Animal Cruelty

Animal CrueltyWe assist with investigations into cruelty and neglect of both large and small animals. We prefer to educate but have successfully prosecuted when necessary. Every animal has the right to food, water and shelter.

How to Report Animal Cruelty

If you suspect animal cruelty, please call the Musselshell County Sheriff’s Department (406-323-1402) and notify them of your concerns (the Sheriff is the acting Humane Officer in this county). All calls to the Sheriff are kept strictly confidential. They will, in turn, send a Deputy to the residence and evaluate the situation. If neglect is apparent, a citation will be written. A re-check will occur and if the owners are still in violation, appropriate action will be taken. The Deputy or Sheriff will call us in as a consultant, if the animal needs to be removed from the situation or if the owner is open to education in regards to responsible pet ownership.

Detecting Animal Cruelty – What to Look For

Detecting and reporting animal cruelty are the two most important steps in bringing animal cruelty to an end. But how do you know what constitutes abuse and how do you know what to look for?

These tips can help in detecting intentional (murdering, maiming, torturing) and negligent (starving, etc.) abuse:

W – Weight
Does the animal look thin or emaciated?

A – Age
Is the animal very old or very young?

T – Temperature
Is the animal outside longer than a 2-hour period in less than 10 degrees F (longhaired) or 32 degrees F (shorthaired) in winter?
Is the animal without shade in summer?
Is the animal locked in an unventilated car with temperatures around or above 70 degrees F?

C – Condition
Does the animal have water? Is the animal fed once a day?
Is the collar too tight? Is the chain too short?
Is their cage so small that they can’t stand up, turn around, and lie down?
Is the animal’s living area unsanitary?
Has the animal been abandoned? (no footprints leading to animal, etc.)

H – Health
Is the animal sick, injured, lethargic, or distressed?

If you answered “Yes” to any ONE of these questions when observing an animal, you should notify the Musselshell County Sheriff’s Department (406-323-1402) with the EXACT ADDRESS of where the animal is located. Since our court system relies on tangible evidence to successfully prosecute these cases, we recommend, when safe to do so, to get photos, videos, or samples of abuse at the time it is committed.