For reporting animal cruelty cases: How to approach the police for help?

What comprises Animal Cruelty?

Contacting the Police on the Phone:
In an emergency situation telephone your local police station or dial 100 (Central Police Control Room) Get your “Ticket number” if you have dialled 100. Get the name and designation of the police personnel if you have called your local police station. Note the date and time on both occasions. If you wish to remain anonymous you do not need to reveal your identity.

At the Police Station:
i) Approach the police (above the rank of constable) politely and briefly explain the situation.

ii) Request them to take action against the offender.

iii) If they state it is not their job to protect animals as there are far too many human problems, politely enlighten them about their role in the PCA Act, 1960 (quote the relevant sections). If in Delhi, do tell them about the Delhi Police Act, 1978 Chapter IX entitled “the Prevention of Cruelty to animal”.

iv) Refer to for a compendium/factsheet of Animal Protection laws for the guidance of Police, NGOs, Animal Welfare Activists and Officers.

v) Insist on their involvement and offer your help.

vi) Inform them that the injured or distressed animal shelter and not left at the police station. This will reassure them.

vii) File an FIR if necessary.

viii) Do the necessary follow up.

ix) Do praise him/her after his involvement, no matter how small.


• FIRs are filed at your local police station when you wish to put down in record an incident which you wish to bring to the notice of your local police and at the same time seek their help in solving it. (eg. loss of wallet, train ticket, incident, or any other loss).

• Make out a detailed description of the lost animal/incident with a photograph/s (or any cruelty complaint). Address it: to the SHO (Station House Officer), of your area.

• To file an FIR, write the facts on a plain piece of paper which you yourself may prepare in duplicate, with the date, your name and address, details of the complaint and the people involved, if any.

• The officer on duty at the police station is responsible for making all the necessary entries.

• The copy of the FIR should be duly signed, stamped and dated (note the time as well) by the police station which you should keep safely.

• This is applicable not only to lost animals, but to any animal you have found (which might be lost), cruelty to animals, illegal activities with regard to animals eg. trade in wildlife-bird sellers, snake charmers, turtle traders; illegal slaughtering of animals and illegal slaughter houses; bird sellers; cruelty to animals in zoos; circuses, pets/petshops etc.

• The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 under section 11 covers a large number of cruelties and offences on the basis of which you could file FIRs.

• Insist on filing an FIR. It is your right. It is important to note that the police usually discourage the complainant from registering a FIR in cases which are not so clear. This is because once the FIR is filed, it becomes the responsibility of the police to ensure a conviction.

• Do not lose the stamped copy (by the officers on duty) of the FIR and keep enquiring about the progress. This copy is the proof that the Police have received the information.

• Please don’t forget about the well-being of the animals, make sure that you also contact an Animal Welfare Organization/activists to ensure that they follow up on the health status, rehabilitation/release of the animals in case custody.

Please share  with us your experiences while dealing with the Police /lodging an F.I.R on animal cases, practical learnings end up being different than what we write here, so please be candid in your sharing for it may help someone at a later date when stuck in a similar situation. Thanks-Vasudha

13 Comments on “For reporting animal cruelty cases: How to approach the police for help?

  1. Very useful. Have encountered a lackadaisical response on animal cruelty. The cops draw a complete blank when we mention about Section 11 and Section 428/429 of the IPC and PCA Act. They need to be apprised of the rules and laws governing animal cruelty and their role in combatting it. The laws and Acts are in place but the lack of awareness of the same is a major draw back for the Good Samaritans as they need support from the cops and not an indifferent attitude. It should be ensured that the cops are upto date with the various clauses on animal cruelty and should be able to guide and assist the person complaining. Right now it is the other way round.


    • Hi Meher-
      Thanks for your comment.We do agree with what you write, but we have to understand that not even animal rights activists and welfarists are acquainted with all laws pertaining to animals in our country, it is a bit unfair to expect that policemen will know the same when we have a million other crimes happening everyday…though on a positive note, efforts are being made to spread awareness amongst Police staff in Delhi on various provisions of the PCA Act, Delhi Police Act and IPC etc. dealing with animal cruelty related sections. Lets stay positive, things will surely change for good someday soon, till then we have to be patient and carry the laws/law books with us, and also make a gentle patient effort to make the policemen understand the basics of animal cruelty, welfare and the laws for the same.


      • Hi Vasudha,
        Fully agree with you, cops are not expected to know all the rules and sections of PCA Act and IPC. My contention is they should atleast be aware of a few important ones. We who feed strays in the colony are perpetually hounded, intimidated and threatened by the colony residents. While not feeding the strays is hardly an option for the animal lovers and the knowledge of the fact that there are laws vehemently protecting them but how can an animal lover protect the animals and themselves wihtout the support of the cops or any other empowered body standing firm for them. These deterrent factors sometimes prove detrimental for the poor animals, as ,not all would like to confront the bullies. In the bargain the poor animals go hungry which is very pathetic. There should be some NGO only looking after such cases ward wise and offer support and help to people who want to feed the strays and should have police powers so that the callous ones are punished. Please work on these lines and ensure safety of the Good Samaritans.


  2. Whenever I’ve visited India, I travel to Mumbai and I’ve tried to contact PETA to help out but I’ve never received a response. Who can we call to address animal cruelty cases in Mumbai?


    • You may contact organisations like PAWS Thane 9820161114 (09:00AM to 09:00PM) for guidance on whom to contact in which area of Mumbai/Thane for animal rescue cases


  3. It might be out of context, but I wish to get some answers for the doubt I have due to one of the resident in my building. He is of the opinion that “humans are superior to animals”. He goes to the extent of citing Constitution of India
    as an example and mentioned that he has been reading it for a month and found that animal rights is just a clause and that there is a provision for preference of humans over animals.

    Could you help me understnad if really this is the case or not. I also mentioned him about the “PCA” act of 1960 whcih clearly allows for penal action if someone tortures an animal. However, what should be done in case of say, a stray dog beging for food near canteen and some people kick it away just saying that they do not like the dogs or are allergic to it or the excuse of “acted in self defence”


  4. My area is highly contagious due to storage of lots of cow potty. My Neighbour Mr.Sailen ghosh has one illegal cow garage totally polluted our area. Very small place but 7 to 8 cow is there. They are not cleaning the area, all time bad smell surrounding the area. Even we are not open the windows for that side. And most dangerous think is that Mr.ghosh doing another business of cow dung(made by cow potti)at in front of my house. This business is a cause of smell and air total environmental pollution. And all time cows are shouting for food. There is no home drainage system. It also effected on us. This area comes under RAJARHAT-BISHNUPUR 1 NO GRAM P.ANCHAYAT,Kolkata-700135. It has been no improvement in this area since last 8 years. Drainage problem is everywhere in this area. There are no maintenance IF YOU COME HERE THEN YOU WILL COME TO KNOW ABOUT THE SITUATION OF THIS AREA.. This is my request to you to please take it seriously, because peoples are now getting effected due to lots of mosquitoes. Hygienically its not good. I hope you should understand my problem. pls do something for me.

    pls suggest me what to do? police station / Panchayat no one help me.


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