How to Report Suspected Cruelty to the RSPCA

The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is one of the UK’s largest and most powerful charities, acting every day to help rescue animals from cruel treatment, change public awareness and influence legislation to bring about a better world for Britain’s animals.

If you, or another a member of the public, suspects an animal is being treated cruelly, you can report it to the RSPCA using the following steps:

Get in touch

Call the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty hotline on 0300 1234 999 or get in touch on their website. They’ll want some information, so don’t forget to…

Be ready to give some info

The RSPCA have a checklist for reporting cruelty that they’ll use to determine how best to respond to your report. You’ll be asked to give as much detail as you can, so try to gather the information up before calling in. You’ll be asked:

  • Your own name and address, for their records

It is RSPCA policy to treat all complaints in the strictest confidence, and they will not release your details unless you give express permission to do so. The inspector who investigates the case will contact you at this address to let you know how the investigation went though, so you are kept in the loop and given some closure.

  • The date, time and place of the offence

If you have a camera to hand and it is safe for you to use it, don’t hesitate to snap a picture or two of the abuse – it may prove to be vital evidence in court. Other evidence such as screenshots or pictures of the aftermath of the abuse are also vital, and you should tell the agent taking your call if such evidence is available.

  • If known, the name(s) and address(es) or those involved with the abuse
  • The names and addresses of any witnesses
  • The registration number and description of any vehicles involved

The controller on the other end of the line will have to ask you a series of questions about the animal and its conditions, to figure out how to prioritise your case, and to determine whether anything illegal is going on. They will run you through a check-list of animal welfare needs including whether the animal has:

  1. a suitable place to live
  2. a proper diet, including fresh water
  3. the ability to express normal behaviour
  4. the need to live with, or apart from, other animals taken into account
  5. protection from, and treatment of, illness or injury

The RSPCA may call back if they need additional information.

Unfortunately due to shortage of resources, the RSPCA often cannot respond as quickly as would be ideal, so be patient. They will send an inspector when possible. If the situation appears to be worsening, please get in touch again.

If you want to talk to the RSPCA for any non-urgent reason, call this number or send them an email!