Cruelty toward animals is illegal under North Carolina law. You can report animals experiencing physical harm under the care of an individual, pet shop, kennel or animal shelter to the North Carolina Attorney General’s Animal Welfare Hotline.

Please do not stand by or turn your back.  Please be the voice for these defenseless animals.  Without you speaking out they have no chance.  Make the call now.

What is Animal Cruelty?

Animal cruelty is when someone hurts an animal or does not care for an animal responsibly, like not giving a dog or cat food and water. It is against the law to be cruel to or harm animals, even your own pets. It’s also called animal abuse, or neglect.

Under North Carolina law, acts of animal cruelty include:

  • Wounding,
  • Tormenting,
  • Killing,
  • Depriving an animal of necessary nourishment
  • Or causing any of these things to occur to an animal.

Animal Welfare Hotline
The Animal Welfare Hotline was created by state law to take complaints about possible mistreatment of animals. You can:

  • Call us at 1-855-290-6915 toll-free within North Carolina.
  • Email

What happens with your complaint
The office will review your complaint to determine if the allegations involve animal cruelty.  If the office determines that it is animal cruelty, then they will refer the complaint to the appropriate authority. Depending on the details of the complaint, your local animal control office, local Sheriff, or the NC Department of Agriculture may have the authority to take action. Please note that they are not able to process anonymous complaints.

How to contact local authorities
You are also welcome to share your animal cruelty concerns directly with your city or county animal control or Sheriff’s Office.

Get Started



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