If you witness animal neglect or cruelty, horses running loose, or abandoned horses, you need to call 911 if it’s an emergency or if the animal is injured. Otherwise contact your county’s Animal Control division. SAFE does not have the authority to seize animals from private individuals, so we cannot assist you in cases like these. Animal Control needs to receive a report from the person who witnessed the abuse or neglect first hand, so if you see something, you need to report it yourself!
In order to effectively report a situation of neglect or animal cruelty to the authorities, you will need to have the following:
- Personal knowledge and first-hand observation of the situation — in other words, the situation must be reported by someone who has seen it themselves, first hand.
- An exact address for the location in which the abuse is taking place.
- If possible, recent photos (preferably date and time stamped) may also be helpful. But do not trespass or illegally enter a property in order to obtain photos!
If you are concerned, but are unsure as to whether or not abuse or neglect is taking place, you can call and request that a welfare check be conducted. If you are concerned about repercussions or retaliation for reporting abuse, most counties will not disclose that information to the person being investigate. But be aware that your report will be a matter of public record.
Calling Animal Control is critically important if neglected or abused horses are going to get help. If you do not submit a report, Animal Control may be unaware that neglect or cruelty is taking place. By submitting a report, AC officers can then investigate the situation and offer help. If the situation warrants it, they can also take steps to remove the animal(s) and prosecute the owner. But without the support of the public, they cannot fix what they don’t know about. So if you see something that doesn’t look right, please report it!
If your county is not listed below, please use Google to search for animal control or the sheriff’s office in your county
King County WA
Regional Animal Services of King County responds to non-emergency calls seven days a week from 7:30am to 6:30pm. To report neglect or cruelty in King County, call 206–296-PETS (7387) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also file an online complaint at https://www.proprofs.com/survey/t/?title=c1npp
Snohomish County WA
File an online complaint describing the situation you have witnessed at https://petlicense.snoco.org/petcomplaints
or call the Snohomish County Animal Services Hot Line at 425–388-3440. Please note that if you call outside regular weekday business hours, it may take up to two days for your call to be returned.
Pierce County WA
Call Pierce County Animal Control at 253–798-PETS (7387) or file a complaint online at https://pettrackprod.piercecountywa.gov/petcomplaint/
City of Tacoma Animal Control: (253) 627‑7387
Whatcom County WA
Call the Whatcom County Humane Society’s Animal Control Office at (360) 733‑2080, EXT # 3017. Or email Animal Control at email@example.com.
Skagit County WA
The Animal Control Officer in Skagit County is usually on duty and available for contact during sheriff’s office business hours Monday through Friday or by phone at 360 416‑1912. All complaints should be made through 911 dispatch or on the non-emergency line at 360–428-3211.