Legal Resource

Veterinarians’ Role in Reporting Animal Cruelty

Veterinarians and other veterinary professionals play an integral and critical role in the fight against animal cruelty. Several states have imposed an affirmative duty on licensed veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty.

There are other states that although they don’t require reporting, they provide immunity to the veterinarian who does make such a report. Until 2020, only Kentucky actually prohibited veterinarians from reporting suspected cruelty.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website has an interactive map that lists veterinary reporting requirements by state.

See also the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s animal protection laws compendium to find the actual text of the law in your state together with your state’s cruelty provisions.