicle for any amount of time during very hot or very cold weather. An animal left in a vehicle could be subject to extreme temperatures and die quickly.
  • It is against the law to carry loose dogs in the back of pick-up trucks.
In addition to investigating hundreds of reports of suspected animal neglect or abuse every year, our investigator works with other humane organizations to develop and strengthen legislation that protects animals throughout the State of New Hampshire.

One of the greatest contributions you can make to your community is to get people working together to stop any form of abuse or neglect. You can make a difference by working with your local and state representatives on legislation that improves the welfare of animals. Learn about your local ordinances and what statewide bills are being considered, and call or write on behalf of the animals. Together we can help both the animals and citizens of our community.


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