How to report suspected animal abuse

The V.I. Police Department is the agency responsible for dealing with cases of animal abuse, cruelty, or neglect, and anyone wishing to report such a case should contact police before taking further action.

“What we recommend anybody does if they witness or suspect animal abuse, cruelty or neglect, is to call the police and file a police report — whether that’s 911, the non-emergency number, or going directly into a police station,” said Brianna Burks, shelter manager for the Humane Society of St. Thomas.

The Humane Society does not have the legal authority to independently investigate suspected abuse cases or seize animals.

“We are not law enforcement, and in neglect and cruelty cases, we do not operate without law enforcement,” Burks said. “Anybody that suspects or witnesses animal cruelty, neglect, or abuse should contact the police immediately and file a police report.”

In addition, Burks said, “we strongly recommend against trespassing on anybody’s property because that is illegal, and not putting yourself or any animals in danger by doing so.”

To contact police, call 911 the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 340-774-2211 ext. 5579 or the anonymous tip service Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-8477.

- Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email scarlson@dailynews.vi.