The North Carolina Attorney General’s office launched the Animal Welfare Hotline mandated by newly enacted law from this past session. The Hotline number is 1-855-290-6915 and the website provides a complaint form for mailing and an email option.
The website explains the office reviews complaints and determines if “it is animal cruelty” then forwards it to the locals or the NCDA. If one interprets this language literally, one could surmise the report is screened by the Attorney General’s office and dispatched when they find the report contains one or more elements of the crime of animal cruelty or animal welfare violations. Animal Services might be able to use this additional level of review to advantage in supporting investigations, perhaps even in criminal charges. It would be interesting to know what the dispatched reports from the Attorney General’s contain and how they are sent. If anyone has received a report, an entry to this blog would be helpful to the Animal Services and Animal Cruelty Investigator community. It would also be helpful to know how the office responds to reports that aren’t found to be valid; a guess is there won’t be many of those.
We may be able to assume in the future as the public utilizes this reporting mechanism, there would be some access to information such as numbers, any categorizations, locations, etc,. This new law, §114-8.7., Reports of animal cruelty and animal welfare violations, not available on the General Assembly website yet, does not specify any reporting mechanism. The NC Rules may hold an answer as to how this office receives and reports information.
The link for the website is found on the Links page. G.S. 114-8.7., is available now in the 15th edition of NC Laws for Animal Control.