Reporting FAQ

Anytime you suspect animal cruelty, or if you are in doubt about whether an animal is being abused or neglected, please call (800)249-5121 or file an online report

What parts of Colorado do you cover?

The Colorado Humane Society & SPCA serves 40 counties throughout Colorado. If you live outside of the counties we currently serve, we will be happy to put you in touch with the agency handling your county. You also can visit the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Protection website.

What should I report?

Here are some examples that may help you recognize signs of possible animal abuse or neglect:

  • A cat or dog that is outside for long periods without food, water and proper shelter
  • An injured animal that does not appear to have received medical attention
  • A cat or dog with a badly matted coat; its movements may be restricted and its face may not be visible
  • An extremely thin horse with no visible food or water source
  • A possible dog-fighting or cock-fighting operation
  • An abandoned property where animals may have been left behind

What if I’m just not sure if an animal is in an abusive situation?

Call us.  We answer calls every day that may or may not meet Colorado’s legal requirements. Our agents would rather investigate a hundred situations where animals are OK, than to miss one where an animal is suffering needlessly.

Why is it important to report animal cruelty?

Most reports of animal abuse come from phone calls from concerned citizens who witness cruelty in their neighborhoods. Without tips from the public, many animals would remain in abusive situations.

How do I file a report?

If you notice signs of animal abuse or neglect or have a question about animal cruelty, please call (800) 249-5121 or fill out our online form to report abuse. To report anonymously, please call Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867) or text 274637 (CRIMES).

Can I mail in a donation?

You can mail a check to:

The Colorado Humane Society & SPCA
2080 S. Quebec St.
Denver, CO 80231

The Colorado Humane Society & SPCA is a 501(c)3 organization and receives no government funding.

What is Crime Stoppers?

  • Our partnership with Crime Stoppers offers a guaranteed anonymous reporting process and brings more awareness and prosecution to animal cruelty. 
  • You can call the Anonymous Tip Line at (720) 913-7867 (STOP) or text to 274637 (CRIMES).
  • This partnership supports animal-related calls from anywhere in Colorado. If a tip results in a citation or arrest, you are eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.
  • For more information about Crime Stoppers or to anonymously report animal abuse online, please visit the Crime Stoppers website.

What is the penalty for someone who is found guilty of animal cruelty?

The penalties for animal cruelty under Colorado’s state statutes vary widely and the actual sentence given in a case depends largely on the charges filed and the facts of the case in question. In Colorado, cruelty to animals is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of $5,000, with a mandatory minimum fine of $500, and could include jail time up to 18 months. The court must also order a mandatory evaluation prior to sentencing for the purpose of determining the appropriate sentence, which may or may not include a an appropriate treatment program.

Aggravated animal cruelty, which includes knowingly torturing, needlessly mutilating or needlessly killing an animal, is a Class 6 Felony with a maximum fine of up to $100,000, with a mandatory minimum of $1000, and a minimum of 90 days in prison or in home detention. If the defendant is convicted of a subsequent charge of aggravated cruelty, the penalty is increased to a Class 5 felony.

Animal fighting or a subsequent conviction of aggravated animal cruelty is a Class 5 Felony with a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for up to 3 years.

Prosecutors frequently ask for additional sentencing provisions such as a prohibition on animal ownership by the defendant for a set period of time, and regular unannounced inspections of their home by probation officials.  If there are unpaid costs associated with the seizure, care, or disposition of animals in the case, defendants may be required to pay restitution for those costs.

Cases prosecuted under local law do not necessarily follow the same sentencing provisions and vary from municipality to municipality.