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Have you witnessed or suspect animal neglect, cruelty or abuse? Report it.
This is a legal matter. No action can be taken by authorities until a complaint is filed. Please follow the law. Contact the agencies below.
ALSO: At this time in Minnesota, there is not "one" hotline number to call to report all concerns below. That makes it more time-consuming for people to file complaints, but please take the time. If authorities aren't aware of the problem, they can't act.
REPORT ANIMAL NEGLECT, CRUELTY AND ABUSE
If an animal’s life is in immediate danger, call 911.
Sheriff and Police
If you have seen or suspect animal neglect, cruelty or abuse, local law enforcement is the key contact. File a complaint with your local sheriff (county) or local police (city). Also contact the Animal Humane Society, who works with sheriff offices and police departments, and your local animal control or humane society.
• Contact your local police department or sheriff office
• Contact the Animal Humane Society
• Contact local Animal Care and Control department
REPORT CONSUMER FRAUD
If you've been sold a sick animal from a breeder, pet store, website or other facility or have been misled by false advertising, file a complaint with the Minnesota Attorney General and with various consumer protection groups. Most have online complaint forms on their websites.
• Contact the Minnesota Attorney General
• Tell your story to Animal Folks
REPORT VETERINARIAN CONCERNS
If you know or suspect a person, breeder or business is conducting medical procedures on animals without a veterinary license or the veterinarian is acting improperly, report it to the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine. The Board has an online complaint form and can take disciplinary action.
• Contact the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine
REPORT ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
If you suspect a breeder or business involved in animal production is polluting the land, water or air through improper disposal of feces, urine and carcasses (or causing noise pollution due to excessive barking), report it to the Environmental Services Department in your county. If it's a large kennel (over 1,000 dogs), also report it to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
• Environmental Services Dept. (contact your county)
• Contact the MN Pollution Control Agency
REPORT INTERSTATE SALES AND TRANSPORT
If someone or business is selling and shipping dogs or cats across state lines without an inspection certificate, report it to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). An inspection (by the veterinarian) of each animal to be transported is required by law, so as to minimize the spread of contagious diseases between states.
• Contact Board of Animal Health: MN State Veterinarian
• Contact the USDA-APHIS regional office
REPORT TAX EVASION
If you did not pay sales tax when purchasing your dog or cat or if you suspect the breeder/facility is not collecting and remitting sales tax, report it to the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Animal Folks MN conducted a study showing that 74% of sampled breeders, as of 2009, were not paying sales tax. Learn more at: Tax Revenues
• Contact the Minnesota Department of Revenue
REPORT DISEASED ANIMALS
REPORT BREEDERS NEEDING TO BE LICENSED PER THE LAW
If you have purchased an animal that is diseased (i.e., has an infectious, contagious or communicable disease) or have evidence that an animal facility (i.e. breeder, dealer, pet store, farm) has diseased animals, report it to the MN Board of Animal Health (BAH).
NOTE: The BAH is now the designated agency to administer the Commercial Dog and Cat Breeder Law. If you know of a breeder who needs to be registered and licensed, report it to their office or to Animal Folks (and we will forward it to the Board).
• Contact MN Board of Animal Health
• Contact Animal Folks
The MN Commercial Dog and Cat Breeder Law is effective July 1, 2014.
If you know of or suspect a commercial dog or cat breeder who may require a breeder license, you can contact the MN Board of Animal Health (BAH) directly at 651-201-6810.
Or contact Animal Folks and we will forward the information to the BAH:
In the email, be sure to include:
Unlicensed Breeder Information
• the breeder's name or kennel name
• breeder's address, city and zipcode
• breeder's phone number
• breeder's website
• if known, estimated number of animals on premises
• if available GPS coordinates or directions to the location
Your Contact information
• your name, address, city, zipcode
• your email and phone number
NOTE: A commercial breeder is defined in the law as a person who possesses or is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for consideration, and who possesses ten or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce more than five total litters of puppies or kittens per year.
PRIOR TO CONTACTING AUTHORITIES ABOVE: GATHER INFORMATION
Be specific. Due to limited staffing and resources, agencies prioritize each call. Proper evidence is needed to successfully build a case for seizure and/or prosecution.
To help, please be prepared with the following:
1. Name of suspected offender or facility (owner)
2. Location (address, city)
3. Date complaint occurred/witnessed
4. A brief and specific account of the facts and circumstances involved, including animal(s) present/involved, description of conditions or incident, advertisements
5. Your name and a daytime phone number, in case follow-up information is needed. All information is kept confidential.
Whether or not you must give your name varies based on the department/agency. Identifying yourself allows authorities to follow-up if he or she has questions.
TIP: Be sure to follow up 2-3 days after the initial call to check status of the complaint.