Animal Cruelty Task Force

ACTF group picture
In keeping with our mission to promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of animals and people in our city, the City of Los Angeles created the Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACTF) to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty cases.

  • REPORT CRUELTY, call the Animal Cruelty Task Force now (213) 486-0450 (24-hour notification hotline) or email at

Animal cruelty is one of the more destructive ills in society; often linked with sociopathic behavior, cruel and abusive behavior toward animals reflects a severe lack of moral responsibility and social conscience. It can be inflicted in a wide variety of ways and can be rooted in a variety of causes. In turn, this disturbing and malicious behavior gravely infects and poisons our social fabric. Animal cruelty is sometimes linked with other criminal behavior, such as gang activity, drugs, and violent anti-social behavior. Research has shown that people who behave cruelly toward animals are more likely to behave similarly toward humans.

The Animal Cruelty Task Force works on complaints from the public as well as other sources. The ACTF primarily investigates the more egregious animal cruelty violations in Los Angeles, such as beatings and poisonings, dog fighting, cockfighting, and other animal abuse violations. The ACTF processes cases beginning with the preliminary reporting phase all the way through to case filing, presentation, and prosecution. Those convicted of animal cruelty may face fines, imprisonment, or both.

Download the ACTF’s flyer and learn to help protect animals.

The ACTF consists of Animal Control Officers, LAPD Detectives, and LAPD Patrol Officers. They work closely with the Animal Protection Units of both the City Attorney’s office and the L.A. County District Attorney to combat all forms of animal cruelty. The ACTF sees animal cruelty cases as serious crimes and prosecutes these cases accordingly. For example, in 2006 alone, its first full calendar year in operation, the Task Force investigated 290 requests, presented 54 crime reports to the District Attorney or the City Attorney’s office for review, served seven search warrants, made 51 arrests for animal cruelty or neglect, including 15 felony arrests, among many other significant accomplishments (see the inaugural newsletter below for additional information).
REPORT CRUELTY, call the Animal Cruelty Task Force now (213) 486-0450
Tell them specifically what you saw, heard and know. If you cannot get through, contact the nearest shelter.
The ACTF handles the following cruelty investigations:

  • Dog fighting
  • Cockfighting
  • Bestiality
  • Poisoning
  • Aggravated Abuse (ex. shooting, stabbing, lighting on fire, or other acts that cause injury)
  • Aggravated Hoarding (where there are sick/injured animals which the owner is not capable of properly caring for-not owning too many)
  • Aggravated Neglect (i.e., failure to obtain medical attention for broken bones, maggot infestations, neglecting to the point that the animal becomes extremely emaciated, pressure necrosis, etc.)
  • Animal Sacrifice
  • Animal Mutilation
  • To report abuse of animals involving Food, Water, Shelter and Tethering (dog chaining) contact your nearest shelter immediately.

    If you see, hear or know of someone who is being cruel or carrying out cruel acts on ANY animal, please report them right away. You can do so anonymously, if desired.

    In the event of a serious emergency, dial 911.

    The ACTF staff will then investigate complaints observed in the City of Los Angeles. If the suspected mistreatment is observed to occur outside our jurisdiction, we may refer your complaint to one of several animal care and control agencies in that area.

    When a report of animal cruelty is made, a member of the Animal Cruelty Task Force will investigate the case. If it is determined that inhumane treatment is occurring or has occurred, the animal may be removed from the situation and placed in protective care until a decision has been made.

    The California Penal Code defines animal cruelty as the malicious or intentional maiming, mutilation, torture or wounding of a living animal. Any person who overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary food, drink or shelter, cruelly beats, mutilates or cruelly kills an animal is guilty of a misdemeanor or felony. Any person who possesses or trains a dog with the intent to engage the animal in exhibition fighting, as well as any person who is knowingly present as a spectator at an exhibition of fighting of dogs, is guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, any person who willfully abandons any animal is guilty of a misdemeanor.

    The ACTF is housed in LAPD’s Administration Building with the Detective Support and Vice Division’s.

  • ACTF site
  • LAPD’s Detective Support and Vice Division

Chained Dog Laws: Related information from LAAS.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Los Angeles (spcaLA): Serving Southern California since 1877; news, programs and services, FAQs, resources, etc.

Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (SEAACA): Provides animal services to the cities of Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Downey, Lakewood, Montebello, Norwalk, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, South Gate and Vernon.

ASPCA: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Provides extensive information, press releases, discussion boards, programs, companion animal care tips, etc.

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