Humane investigations

Animal Humane Society’s Humane Investigations team is committed to seeking justice for animals throughout Minnesota by investigating reports of animal abuse and neglect, collaborating with law enforcement, and providing training and workshops for agencies, institutions, and community organizations.

AHS Humane Investigations team

AHS humane investigation agents, the only full-time humane investigators in Minnesota, received more than 1,600 reports of neglected or harmed animals in the last year. Working in 87 counties with local law enforcement officials, this team addressed more than 430 cases involving more than 5,700 animals.

Report a case of abuse or neglect

Animal Humane Society's Humane Investigations team provides services in Minnesota only. 

If your concern is for animals in Minnesota, please submit a report online.

Submit a report

If you do not live in Minnesota, please contact your local humane society or local law enforcement for assistance.

Investigating reports of animal abuse and neglect

Most of the cases reported to our agents involve lack of food, water, shelter, and general animal care. Larger, more complex cases can result in on-site investigations, animal seizure, and prosecuting offenders.

Issues our humane agents investigate include:

  • Domestic animals and livestock lacking necessary food, water, or shelter as required by law
  • Animal fighting and hoarding
  • Physical abuse or chronic neglect of animals
  • Denial of necessary medical attention to animals who are sick or injured
  • Illegal shooting, trapping, abandonment, poisoning, torture, bestiality and/or the sexual abuse of an animal
  • Potential injury from tangled leashes, ropes, or chains
  • Animals subject to conditions that would or could adversely affect the animal’s health or welfare
  • Pet stores, petting zoos, boarding kennels, dog kennels, horse stables, and other facilities that are not meeting the minimum standards of care as required by law

In addition to investigations, our agents conduct training presentations and workshops for law enforcement agencies, academic institutions, community associations, and other members of the animal welfare industry. 

Learn how to prevent animal cruelty and get familiar with Minnesota Animal Welfare laws

Preventing animal cruelty

Preventing animal cruelty is in all of our best interests. Studies have shown that cruelty to animals is a sign that other abuse is taking place in the home. Those same studies show that children who witness animal abuse are at a greater risk of becoming animal abusers themselves.

At Animal Humane Society, we’re committed to breaking this cycle through education and prevention.

Preventing animal cruelty is no easy task, but together we can make great strides. You can contribute by:

For more information, read about The Link® between animal cruelty and human violence.

Animal welfare laws and resources

Current animal welfare laws

Information about local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Minnesota Animal Welfare Statute Guide

This quick reference guide provides a summary of the most commonly used animal welfare statutes in Minnesota.

Minnesota Horse Welfare Guide

The Minnesota Horse Welfare Guide, created by AHS humane agents and Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition staff, includes laws and standards of care related to equine animals. 

No-cost services for law enforcement

As the only full-time professional humane investigations team in the state of Minnesota, AHS humane agents are often contacted to assist law enforcement with cases related to or involving animals. These services are provided at no cost. When called upon, our veterinary and animal care staff can provide:

  • Equipment and personnel to assist with animal seizure
  • Medical examinations of involved animals
  • Transportation and shelter for large numbers of animals taken into custody
  • Technical consultation during investigations involving animal cruelty allegations
Amanda Oquist, Humane Investigations Agent at Animal Humane Society

Humane Agent Amanda Oquist

Ashley Pudas, Humane Investigations Agent at Animal Humane Society

Humane Agent Ashley Pudas

Contact us for help

Individuals and law enforcement agencies may contact our humane investigation team for assistance. Learn more about how to report suspected animal abuse or neglect.