Humane Law Enforcement
Many of the animals that we see are victims of cruelty and neglect. Crimes against animals are illegal, and our Animal Control Officers work with local police, city attorneys, and district attorneys to ensure perpetrators are prosecuted. If you suspect someone of being cruel to an animal, please call us at (408) 764-0344.
Anyone can report abuse (or even suspected abuse) to SVACA 24-hours-a-day. You don't need to leave your name, just tell us where the animal is and what the problem is. We will send someone to investigate. By law, animal owners in the State of California need to provide their animals with proper food, fresh water, shelter from the elements, adequate and clean space, and veterinary care when needed. If you know of an animal who is being denied these, please call us. We also encourage callers to compete a witness statement (PDF) so that we can thoroughly investigate your complaint.
If you know of an animal in trouble please call us at 408-764-0344.
SVACA's Humane Law Enforcement program responds to over 600 complaints of animal cruelty and neglect every year. Calls range from investigating cases of animals beaten to death to educating owners on ways to provide basic care for their animals. Some examples of our cases follow.
Cases from SVACA Officers' Files
Justice for Pongo!
In Santa Clara, we investigated a complaint about a dog living in filth. Upon arrival, Officer Morris observed what appeared to be a geriatric dog chained to a tree. It appeared that he had a hard time keeping his balance as he was weak in his hind quarters. His body was covered with dirt and he smelled of urine. He also appeared to have a skin condition and his lower body and legs were riddled with what appeared to be tumors. The area near the dog was covered in a large amount of fecal matter, urine stained weathered blankets and other debris. The owner surrendered the animal to SVACA. "Pongo" was examined by a veterinarian who determined he had been neglected and as a result, was suffering. Unfortunately, due to Pongo's advanced age and terrible physical condition, he was euthanized to end his suffering. SVACA filed charges with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office who decided to prosecute the owner. The owner plead guilty and his sentence included: thirty weekend work days, three years probation, a $510 fine, and he cannot care for or own an animal for three years.
Pongo' s owner was ultimately held responsible for his actions; please contact SVACA immediately if you believe an animal is being abused or neglected.
Cats Rescued form Storage Unit
We received a complaint of two cats locked in a storage unit for days without care. Officer Tucker responded but could only hear and see one cat through the crack at the bottom of the door. The cat kept sticking her foot under the door in an attempt to get out. There was cat feces and soiled litter spilling out from under the door and a strong smell of feces and urine. The unit was opened and found to be crammed full of household items leaving only one small spot for a cat litter box that was full of feces and urine soiled litter. On top of some household items was a long clear plastic storage container which held a double dish food/water container. The container was empty, turned over and dry. There was no window or ventilation in the space and there was no light. The space was warm and there was a strong odor of feces and urine. Two cats where found inside and both appeared to be dehydrated and were seized to protect their health and safety. The case was filed with the District Attorney's Office and an arrest warrant has been issued.
This cat was one of two locked in a storage unit by their owner until being rescued by SVACA
We received a call to assist the Santa Clara Police Department with an animal cruelty investigation. According to the police, a man had killed his girlfriend's cat during a domestic dispute. Officer Morris collected the cat's body and had a veterinarian perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death. The veterinarian found great trauma over the animal's entire body. Due to SVACA's assistance, the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office charged the man with animal cruelty amongst other crimes. He was ultimately found guilty and sent to prison for four years.
In Santa Clara, while conducting a routine investigation to ensure that an owner had a license for his dog, Officer Morris observed a dog tethered on a four foot leash without any shade or water. She later found a puppy tethered on a two foot leash underneath a staircase and yet another dog tethered to a camper shell in the far rear yard. Officer Morris met with the owners and educated them on the importance of providing proper care for their animals. After some discussion the owners surrendered two dogs to SVACA and the remaining dog was immediately provided with proper care. The surrendered animals were placed into new homes and the remaining dog has since been cared for properly.
The constant tethering of a dog
will create a life of misery.
How You Can Help
In 2001, two 17-year-old Campbell boys were arrested for setting three cats on fire. Two of the cats died; a third cat, Chubz, survived but was euthanized due to the extent of his injuries.
In response to the acts of cruelty inflicted on the cats, the SVACA Board of Directors established the "Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority/Chubz Animal Care Fund" . The fund is used to financially assist in the veterinary care of animals that are victims of cruelty. Click here to find out how you can donate to the fund.