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If you suspect animal cruelty, abuse or neglect are taking place, please call Riverside County Animal Services at (951) 358-7387. Anonymous reports are accepted and an animal control officer will be sent to investigate the claim.

Cruelty Cases

Animal Services responds to complaints and conducts investigations on possible animal cruelty and provides educational information about proper care for animals. If the cruelty complaint is founded, a thorough investigation is conducted, including, but not limited to, the removal of animals and prosecution under the full extent of the law.



How Animal Abuse May Indicate Other Deviant Behavior

According to leading mental health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat not only to other animals, but to the community as a whole.

The American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders, and the FBI uses reports of animal abuse in analyzing the threat potential of suspected and known criminals. Experts agree that it is the severity of the behavior—not the species of the victim.

“Children who abuse animals are more likely to commit crimes as adults, but there are many factors that play into why children abuse animals, these can include witnessing violence or abuse in the home or community where the animal becomes a scapegoat for what the child is feeling”, said Steve Steinberg Mental Health Services Manager for the County of Riverside. “Peer pressure and consequences of not acting along with the group can lead to ridicule or non acceptance among their peers”, added Steinberg.

FBI interviews with murderers showed that 36 percent had tortured and killed animals as children and that 46 percent had done so as adolescents. In recent years, many schools have suffered the tragic consequences of cruelty to animals that was ignored or casually dismissed. Mississippi’s Luke Woodham, 16; Kentucky’s Michael Carneal, 14; Arkansas’ Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11; Oregon’s Kip Kinkel, 15; Georgia’s Thomas "TJ" Solomon Jr., 15; and Colorado’s Dylan Klebold, 17, and Eric Harris, 17, who perpetrated killing sprees in their schools, all had histories of killing animals, as did serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, Albert DeSalvo (the "Boston Strangler"), David Berkowitz (the "Son of Sam"), Russell Weston, and Lee Boyd Malvo.

“With violence in schools escalating and the concrete link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans, animal abuse needs to be taken very seriously”, said Rita Gutierrez, Commander of Field Services of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. “This type of behavior cannot go unchecked because it is an indicator of things to come”, said Gutierrez.

The Riverside County Department of Animal Services urges the community to report any incidents of animal abuse. For additional information on how you can report animal abuse, please call 951-358-7387 or send Email.