Complaints the Humane Society of Utah (HSU) can handle with proper evidence and/or witnesses:
- Animals without necessary feed, water, or shelter. (There is no current shelter requirement for livestock)
- Animals that have been beaten or abused.
- Sick or injured animals not receiving medical attention from either the owner or from a veterinarian.
- Shooting (without legal privilege), Leg-Hold Trapping of domestic pets, Burning, Torture, Hanging, Overwork, Abandonment, and Poisonings (without legal privilege).
- Vehicle 'Hit & Run' incidents.
- License numbers need to be traced by a law enforcement agency due to changes in Federal privacy laws. HSU can no longer trace license plates to their owners. If the driver of the vehicle isn't known to the witness, they should call their local police department, sheriff's office, or animal control agency, so that they can trace the owner and conduct a follow-up investigation.
- Livestock with serious hoof problems or which have heavy accumulations of burrs which are causing sores or wounds.
- Animals kept in vehicles for extended periods during hot or cold weather extremes without adequate feed, water, bedding, or sanitation.
- We may be able to assist or provide guidance concerning animals needing rescue or cats up trees in extremely bad weather or for extended periods of time, (several days.)
- We may be able to provide guidance in dealing with threats to injure or kill animals.
- Animals tangled in their ropes or chains to the point they are threatened with injury, or if such tangling occurs on a routine basis.
- Animal fighting - with human involvement in causing the event.
- Animal mutilation or skinning.
- Facilities which improperly maintain animals, such as pet stores, animal control shelters, stables, kennels, etc.
- Inhumane slaughtering. Animal needs to be rendered unconscious immediately prior to shackling, hoisting, etc.
- Inhumane sanitation, if it affects the health or condition of the animal, not just offends the neighbors.
COMPLAINTS FOR WHICH WE DO NOT ACCEPT REPORTS
(Unless they exist as part of a cruelty/abuse situation we DO handle)
- Stray or "At Large" Animals (Referred to local animal control)
- Barking or Crying Dogs (Referred to animal control for noise or to their city or county attorney for nuisance abatement)
- Dogs or Cats in Trash (Referred to animal control)
- One Animal Killing or Injuring Another without Human Involvement (Referred to local animal control agency concerning 'at-large or dangerous/vicious animal, and/or to civil/small claims court to recover veterinary bills and/or loss of the value of the animal)
- Sanitation (bothers neighbors) (Referred to local health department)
- Too many animals (Referred to local animal control or zoning department)
- Carriage horses (Salt Lake City or Provo) (Regulations concerning these animals are enforced by local animal control agencies)
- Wildlife-related complaints (These fall under the jurisdiction of the Utah State Department of Wildlife Resources)
- Complaints related to raccoons, coyotes, field mice, gophers, ground squirrels, jack rabbits, prairie dogs, Brewer's blackbirds or starlings (These fall under the jurisdiction of the Utah Department of Agriculture as "depredating animals", "predatory animals" and "depredating birds")
- Complaints related to the conduct of veterinarians (Veterinarians fall under the jurisdiction of the Utah State Department of Commerce - Occupational & Professional Licensing Division. We can, however, provide you with forms which contain instructions on how to file a formal complaint with the above-mentioned agency, as well as with the Utah State Veterinary Medical Association's Ethics Committee.)
- If you would like to file a complaint about possible veterinary misconduct or mal-practice please visit www.dopl.utah.gov/investigations.html to initiate a complaint.
- Complaints can also be made directly to the Utah Department of commerce - Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, c/o Mr. John Sims, Investigator at (801) 530-6085, FAX (801) 530-6301, or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complaints related to an animal owner failing to make an animal an active part of the owner's family, failing to play with the animal, failing to exercise the animal, chaining the animal in the yard and mentally ignoring the animal. (Utah's Legislature has structured our cruelty laws to only provide for the physical needs of an animal's care. We can, however, provide HSU's handouts pertaining to these issues to our complainants so that they can give the handouts to, or leave them for, the animal owner for their hopeful enlightenment.)
- Complaints concerning an animal owner killing his/her own animal, as long as the method of destruction causes immediate loss of consciousness and death. (There may be other issues that can be dealt with by local agencies, such as unlawful discharge of firearms, slaughter in residential zoning, etc.)
- Complaints concerning the mere owning of either fighting cocks or fighting-type dogs. (It is not illegal to own such animals in Utah. It is illegal to cause one animal to fight with another. We are, however, extremely interested in learning of any instances involving the actual fighting of these animals.)
- Complaints concerning incidents which occur outside the state of Utah. (We can, however, usually provide a complainant with a contact at a humane society or animal protection agency within the state in which the incident occurred.)
- Complaints concerning the theft of animals. (These should be reported to your local law enforcement agency as a property theft. Local animal control agencies and shelters, including the Humane Society of Utah should be visited regularly to see if the missing animal has either been impounded or turned in.)
- Complaints concerning dogs being transported in the backs of pickup trucks. (Only a few cities currently prohibit this type of activity. Sandy City is an example of such a city. The law in Sandy is contained within the traffic code. You should check with either the city or county attorney in the area in which you observed this activity to see if such a law exists)
- Complaints concerning dogs shot in or around livestock. (Utah's current state law, Section 18-1-3, U.C.A., 1953, as amended, states: any person "may injure or kill a dog while it is chasing or worrying any domestic animal having a commercial value, any assistance animal as defined in Section 78-20-101, or any species of hoofed protected wildlife, while attacking domestic fowls, or while such dog is being pursued thereafter.")
- Complaints concerning neighbors or animal control officers utilizing live-capture traps/cages with bait to capture and transport trapped dogs or cats to a local animal control shelter. (This activity is legal as it allows a pet owner to reclaim such an animal at the shelter, after paying associated fees, licenses, or fines. A captured animal, however, cannot be intentionally injured, abandoned, or killed by the person setting such a live trap.)
If you witness animal abuse in your neighborhood, at your place of employment, or while traveling through Utah, please contact:
The Humane Society of Utah at (801) 261-2919 extension 210, or email John Paul Fox at email@example.com. Or contact your local animal control department or law enforcement agency.