Tips: Preventing Animal Cruelty

The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office takes animal cruelty very seriously. Research shows that intentional cruelty to animals often indicates the perpetrator either has already committed, or may be predisposed to commit, acts of violence against people.

The Animal Abuse and Cruelty Unit vigorously prosecutes these cases to ensure that those who endanger vulnerable animals will face the full brunt of the criminal justice system.
Four dogs sitting next to each other

Common Signs of Animal Cruelty Include:

• Collar so tight that it has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet's neck
• Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or ongoing injury or illness that isn't being treated
• Bruising, bleeding or other apparent injury to animal's anus or genital regions
• Patches of missing fur
• Extreme thinness or emaciation - bones may be visible
• Weakness, limping or inability to stand or walk normally
• Fearful or aggressive behavior, especially when approached by owner
• Heavy discharge from eyes or nose
• Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water
• Pets kept outside during inclement weather without access to adequate shelter
• A household with an excessive number of pets

If you suspect abuse of an animal, please contact Pierce County Animal Services to report it.