Cruelty and Rescue

We have zero tolerance for cruelty to animals, and we are uniquely equipped to act swiftly to rescue animals from abuse and neglect.

A cruelty investigation team like no other

The Houston SPCA has 10 full-time, highly trained animal cruelty investigators and the region's only 24-hour injured animal rescue ambulance. We respond to more than 7,000 cases of cruelty, abuse and neglect each year. Our ambulance rescues over 3,100 animals from immediate danger and distress annually.



Animal cruelty is a crime in Texas.

Here’s how the state officially defines it:


A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:

(1)  tortures an animal or in a cruel manner, kills or causes serious bodily injury to an animal;

(2)  without the owner's effective consent, kills, administers poison to, or causes serious bodily injury to an animal;

(3)  fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in the person's custody;

(4)  abandons unreasonably an animal in the person's custody;

(5)  transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner;

(6)  without the owner's effective consent, causes bodily injury to an animal;

(7)  causes one animal to fight with another animal, if either animal is not a dog;

(8)  uses a live animal as a lure in dog race training or in dog coursing on a racetrack; or

(9)  seriously overworks an animal.


Sec. 42.10.  DOG FIGHTING

A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly:

(1)  causes a dog to fight with another dog;

(2)  participates in the earnings of or operates a facility used for dog fighting;

(3)  uses or permits another to use any real estate, building, room, tent, arena or other property for dog fighting;

(4)  owns or possesses dog-fighting equipment with the intent that the equipment be used to train a dog for dog fighting or in furtherance of dog fighting;

(5)  owns or trains a dog with the intent that the dog be used in an exhibition of dog fighting; or

(6)  attends as a spectator an exhibition of dog fighting.


Speak up if you suspect animal cruelty.

If you believe an animal is being cruelly treated, please contact us and complete the Online Animal Cruelty Report or call 713-869-7722. Please do not report cruelty or injured animals by email or on social media. We primarily investigate cases of animal cruelty in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties.

If you’re reporting an incident in a state or county outside our jurisdiction, please contact the animal control organization, animal shelter or local law enforcement agency for that area. We cannot respond outside our jurisdiction unless requested by law enforcement.


The Houston SPCA is the only agency in the Gulf Coast region providing an injured animal rescue ambulance service 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Call 713-869-SPCA (7722) seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. After hours and holidays, please call 713-880-HELP (4357).

Support the Houston SPCA

Intervening on behalf of nearly 50,000 animals in need each year is an expensive endeavor, and your generous donation today will help further our mission. Donating to the Houston SPCA is an investment in your community because your entire donation is used locally to benefit the animals of our area.

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