RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolinians now have a new tool to report animal cruelty, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.

Cruelty toward animals is illegal under state law. North Carolinians can report animals experiencing physical harm under the care of an individual, pet shop, kennel or animal shelter to the North Carolina Attorney General’s Animal Welfare Hotline.

Under North Carolina law, acts of animal cruelty include wounding, injuring, tormenting or killing an animal, depriving an animal of necessary nourishment, or causing any of these things to occur to an animal.

To file a report with the Animal Welfare Hotline:

  • Visit ncdoj.gov and complete the online animal welfare complaint form.
  • Call 1-855-290-6915 toll-free within North Carolina.
  • Submit a complaint by mail to:

State lawmakers created the Animal Welfare Hotline during the 2015 session of the NC General Assembly and placed it in the Attorney General’s Office effective Monday.

The Attorney General’s Office will review animal welfare complaints submitted via the hotline and refer them when applicable to the appropriate authority. Depending on the details of the complaint, local animal control officials, the local Sheriff, or the N.C. Department of Agriculture may have the authority to take action.

People who contact the Animal Welfare Hotline are also welcome to share their animal cruelty concerns directly with their local animal control or Sheriff’s Office.