Monday, August 1, 2011

Responding to Animal Abuse or Neglect in Houston

Here is a list of resources compiled by Barrio Dogs for reporting animal abuse, mistreatment, neglect and chained dogs. The list is not exhaustive but contains the best information we have available.

1. HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: Officers are supposed to investigate any report of animal abuse or neglect. Contact HPD through Dispatch; they will assign the report to an officer who is supposed to investigate.
 To make a report, call HPD Dispatch: 713-884-3131 (do not call 911)

2. HARRIS COUNTY PRECINCT 6 AND THE HOUSTON HUMANE SOCIETY R.A.I.D.E.R.:  In a partnership between Harris County and the Houston Humane Society, several Pct. 6 deputies spend 100% of their time responding to and investigating complaints of abuse and neglect.  
To contact, call Precinct 6 Dispatch: 713-923-9156
 Humane Society R.A.I.D.E.R.: 713-433-6421, ext. 396
 R.A.I.D.E.R. Officers: Sgt. Guerra, Sgt. Schuelke, Deputy Bair:
3. HOUSTON SPCA: Has an investigations department staffed by nine full-time cruelty investigators; also provides an injured animal ambulance and rescue service 24 hours a day every day of the year. Unfortunately, the SPCA euthanizes many of the animals it takes in.
 SPCA main number: 713-869-SPCA (7722)

4. HOUSTON CRIME STOPPERS: Dog fighting and animal cruelty are illegal in Texas. You can report cruelty and dog fighting by calling Crime Stoppers, which pays up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and charging of any felony suspects. All callers will remain anonymous. 
 For more information or to make a report: Call 712-222-TIPS (8477) or go to

TEXAS CHAINED DOG/UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT OF DOG LAW: In Texas, it is illegal to: 1) chain your dog from 10 PM to 6 AM; 2) chain your dog in extreme weather, and 3) chain your dog on a short leash [Texas health & Safety Code §821.077]. If you see a dog that is chained in violation of state law, call Houston Police or the Houston Humane Society.
Please remember that once law enforcement authorities become involved, there are several possible outcomes for the animal. In some instances, its owners may agree to address the problem, improve its living conditions or move it to a better location. In other instances, a rescue group may step up and take in the animal. However, there is also the possibility that the animal will be confiscated and taken to a potential kill shelter. In this situation, we are at a loss as to what is better for the animal: removal because of cruelty or neglect and allowing it to suffer the entire length of its short life. If we all report it, something will happen. There is strength in numbers!


  1. This is great information for reporting animal abuse and neglect.

  2. i did call hpd and they did respond within a half hour, and took the call seriously. they could not get past the gate of the reported property, and the abuser turned out lights and became quiet. still the police officer, went away, then came back with his lights turned out and waited. the abuser laid low. since then, the dogs have not been around, which may not be good, but i don't hear them being beaten any more. i was glad the officer took it serioulsy, reported his efforts to me, and i witnessed his efforts.

  3. Just reported 2 dogs loose, one medium brown dog who looked healthy from a distance at least, with one white dog in bad condition at Barberry and Scott to SPCA. (It had a red skin condition over 50% of its body that I could see from the other side of Scott) There was also a healthy German Shepherd loose in front of D's Lounge close to Worthing High on the west side of Scott. I did not report him, because he probably belonged to someone at D's (?)
    I see loose dogs on my way to and from Carnegie Vanguard High school every day along Scott street. There have been many dogs who obviously have puppies somewhere. In fact, the kids and teachers at Carnegie Vanguard found and adopted out 7 puppies found newly born in the back of their school.

  4. Any advice? I live in Eastwood. My neighbors do what we can: alter and immunize a few strays and find them homes. (I sent my own dog to live with my family in Florida because I don't feel safe having him here.) Now there's a pit bull puppy restrained and ignored around the block. I got his owner to accept worm medicine, but he refused my help to exercise the dog. I've thrown the pup a chew toy. I don't think I can do more without risking problems with the owner. I feel like now, though, is the time to avoid a frustrated, angry pit bull from being a gate away from our streets. What can I do?

  5. I reported a chained dog today to Harris County. 713-221-6000 (in case anyone needs the number). We shall see what happens. The chained dog lives next door to a rescue friend of mine and she's afraid to report it herself for fear that the neighbor will try to hurt her dogs. Hopefully that does not happen. This poor dog doesn't have adequate shelter from the weather and gets stuck on things in the yard and wrapped up. One of those "she was cute when she was a puppy, but then she grew up and they chanined her in the yard" situations. Sad.

  6. I was referred to precinct 4. I just reported neglect. They said someone would be out today. My neighbor is keeping a dog in a kennel, the type normally you have in your home. It is in the corner of the yard. No shade, no water. Don't know if be gets fed. In this heat! I wouldn't do it anytime. The dog is barking and crying, that's what woke me up and brought it to my attention. Dog wont even lay down, due to feces. My husband who has been home with an injury, said that its been going on for the last week or so. I am not comfortable in approaching my neighbors, or I would go over there.

  7. Thank you, Barrio Watch Dogs, for this post! I needed to report someone for neglect (starving his dogs) and had no idea where to start. After reading this late at night, I filled out online reports with Houston Humane Society, Crime Stoppers, SPCA, and the Harris County DA's office. The SPCA got back to me the very next morning and assigned an investigator. (It was even on a weekend!) I was very impressed, and relieved. Thanks again for all the good work you do!