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Report Cruelty

Report Cruelty

SPCA Inspectors and Field Officers work on the front line seven days a week, 365 days a year, rescuing animals that have been in an accident, abused or abandoned.

Restricted legal powers

The SPCA is authorised under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to protect all animals from abuse, neglect and abandonment. We are the only charity with the legal powers to help animals in need, and bring animal offenders to justice. However, our legal powers are limited and some situations that may appear distressing are actually not against the law. We can only investigate and take action in those cases whereby people have breached the Animal Welfare Act.

Stray dogs and barking

If your report relates to stray, roaming or barking dogs, please contact your local council, who manage these complaints under the Dog Control Act.

What complaints do the SPCA investigate?

We investigate a wide variety of complaints involving many types of animals. The most common are in relation to the failure to provide adequate food, water, veterinary treatment or shelter. The Animal Welfare Act 1999 defines physical, health and behavioural needs of animals; the SPCA investigates breaches of these needs.

Physical health and behavioural needs:

  1. Proper and sufficient food and water
  2. Adequate shelter
  3. Opportunity to display normal patterns of behaviour
  4. Physical handling in a manner which minimises the likelihood of unreasonable and unnecessary pain or distress
  5. Protection from, and rapid diagnosis of, any significant injury or disease
Information we require to investigate

In order to prevent malicious and unnecessary complaints, the SPCA will not accept anonymous complaints. Our Inspectors require reasonable grounds to suspect that an animal cruelty offence has been committed. It is essential you provide contact details so they can confirm the facts and gather more information. Your contact details remain strictly confidential and are protected in accordance with the Privacy Act. It would be helpful if you could also gather the following information before calling us:

  1. Description of the animal(s) involved
  2. Details of the condition of the animal and why you believe there has been cruelty or neglect
  3. Precise address/description of where the animal(s) are
  4. Name and address of the person you believe may be responsible for the cruelty and neglect
  5. Name, address and contact details of any other witnesses who may be able to help
Priorities and limited resources

Every year we receive thousands of calls for help, but due to our limited resources we cannot send an Inspector or Field Officer to investigate every complaint made. We must prioritise cases based on urgency and seriousness. When you call us we will ask you a series of questions so your call can be prioritised according to its urgency. We cannot always immediately attend all cases and we can’t always respond as quickly as we’d like to. Please be patient and if the situation is worsening then please call us again and tell us.

All cruelty reports should be made by phone to your local SPCA.