Leave your dog outside of animal cruelty

Have you seen animal cruelty?

You have observed animal cruelty and have already spoken to the pet owner several times about his irresponsible behavior, but all of your efforts are not fruitful?

Who can help now?

Unfortunately it is an indestructible rumor that animal welfare organizations can do more for abused animals than the people on whose doorstep the tragedies take place. Civil courage and initiative are required. Because cruelty to animals is only an offense according to the law, but it must be reported just as if one had seen bodily harm or the murder of a person. Anyone who turns a blind eye to animal cruelty is complicit.


The bad news is that animal welfare associations are only made up of ordinary people who usually have no police skills. An animal welfare association can perhaps advise you on what is allowed or forbidden and also give you the addresses of the authorities responsible for you, but the only one who can really stop the cruelty to animals is yourself by taking action. Because while you can perhaps look directly into the garden of the animal abuser, the members of your local animal welfare association may not even live in your residential area.

Indeed, animal welfare organizations often have bad experiences. Denouncing neighbors who keep animals is a popular form of bullying, so even anonymous reports have little chance of success

How should clubs manage to distinguish justified from unfounded advertisements? If you followed all of the “tips”, there would be no time left to help animals at all. But if you are not sure whether there is actually an offense against the animal protection law, then the local animal protection association will at least be happy to advise you on what is punishable and what is not. Otherwise, the responsible veterinary office is usually part of the district office or the official veterinarian is responsible for violations of the animal welfare law and can also instruct you accordingly.


You now know you are alone at first and that is again good news. >> Because if you want something to be done to your satisfaction, do it yourself! << That is an old thing.


What should I do?


1. Identifying the owner

Try to find out who the animals belong to and get in touch with the owner or neighbors. Perhaps grievances can be remedied in a good conversation. Try to achieve conscience - after all, you want to help animals first and foremost - not harm people. Perhaps the pet owners are overwhelmed and need help?


2. Save evidence

What is important? - Courts need facts.

A mistake often made by animal lovers is that they first save the animal from its plight by stealing, if necessary, without taking pictures of the location of the animal cruelty and the animal on site.


  • Always secure evidence first. Document through pictures or films. Important: Never give evidence out of your hand without a copy; reproduce written documents and photos! Because in cases of animal cruelty, facts are often quickly covered up or denied
  • Bring a witness (who is as independent as possible) who will support you with an affidavit of what happened if necessary. The more witnesses report to the veterinary office, the better.
  • Make a note of the exact time, possibly car numbers, names and addresses. Better to have too much information than too little.
  • If the animal needs help immediately, it should also be handed over to a veterinarian as soon as possible, who on the one hand will be an important witness and on the other hand can also take over the initial care of the animal if necessary.


Do you have any evidence?
Do you have witnesses?

You have the power!

You can report clear animal cruelty directly to the police or the public prosecutor's office. Through your testimony and that of the witnesses you have brought with you, the secured evidence (photos, documentation, etc.), you are the greatest help for the animals. Don't give up. If you are ready to report animal cruelty, then you will get support from the local animal welfare associations or animal welfare organizations. If they or the authorities remain inactive, turn on the press. Don't be discouraged: constant dripping wears away the stone.



Please note for wild animals:

Wild animals only need human help in rare exceptional cases. This is especially true for birds in severe winter or for underdeveloped young hedgehogs.


Cruelty to animals - what is the legal basis?

According to § 2 of the Animal Welfare Act:

Anyone who keeps, looks after or has to look after an animal,

1. must feed the animal appropriately according to its species and needs, care for it and accommodate it in a manner appropriate to its behavior,

2. must not restrict the animal's ability to move around in such a way that pain or avoidable suffering or damage is inflicted on it,

3. must have the knowledge and skills required for adequate nutrition, care and behavior-appropriate housing of the animal.
In the case of some farm animal species, it is regulated by keeping regulations (e.g. pig regulations) whether the animals are “kept according to the species”. If there is no husbandry ordinance, you can refer directly to the Animal Welfare Act. The term "corresponding to the species" is, however, interpreted very "generously" in practice (not in the sense of the animals, but only in the sense of their exploiters).

What Can You Do If You Witness Animal Cruelty?

1. Even if it is not always easy, speak to the owner and try to speak sensibly to the owner. Not every pet owner has specialist knowledge and could possibly not do his pet justice due to ignorance. Sometimes animals are beaten out of excessive demands, simply because the owner simply does not understand his animal or cannot read its body language. A friendly conversation can actually help in some cases.

2. If the pet owner is not transparent, contact the veterinary office (often part of the district office). Try to document the facts as precisely as possible: photos, film recordings, witness statements. The more witnesses report to the veterinary office, the better. Because in cases of animal cruelty, facts are often quickly covered up or denied. Important: Never or never give evidence out of your hand without a copy, reproduce written documents and photos!

3. Talk to the police at the same time and, if necessary, file a complaint of cruelty to animals. Refer to Section 2 of the Animal Welfare Act, according to which the animal owner is obliged to care for the animals of the species accordingly. Some emphasis may be needed here. Important: Show the police your photos, which document the cruel conditions.

4. Contact a local animal welfare association or another animal welfare organization you trust - the protest from different sides is often very helpful!

5. Bring your photos and written report to the regional press. Public pressure can sometimes work wonders!