Animal Cruelty Investigations

Our field services include rescue and care for injured or distressed animals, investigation of reported animal abuse and neglect, and enforcement of Agriculture & Markets laws.


As the SPCA for both Albany and Rensselaer Counties, we partner with police departments, sheriff's departments and District Attorneys' Offices, to investigate animal cruelty. Our Humane Law Enforcement Officers provide expertise in identifying and documenting animal cruelty, testify in court and provide on-scene animal handling to ensure everyone's safety.


What can you do when you suspect an animal is in danger?

If it is an emergency and you believe that people or pets are in imminent danger of serious injury or death, call 911 immediately.

In all other cases, call the non-emergency line for the police department that serves the location where you witnessed the potential abuse. Be prepared to provide details, so that your complaint gets the attention it deserves.


Tips for reporting animal cruelty

Prepare a concise, factual, written statement of exactly what you observed (saw, heard, smelled), when and where. Be as specific as possible.

Provide the names and contact information of the parties involved, and any first-hand witnesses.

If it is safe to do so, get photographs or videos of the animals, their living conditions and the location. Please DO NOT put yourself in danger or break the law to obtain photos or videos. Do not enter someone's property without permission, and do not engage unknown animals in pursuit of photos or video.

You will need to decide if you are willing to provide your name before your call. It is possible to file an anonymous report, but the case is more likely to be pursued when there are credible witnesses willing to stand behind the report, and, if necessary, testify in court.

If you need assistance with your report of animal cruelty, you can use our reporting form >> to submit the information to our Humane Law Enforcement Officers directly.