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Winter Weather and How to Report Neglect or Cruelty

Dogs who live outdoors and are unable to access adequate shelter can suffer frostbite and lethal hypothermia if exposed too long to cold temperatures. When reporting potential neglect/cruelty, please provide specific facts (e.g., time, temperature), location, and details of any previous reports to authorities.

Which agency or agencies were contacted? What was the response? Photos are helpful when possible.

Although the GA Department of Agriculture recently added a law enforcement team, their purpose generally is to investigate violations by licensees, commercial breeders, and other agricultural crimes.

To report neglect or cruelty, start by contacting your local animal control agency (AC). Search for the closest AC here:

If your city/county does not have AC, contact your local law enforcement agency:

If your area lacks AC, and your local authorities are not trained to deal with animal neglect/cruelty, report the case to:

(1) Atlanta Humane Society, Cruelty Investigation Division: The Division has excellent relations with animal agencies throughout Georgia, and generally follows up promptly.


(2) HSUS: If there is a law/ordinance that’s not being enforced, the HSUS cruelty response team can call local law enforcement/AC to help them interpret the law and give guidance on how to handle the situation.

For an emergency situation requiring an immediate response, call 911.

For more info and to obtain a toolkit:

"What is Proper Shelter for Animals and How to Charge and Prosecute Failure to Provide Shelter Under Georgia Law," Animal Law Source, 2021.

Thank you to Debra Berger, GA State Director - HSUS, for help in preparing this post

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