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Cruelty/Neglect Investigations & Rescues


The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is committed to making our community a place in which all animals are valued. This means keeping them safe from abuse, neglect and other harmful situations.

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is the only animal welfare group in Montgomery County, Ohio that employs active, state-trained humane agents under ORC 1717.06 to enforce state animal cruelty laws (ORC 959). Their primary role is to ensure the safe and caring treatment of all animals; but we cannot do it alone. It is through the help of concerned citizens that we learn of dangerous situations and can work to change them.

We investigate all signs of cruelty, neglect, and abuse to all types of animals. This includes responding to calls regarding sick or injured animals.

Signs of Cruelty, Neglect or Abuse

Cruelty - Foal

What constitutes neglect or abuse? This can vary greatly, depending on the person asked; however, failure to provide adequate food, water or shelter is neglect. The use of physical force sufficient to cause injury to an animal is abuse. And neglect or abuse constitutes cruelty to animals, which is illegal in Ohio.

What Can One Person Do?

One person can make a huge difference in the life of a neglected or abused animal. Suspicion of cruelty is enough to report it to the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. Here are some questions to ask if you’re considering calling in a report:

  • Is the animal not being fed or given water?
  • Does the animal have appropriate shelter from the elements, and is shade available in hot summer months?
  • Does the shelter for the animal provide it adequate room to move?
  • Is the animal’s coat dull, with hair missing? Are its eyes dull, and does the animal appear listless, with no energy?

However hard it may be to see an animal in these conditions, it is important to leave the environment as is, so that a complete investigation may be conducted. And never put yourself at risk. Any attempt to remove the animal yourself can cause both you and the animal harm. It is always best to work with the Humane Society to improve the situation.

How To File a Report

When making a report, collect as much information as you can, including:

  • A description of any abuse that you may have witnessed, including the address, date and time, as well as the name and description of the abuser, if known
  • Your name and phone number, so that you can be contacted by the investigator 
  • Any other information that you see as helpful

Once you have collected all of the information, you may contact the Humane Society of Greater Dayton at 855/PETS-911 at any time or fill out this online cruelty report.

How You Can Help

Your concern and action are extremely important in our work to end cruelty to animals. Laws governing animal cruelty are few and vague. Please make the time to write to your legislators to voice your concerns.

You can also participate in our new volunteer program, Hearts for Hounds. This group is dedicated to improving the quality of life for dogs living outdoors in Montgomery County.


Safe Haven Program

At a moment’s notice, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton will provide temporary shelter for pets in a safe and secure location, for families fleeing domestic-violence situations. The Safe Haven program protects pets from abusers and provides peace of mind for families seeking their own shelter and safety.

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