Rescue & Investigations

Investigating reports of animal cruelty is one of the toughest but one of the most vital parts of our mission.

The SPCA of Texas maintains a Rescue and Investigations Department with six full-time humane investigators, two educators, one supervisor and one case manager. The humane investigators respond to more than 3,000 cases of cruelty each year in Texas of which less than 35--or right around one percent--are pursued with civil charges. The balance of the cruelty investigations are resolved through education and compliance.

Receiving an average of 3,000-5,000 calls a year from people who have seen or know about cases of animal cruelty, the Rescue and Investigations team rescues approximately 1,500 animals in distress each year in a variety of Texas counties. The phone calls are requests for investigation because the animals don’t have water, food, shelter or care. Other calls often include cruel confinement or abuse concerns.

Most animals investigated or rescued are dogs, cats, horses and cattle. Humane Investigators receive on-the-job training in Animal Cruelty and continuing education of different varieties.


Complete our Online Animal Cruelty Complaint form.

Our Rescue & Investigations team focuses on eight counties: Dallas, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains and Van Zandt.

If the county you're referring to is outside our service area, you can help by contacting your local law enforcement. Texas law protects animals from cruelty and abuse. Your local law enforcement officials will be able to assist the animal(s) you're concerned about.


To help the SPCA of Texas Rescue and Investigations team serve the animals of North Texas, sponsor our efforts today.

We urgently need your support to ensure that we can continue our work on behalf of homeless and helpless animals. Care of rescued animals amounts to more than $30 per animal per day.

To help the SPCA of Texas fund future rescue operations and to support the SPCA of Texas' other programs and services, make a donation today.


In Texas, two types of laws protect animals from cruelty: civil laws and criminal laws. The laws are similar but differ in the penalties they impose.

In a civil case, if a judge rules that a person or people have been cruel to animals, the judge may take away their animals and/or order them to pay restitution.

If prosecuted in a criminal case, a person may face penalties including fines, jail or both.

Texas Health and Safety Code prohibits a person from intentionally, knowingly or recklesly cruelly treating an animal. The following actions define cruel punishment:

  • torturing an animal
  • failing to provide food, care or shelter
  • abandoning an animal; transporting or confining an animal in a cruel manner
  • killing, seriously injuring or poisoning an animal
  • causing an animal to fight with another
  • using a live animal as a lure in a dog race
  • tripping a horse
  • injuring an animal belonging to another person
  • seriously overworking an animal

Our Rescue & Investigations team responds to animals in need in eight North Texas counties.

Our Rescue & Investigations team responds to animals in need in eight North Texas counties.


Cruelty Prevention

How to Spot a Puppy Mill

Puppy mill owners breed dogs for the purpose of selling the puppies for a profit, and the welfare and living conditions of the dogs comes a distant second.

Learn More


Love Puppies & Kittens?

Cuddle puppies and kittens, dote on dogs and cats, provide post-operative care for canines and felines and teach four-legged foster friends what snuggling is all about.

Learn More


SPCA of Texas Voices

I believe Kendall is right where she needs to be.

Joseph Klein

Pet Owner