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Report Animal Abuse or Neglect

The information below pertains only to cruelty/neglect incidents in San Mateo County.  For incidents occurring outside of San Mateo County, please contact the animal welfare group located in that county. We will not respond to messages that do not pertain to incidents in our County and other matters unrelated to animal cruelty or neglect.

Below, we've listed two ways for you to report animal cruelty. But first, a few words of clarification. Please understand that our Humane Investigators are required to work under existing, imperfect state laws. By law, people must provide their pets food, water, shelter, sanitary living conditions, and any necessary veterinary care. This means that people can leave a dog in a yard all day without walks or socialization. Though inhumane in our view, it's not illegal.

Laws aside, PHS/SPCA takes neglect, cruelty and abuse very seriously. In fact, we now have employees who focus entirely on investigating animal abuse and cruelty cases. And, our District Attorney's Office is every bit as concerned with stopping and punishing abuse as we are. Some people unintentionally provide less than adequate care for their pets. Thankfully, on fewer occasions, we encounter people who intentionally mistreat animals, and we exhaust efforts to collect evidence so our DA's Office can punish them to the fullest extent. Violation of animal welfare laws can and has resulted in criminal charges.

All cruelty, neglect and nuisance complaints are initially evaluated the day in which we receive them. Complaints are assigned to the appropriate officer, and, within the limits of our resources matched with the severity of each situation, an investigation begins as soon as possible. Please know that in the case of deliberate cruelty or neglect, or in cases presenting exigent, life-threatening circumstances, our officers can and do remove animals immediately from these situations.

By caring enough about an animal to contact us, you have taken a crucial first step, and we thank you. Some people may wish to contact us anonymously which is acceptable but not preferred; without a reporting party's name and contact information, we cannot respond with the outcome or call for clarification.

  • To report animal cruelty or suspected animal cruelty by telephone, call PHS/SPCA at 650/340-8200 or, if you live in a community outside of San Mateo county, your local humane organization immediately.
  • To report animal cruelty on-line, click the link below. Make sure to: (1) briefly describe the situation that you believe needs our attention; (2) provide an address and cross street for the suspected abuse; (3) give the name of the person who owns the animal/s in question; (4) explain whether you personally witnessed this activity or learned about it another way; (5) indicate how long the activity/treatment in question been happening.


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Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion
Adoptions | Education | Wildlife | Administration
1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame, CA 94010
Phone 650.340.7022 Fax 650.685.8428

Coyote Point Shelter
Lost/Found | Animal Intake | Spay/Neuter | Animal Control
12 Airport Boulevard, San Mateo, CA 94401
Phone 650.340.7022 Fax 650.348.7891