The Austin Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Unit has both an enforcement and investigative branch. The Animal Cruelty Unit is composed of (1) Sergeant, (2) Detectives, and (1) Civilian Specialist. The Animal Cruelty Unit is housed at the Animal Services Center and works closely with the staff of the Animal Services Office.

The Animal Cruelty Unit was created in 2002 to better serve the citizens of Austin and the animals that exist within the City. The primary mission of the Animal Cruelty Unit is to investigate allegations and reports of cruelty, neglect, and illegal exploitation of domestic, feral, and wild animals within the jurisdictional boundaries of Austin.

There are two separate bodies of law dealing with animal abuse -civil law and criminal. Civil law is used to obtain custody of animals from their abusers, while the criminal law is used to prosecute and punish those abusers.

In the event of suspected animal cruelty call 3-1-1 (or 9-1-1 if the animal is in immediate danger) to report the suspected cruelty.


Austin Animal Services