ANIMAL CRUELTY

If you see an animal being neglected or cruelly treated, do you know how to help that animal? What should any Okaloosa or Walton County area resident do if they suspect that a pet is being abused or neglected? The answer is to contact the Okaloosa County Animal Services staff.  Your quick action may save the life of an animal. Your identity will remain confidential. Email us immediately at acoatpaws@embarqmail.com  Please do not contact us via any other email address.

What to Report:

Perhaps you’re concerned about a neighbor’s dog that’s being left outside, day after day, without adequate shelter, food or water or is being chained up. Maybe you’ve noticed that someone’s cat has been injured or ill for a lengthy stretch of time, yet it hasn’t received any medical attention. Have you seen a pet that has a coat so badly matted, you’re unable to see its face or recognize its breed? Are you aware of an animal that’s been harmed? Regardless of whether or not an animal is intentionally hurt, Okaloosa County Animal Services can help.

In fact, if an animal is in an immediate life-threatening situation, our investigators can take it to the Okaloosa County Animal Services facilities where our veterinary staff can give the pet the treatment it needs.

Why Report Animal Abuse? 

Even if you aren’t an animal lover, you should still report animal cruelty. Studies have shown that people who intentionally harm animals are also likely to commit violent crimes toward human beings. Therefore, by reporting animal abuse, you may be preventing future violence toward people. By reporting animal abuse, you are also promoting respect for all life, and this improves the quality of life for everyone in your community.

It’s the Law! 

Florida Statute 828.12 – Cruelty to animals: to unnecessarily overload, overdrive, torture, torment, deprive of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily or cruelly beat, mutilate, or kill an animal, or cause the same to be done, or carry in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner.


How are Reports Investigated?

When we’re notified about animal abuse, our staff first gathers as much information as possible from the person reporting the incident. Then we go out to observe the animal and the situation firsthand.  Once on-site, we determine whether or not an animal is in immediate danger. At that time, our investigators may also issue a court summons to the suspect to face charges of animal abuse or neglect.

It’s fortunate that most of the animals we see do not need emergency attention.

Usually, our cases involve animals that are owned by individuals who are unaware of appropriate animal care. Therefore, we educate them about their pets’ needs. For instance, it’s common for our investigators to educate owners about shelter for their pet since companion animals cannot naturally withstand extreme temperatures.

You Can Help Eliminate Animal Cruelty and Neglect!

  • Support the Okaloosa County Animal Care Trust Fund.  Call (850) 244-0196 for more information.

  • Teach others about the importance of treating animals with kindness and being responsible pet owners.

  • Encourage pet owners you know to learn about animal behavior and appropriate care for their pets.

  • Ask us to visit with your school or civic group and provide them with a free education presentation. To schedule a visit, please call (850) 244-0196.