Reporting cruelty checklist

You can make a real difference

As a direct consequence of public action, we make hundreds of successful prosecutions each year and thousands of animals are saved from further suffering.

If in doubt always contact us and set your mind at rest.

Read our checklist

Take a note of what you've seen, using the checklist below, and then call our cruelty line 0300 1234 999. You will be asked to give a detailed description of what you have seen or heard, so be ready to give the following information.

  • Your own name, address and telephone number for our records.
    When reporting an animal welfare concern to our cruelty helpline, we will treat your personal information in confidence and it will not be shared with anybody else unless we are authorised to do so by law. If you wish to know the result of the officer's investigation, he or she will need your details to contact you back. Please note that this may only be when the investigation has been concluded. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
  • The date, time and place of the offence. Photographs showing the cruelty involved may provide vital evidence in a prosecution case. If by any chance you have a camera to hand and it is safe for you to use it, please do - mention this to the controller who handles your call.
  • Our controller will need to ask you a series of questions about the animal(s) involved to establish the full situation. These will relate to what you have seen in relation to the animal's environment and its bodily condition. The RSPCA believes that the basic welfare of all animals must take into account the 'Five Welfare Needs'. These needs are:
    • somewhere suitable to live
    • a proper diet, including fresh water
    • the ability to express normal behaviour
    • for any need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals
    • protection from, and treatment of, illness and injury.
  • If known, the name(s) and address(es) of the person(s) involved.
  • The names and addresses of any witnesses.
  • The registration number and description of any vehicle involved.


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