Animal Cruelty Reporting for Veterinarians
If you are a citizen calling to report an incident of animal abuse, contact your local Animal Control Agency. This page is directed toward Veterinarians who encounter animal abuse in their practice.
FOR VETERINARIANS: As of October 1, 2017, veterinarians who have reason to believe that an animal they are treating has been subjected to cruelty or animal fighting are required to report it to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
What to Report:
If you, as a veterinarian, suspect abuse, you are required to note the following in a report:
- The name, age and location of the animal;
- The name and home address of the owner or custodian of the animal;
- The nature and extent of the suspected animal cruelty or animal fighting, including any evidence or information available concerning possible previous instances of animal cruelty or animal fighting; and
- Any other information that would help determine the cause of the cruelty or animal fighting and the identity of any individual responsible for the suspect cruelty or animal fighting.
The law provides immunity from civil liability to veterinarians who report in good faith or who participate in an investigation of suspected animal cruelty or animal fighting. Veterinarians who do not report are subject to disciplinary action by the Board.
Read the bill: HB 1463 -Veterinary Practitioners - Animal Cruelty and Animal Fighting - Reporting, passed during the 2017 Legislative Session.
The State Board adopted regulations to protect the identity of veterinarians who make a report and to establish conditions under which the substance of a report may be disclosed. Read the regulations for veterinarian reporting of animal cruelty here, effective Dec. 31, 2018.
Where to Report
Animal cruelty is a crime under the
jurisdiction of local law enforcement, not the State Board! For a list of agency contacts prepared to assist veterinarians report or discuss suspected cruelty cases in each county, click here
. (List last updated 11/13/2019)