Reporting Animal Cruelty

GDA can investigate only complaints about businesses licensed to handle livestock, poultry, equines, or companion animals. If you want to report animal cruelty or neglect, contact your local law enforcement agency.  Check whether a business is licensed by GDA on our licensee search page.


How to make an Animal Cruelty Report

To report an abused or neglected animal, provide the following information to your local Animal Control or Sheriff's Department.  Give as many details as you can.

Witnesses: The name, address and telephone number of the person(s) who witnessed the alleged incident. This information may be kept confidential, but investigators must have a point of contact. Remember, the burden of proof falls upon the accuser.

Who's involved: If possible, the alleged perpetrator must be identified by name, address and telephone number. Alleged co-participants should also be identified.

What and How: An exact description of the incident(s) witnessed. Verifiable details are important to help establish probable cause. Provide descriptions of the animals and associated conditions, including:

  • Pertinent conversations with the alleged perpetrator;
  • Eyewitness accounts (photos and videos are helpful);
  • Written documents or reports that verify conditions, such as veterinary examination findings.

When: The date(s) and time(s) of the incident(s).

Where: The place or places where each incident was witnessed. Provide addresses and directions if possible.


Who to Contact for an Animal Cruelty Report

Here’s a list of the appropriate places to report animal cruelty or humane care violations against various species:

Companion Animals

For companion animals (e.g., dogs, cats, exotic birds, pet rabbits, pot–bellied pigs):

Report businesses with a GDA Animal Protection License (or those who should be licensed) to the Companion Animal Program using the contact information below.  For a list of licensed businesses, see our licensee search page.

Report all others to your local law enforcement agency (or an animal control office, if one exists in your area). When contacting law enforcement, use the non-emergency number unless an animal’s life is imminently threatened.

If you suspect that other crimes such as illegal drug activity or gambling are involved, include that information when you call.

Horses & Equine

Report businesses with a GDA Equine Stable License (or those who should be licensed) to the Equine Health Program using the contact information below.  For a list of licensed businesses, see our licensee search page.

Report all others to your local law enforcement agency (or an animal control office, if one exists in your area). When contacting law enforcement, use the non-emergency number unless an animal’s life is imminently threatened.

If you suspect that other crimes such as illegal drug activity or gambling are involved, include that information when you call.

Livestock and Poultry

To report livestock or poultry abuse, contact local law enforcement.

Wildlife and Exotic Animals

To report abuse of captive wildlife or exotic animals, contact the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division using the contact information below. The DNR issues licenses to people and companies that exhibit wildlife and exotic animals and enforces rules governing their handling and care.

Circus or Zoo Animals

For circus or zoo animals (e.g., elephants, primates, big cats, circus dogs):

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Care licenses

  • Animal dealers (pet wholesalers, animal brokers, laboratory animal breeders and dealers, exotic and wild animal dealers),
  • Animal transporters (commercial airlines),
  • Animal exhibitors (circuses, zoos, promotional animal exhibits), and
  • Research facilities.

Direct your complaint abut any of these to the USDA regional office in Raleigh, NC using the contact information below. 

Questions and Concerns?

If you are concerned about the progress or results of an inspection, please contact your local elected officials.