Animal Abuse and Neglect


As a member of the community, you can help by staying informed and by speaking out! Studies have shown that animal abuse is considered an “indicator crime”, meaning that if a person abuses an animal, it is a strong indicator that he or she is also likely to also abuse children, spouses, or the elderly. Additionally, animal abuse is often found in violent homes. By stopping animal abuse as a community, we may help prevent the abuse of our human loved ones as well. Remember, there is no excuse for animal abuse.

The Sullivan County SPCA takes all reports of animal abuse and neglect very seriously, and sends trained investigators and local or state law enforcement to any location where abuse or neglect are suspected.

What should you do if you suspect an animal is being mistreated?

  • If you suspect that an animal is being underfed or underwatered, is lacking proper shelter, or is existing in conditions of daily discomfort, you are witnessing animal neglect.
  • If you see an animal being tortured, beaten, or in a situation in which severe bodily harm or death may result, you are witnessing a crime.

If you suspect either of these circumstances, immediately call the State Police or Sullivan County Sheriff’s office. The situation will be investigated in a confidential manner.

State Police: (845) 292-6600
Sullivan County Sheriff: (845) 794-7100
also call the SPCA at (845) 796-3120 with any info

Cruelty to Animals Defined.

Animal cruelty is a crime. A person commits an offense if he or she
intentionally or willingly:

  • tortures, harms, or seriously overworks an animal.
  • fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in his custody.
  • abandons unreasonably an animal in his custody.
  • transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner.
  • kills, injures, or administers poison to an animal belonging to another person.
  • causes one animal to fight with another, or uses a live animal as a lure in dog race training or in dog coursing.

Signs that an animal maybe in a distressing situation:

  • Does the animal seem neglected? (for example, is not given proper food or water, does not have proper shelter, is not given necessary medical attention, has a collar growing into the skin, is tied to a tree or structure with no attention).
  • Is the animal taunted or physically harassed by children or others?
  • Does the animal appear to have untreated injuries?
  • Is the animal used in animal fighting?
  • Does the animal have visible sores on his body, or ribs showing?
  • Is the animal subject to violent acts of beating, kicking, or hitting?


If you see any animal in the circumstances described above the situation should be investigated and you should call the appropriate authorities for help.