Animal cruelty observed on the Internet: what to do?

There are many animals on the Internet, some are cute and funny, but others seem to be suffering. Cruelty to animals online is a crime: if you see photos, videos or other forms of animal cruelty online, you should take action. Here’s how best to do it.

Anyone who sees animal cruelty online should act quickly and properly – Shutterstock / Antonio Guillem

Anyone who sees animal cruelty online should act quickly and properly – Shutterstock / Antonio Guillem

Knowingly or unknowingly, anyone who tortures animals should be punished. Some animal abusers post their crimes on the Internet, for example on social networks such as Facebook or Instagram. If you want to help the animals, you should report it.

Cruelty to animals on the Internet: First secure evidence

Report animal cruelty on the Internet to the police like other crimes. To make their job easier, you should collect evidence. If possible, download the corresponding images or videos immediately – these sometimes contain important information about the author.

Gather all the details of the account that posted the animal cruelty online. For example, note the name, the date of the social network post, and comments that went online with the image or video. If you are unable to download the image or video file, take a screenshot and save it to your hard drive. Now you can call the police and send them the evidence you have collected.

Those who turn a blind eye to animal cruelty are complicit - Shutterstock / Ksenia Raykova

12/09/2015 – 12:03 p.m

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Mistakes to avoid

A common mistake when dealing with observed animal cruelty online is to report the animal abuse to the page where the image or video was uploaded (e.g. Facebook). Also, do not approach the author of the animal cruelty post or ask them to remove the image or video, even if you find it difficult at times. Reason for this: If the files disappear from the Internet, the evidence also disappears and it becomes more difficult to prove something to the animal abuser – even if you have already collected evidence as described above.

Tip: In addition to filing a complaint with the police, you can also contact animal protection associations and organizations that will help you with advice and action.

You might also be interested in these animal related topics:

Pets: PETA calls for a Pet Protection Act

Animal Welfare Report: Compulsory castration for outdoor cats?

Animal welfare: Sodomy in Germany is only now banned again

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