Puppy Mill Example (150)

Abuse and Neglect

Contact Animal Control if you suspect an animal is being abused or neglected.
Contact Information »

Examples of Abuse and What You Can Do to Help

Setting tails on fire, putting rubber bands around limbs, choking, kicking, drowning, animal fighting - these are all definite forms of abuse. If you are a witness to such horrific acts it is best not to confront the abuser for your own safety. If possible, try to photograph or video the incident - this evidence could be invaluable to investigators. Contact Animal Control and the police to take further actions. You may be the only one who can save that animal from suffering continuous abuse.

Before You Jump to Conclusions

Sometimes people are too quick to assume that an animal is being abused or neglected. You may live next to a yard that always has a dog in it with no food, water or shelter and never see anyone feed the animal. Before you jump to any conclusions, make sure that you can see the entire yard and make sure that there are no bowls or shelter. Perhaps the owner has odd hours and feeds the animal when you are not around or when you are asleep. If you are definitely sure that there is improper shelter and lack of water, then call a humane officer. All dog owners are required to have proper shelter form weather extremes if the dog goes into the yard at all - even if it's just for a couple of hours. The dog has to be given the choice to use the shelter. Water should always be made available to all animals.

Link Between Animal Abuse & Domestic Violence/Child Abuse

Research shows evidence that animals are abused in violent families by parents who commit violence upon their partners and/or their children. This behavior is often seen in children who model that aggressive behavior. This is often just the beginning of behavior that leads to criminal activities. Recognizing this link can provide early warning that interventions must be made, to protect children, their families, and, of course, animals themselves. This issue demands our attention, even as we consider their legal and ethical ramifications.

What if the Abuser is a Child?

The parents may be unaware of the behavior, but it is still best to contact an Animal Control Officer. Animal abuse has been linked to other types of abuse in the home - namely child abuse. A uniformed officer will receive more respect and attention than a concerned neighbor. Animal Control Officers are also trained to recognize and report child abuse.

Neglect: Another Form of Abuse

Many forms of neglect are seen daily by Boston Animal Control Officers. Would you think that neglecting to groom a dog would be a form of abuse? What about forgetting to change a collar? Don't forget about the backyard dog that rarely gets attention, food or shelter.

Preventing Animal Abuse

You can help prevent these cruel acts by informing others about what to do if they see such an act or helping them to better understand how to train and care for their pets. Contact Animal Control to report any form of abuse or neglect.

Videos & Multimedia »


  • Return of the Swans
    Mayor Menino hosted the "Return of the Swans" to the Public Garden Lagoon. A parade began at the corner of Charles/Beacon Streets and the swans Romeo and Juliet were released from their enclosed carts onto the shore adjacent to the Swan BoatsWatch Video »
  • Tails of Boston - Hawks
    Guest: Marla Issac, HerpetologistWatch Video »
  • Tails of Boston - Happy Endings Part 2
    Guest: Dr. MotamedWatch Video »
  • Tails of Boston - Puppy Mills
    Guest: Representative from the Human Society of United StatesWatch Video »
  • Tails of Boston - Holiday Pet Safety Tips
    Guest: Dr. MotamedWatch Video »

Related Links