How to Report Animal Cruelty

If an animal’s life is in immediate danger, call 911.

Call the Minnesota Federated Humane Societies at 612-866-8663 in the metro area or 1-877-8ANIMAL (1-877-826-4625) outside the metro area.

Minnesota Animal Welfare Statutes

Minnesota has very specific laws to ensure the humane treatment of animals. Minnesota law also prescribes criminal penalties and fines for failure to properly care for an animal. According to the laws, dogs, cats, and other animals must be provided with:

• Nourishing food in clean containers
• Clean, drinkable water (snow and ice are not adequate)
• Confinement areas: must allow animal to move freely; must provide shade from June to September; several animals kept together must be compatible; indoor confinement areas must be adequately lit, ventilated, and temperature controlled; surfaces must be impervious to moisture and readily cleaned and dry; feces must be disposed of properly; there must be opportunity for periodic exercise.
• Shelter: dogs kept outdoors for more than one hour must be provided with a dog house that meets the following specifications: moisture and wind proof; large enough for the dog and small enough to retain body heat; must be made of durable material raised at least 2 inches from the ground; entrance must be covered by wind proof material; bedding must be provided and be of straw, cedar shavings, or blankets.

Minnesota Statute 343.29 specifically authorizes the removal, sheltering, and caring for any animal who is not properly sheltered from cold, hot, or inclement weather, or any animal not properly fed and watered.

343.21 Overworking or mistreating animals; penalty
Subdivision 1.Torture.
No person shall overdrive, overload, torture, cruelly beat, neglect, or unjustifiably injure, maim, mutilate, or kill any animal, or cruelly work any animal when it is unfit for labor, whether it belongs to that person or to another person.
Subd. 2.Nourishment; shelter.
No person shall deprive any animal over which the person has charge or control of necessary food, water, or shelter.
Subd. 5.Abandonment.
No person shall abandon any animal.
Subd. 7.Cruelty.
No person shall willfully instigate or in any way further any act of cruelty to any animal or animals, or any act tending to produce cruelty to animals.

Killing Dogs and Cats for Food

Increasingly, situations are occurring where people are raising dogs and cats and killing them for food. Unfortunately, many of the people charged with enforcing animal cruelty laws, such as the police and even some humane investigators, are not aware that this practice is illegal; they do not take enforcement action because they wrongly believe that it is simply a cultural issue. However, state and city laws prohibit anyone except a veterinarian or animal control officer from killing a domestic animal.