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What To Do If You Suspect Abuse or Neglect

In the State of Maryland, suspected cases of abuse or neglect should be reported to the animal control organization or humane society for the county in which the horse is located.

In other states the procedure may be the same or you may have to contact a local law enforcement agency such as the police or sheriff.

When reporting suspected abuse or neglect, have the following information prepared:

  1. The address or clear description of where the equine is located.
  2. A description of the abuse/​neglect and who witnessed it.
  3. A description of the horse(s) involved (size, breed, color, markings).
  4. Photos and videos can be helpful to give clarity to what you’ve observed. Note: do not enter a person’s property to obtain. 

Keep in mind, reporting isn’t about getting someone in trouble; it’s about opening up a conversation to educate, locate resources and get the animals the help they need. We believe owners should take responsible and correct the situation themselves. When that can’t or doesn’t happen, then resources are in place to help the animal. 

While it may not be necessary, the investigator may ask for your name, address and telephone number if a warrant will be needed to enter a barn in order to view the horse, the investigator has questions about how to find the horse, or the investigator wants to ask you to monitor the situation in the future.

National Animal Welfare Resources
Maryland Animal Protection Authorities