Animal Cruelty Investigations
The Rhode Island SPCA is the only non-profit animal rescue organization in the state of Rhode Island that is legally able to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty cases. To report suspected abuse, neglect, or cruelty please contact your local Animal Control Agency or Police Department first. The RISPCA is a state-wide agency with one full-time investigator; we cannot handle the entire state alone and we rely on the assistance of animal control professionals in individual towns.
We are not an emergency response agency, so please call the police if an animal is in imminent peril. If you are unable to contact the police or Animal Control Officer or if you suspect serious neglect or abuse, please contact our Law Enforcement Agent, Earl Newman, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (401) 438-8150, x2.
The Rhode Island SPCA receives thousands of complaints on animal cruelty each year. These complaints fall into three major categories:
- Misguided Complaints: In these cases, the complainant incorrectly believes that a violation has occurred. The reporting person believes that the facts they are reporting justify the complaint. In most cases, after explaining the law to the complainant, they understand why their complaint does not meet the legal requirements for an investigation of animal cruelty.
- Vindictive Complaints: These are made to cause trouble, embarrassment or harassment. The reporting person knows the facts are not true.
- Legitimate Complaints: These are complaints based on known facts and, if true, may violate the law and require an investigation.