Animal Cruelty and Neglect

Abuse or Abandonment

If you witness physical abuse of an animal, believe an animal has been abandoned within the confines of a residence, or sense an animal is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local law enforcement agency immediately.

When you call the local authorities please be sure you have the following information:

  • Your name and phone number
  • Exact location of the animal(s)
  • Nature of the complaint
  • Description of the animals involved
  • Any other pertinent information


Under Oregon law, animals must be provided with the basics of food, water, shelter (for companion animals only), a clean environment, and proper veterinary care. Before contacing law enforcement, understand the following Minimum Care Standards to ensure your complaint has maximum credibility:

Minimum Care Standards in Oregon

Minimum care means care sufficient to preserve the health and well being of an animal and, except for emergencies or circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the owner, includes (but is not limited to) the following requirements:

  • Animals must be provided food of sufficient quantity or quality to allow for normal growth or maintenance of body weight.
  • Animals must be provided at all times with open access to potable water in sufficient quantity to satisfy the animal’s need. If you see a tub or bowl that is frequently knocked over by the animal, this criteria has not been met.
  • Domestic animals (other than a dog engaged in herding or protecting livestock) must have access to a barn, dog house, or other enclosed structure to protect the animal from wind, rain, snow, or sun and there must be adequate bedding to protect against cold or dampness. Additionally, the shelter has to be of a size to allow the animal to enter, stand, turn around, and lie down in a natural manner
  • Animals shall receive veterinary care deemed necessary by a reasonably prudent person to relieve distress from injury, neglect or disease.
  • Domestic animals must have continuous access to an area that is free of waste, with an air temperature suitable for the animal and with adequate space for exercise necessary to the health of the animal.
  • Livestock that cannot walk or stand without assistance must be provided with immediate and ongoing care to restore the animal to health or humane euthanasia.

  • If you witness animal neglect and believe the minimum care standards are not being met, you should contact your local law enforcement agency.
    Salem Police Department (503) 588-6123
    Dallas Police Department (503) 831-3516

    Animal Fighting

    In June of 2008, the Department of Justice, along with the Humane Society of the United States, established a hotline for reporting animal fighting. Call 1-877-877-9392, or go to the Oregon Department of Justice’s website for more information.