Cruelty toward animals is illegal under North Carolina law.

Acts of animal cruelty include:

Wounding, Tormenting, Killing, Depriving an animal of necessary nourishment, Or causing any of these things to occur to an animal.

How to report animal cruelty/neglect


NC CentralPiedmont Region


You can report animals experiencing physical harm under the care of an individual, pet shop, kennel or animal shelter to the North Carolina Attorney General’s Animal Welfare Hotline using the following methods:

- File a complaint online

- Print a complaint form and mail it to P.O. Box 629, Attention: Animal Welfare Hotline, Raleigh, NC 27602

- Call 1-855-290-6915, toll-free within North Carolina.

- Email Please use the subject line of Animal Welfare Hotline

The Attorney General's office will review your complaint to determine if the allegations involve animal cruelty.  If their office determines that it is animal cruelty, then they will refer the complaint to the appropriate authority. Depending on the details of the complaint, your local animal control office, local Sheriff, or the NC Department of Agriculture may have the authority to take action.
People who contact the Animal Welfare Hotline are also welcome to share their animal cruelty concerns directly with their local animal control or Sheriff’s Office.