Cruelty Prevention

MSPCA Law Enforcement

To report suspected animal cruelty anywhere in Massachusetts, including western New England, please call:

(617) 522-6008 or (800) 628-5808

For after-hours and emergencies, please call your local Police Department.

The MSPCA Law Enforcement team

Since its formation in 1868, the MSPCA has been involved in the protection of animals. By the 1870s, when the first animal cruelty laws were enacted, the MSPCA had both paid and volunteer officers working across the state to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty allegations.

In the years to come, the MSPCA would establish a full-time Law Enforcement Department consisting of highly-trained and professional police officers. These officers now attend a 20-24 week state-sponsored police training program, and are commissioned as special state police officers to investigate and enforce Massachusetts animal cruelty laws. Across the state these officers serve warrants, make arrests, and testify - all at no cost to taxpayers.

Officers responding to cruelty complaints make every reasonable effort to educate offenders before filing for prosecution. Animals without proper shelter, in need of medical attention, not receiving proper nutrition, and animals abandoned when an owner moves away, are only a small sample of the complaints that are investigated. Education is especially important for cases in which the letter of the law has not been broken, but neglect exists through failure to meet an animal's social and physical needs. The law enforcement department works closely with MSPCA veterinarians and other personnel to provide necessary care to seized animals during sometimes lengthy court proceedings. Annually, the MSPCA Law Enforcement Department inspects many thousands of animals.

In addition to enforcing animal cruelty laws, MSPCA law enforcement officers have conducted inspections of state-licensed teaching and testing animal research facilities, pet shops, riding and boarding stables, boarding kennels, guard dog facilities and carriage horse operators. Our officers also have monitored activities such as rodeos, horse and oxen pulls, science fairs, and many other events that use or feature animals. Annually, the MSPCA Law Enforcement Department inspects tens of thousands of animals.

To report suspected animal cruelty please call: (617) 522-6008 or (800) 628-5808.

The MSPCA Law Enforcement Department encourages individuals to contact us to request an investigation of animal abuse. In fact, without the assistance of the public, our mission to prevent cruelty to animals, help those animals in need, and prosecute offenders would be nearly impossible.

The Law Enforcement Department Administration is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon.-Fri. When calling after hours, leave a brief message along with your name, and the area code and phone number where you may be reached during normal business hours. MSPCA Law Enforcement Department voice mail will not be monitored during weekends, nights or holidays, and voice messages left will not be received until the next business day.  In the event of an emergency after hours, local city/town police departments may be contacted.

All Calls are Confidential

Outside Massachusetts, contact your local police department, animal control or animal protection organization

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