Stray Rescue of St. Louis

Fight Animal Cruelty

Fight Animal Cruelty

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You can make a difference in the lives of animals who cannot speak for themselves, help us to protect animals and help to prosecute those who abuse them.

Our role in responding to cruelty

Stray Rescue of St. Louis is not a law enforcement agency, but we work closely with law enforcement agencies in assisting them with cruelty cases. If you witness animal cruelty, call your local police department or animal control. If it is safe to do so, please record a photo or video of potential cruelty cases to aid in the investigation process.

Stray Rescue of St. Louis works with other organizations around the state to strengthen animal protection laws and penalties. If you would like to be a voice for animals and help to enact new and improved laws, which protect animals and their care, you can learn more here.


How to Recognize Animal Cruelty

While an aggressive, timid or fearful animal may appear to be a cruelty victim, it is not possible to know if an animal is being abused based on their behavior alone. It is best to examine the animal and his or her surrounding environment to determine whether or not he or she needs help.

Physical Signs of Cruelty

  • Tight collar that has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck
  • Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated
  • Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes
  • Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible
  • Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites
  • Patches of bumpy, scaly skin rashes
  • Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat
  • Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally 
  • Heavy discharge from eyes or nose
  • Raw ears from fly-strikes
  • An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
  • Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness

Environmental Signs of Cruelty

  • Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary
  • Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter
  • Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
  • Animals are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements


Download the full report here.

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Missouri State Laws & Animal Welfare Act

Learn more

Anti-Cruelty Statutes (RSMo. 578.005-578.050; 578.151-578.153; 578.170-578.188)

Restitution/Reimbursement of Costs/Liens (RSMo. 430.165)

Dog Fighting (RSMo. 578.025)

Cockfighting, Bear Baiting (RSMo. 578.170–578.188)

Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA) (RSMo. 273.325–273.359) 

Sterilization of Dogs and Cats Adopted (RSMo. 273.400–273.405)

Canine Cruelty Prevention Act (CCPA) (RSMo. 273.345)

Large Carnivore Act (LCA) (RSMo. 578.600–578.625)

Pet Friendly License Plate (RSMo. 301.3087)

Assistance Animal, Guide Dog (RSMo. 209.150–209.204304.080)

Dog Laws, Licensing (RSMo. 273.010-273.180)

Dog Running at Large (RSMo. 77.51079.40080.090)

Endangered Species (RSMo. 252.020, 252.235, 252.240)

Wildlife and Forestry Law (RSMo. 252.002-252.333)

Protection Against Rabies (RSMo. 322.010-322.145)

Bestiality (RSMo. 566.111)

Trust for Animals (creating a) (RSMo. 456-004.408)

Animal Research and Production Facilities Protection Act (AG-GAG) (RSMO. 578.405-578.412)

Hunter Harassment (RSMo. 537.524)

Missouri Rules & Regulations

Federal Laws

Animal Welfare Act (AWA) (Title 7, Chapter 54, Sect. 2131-2159) 

Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Act Regulations

Top 10 Liceria Podcast

Additional Info

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