Our Humane Police Officers (HPOs) investigate cases relating only to horses or other equine (i.e. donkeys, and mules), that are victims of neglect, abuse, or cruelty. Our officers can only legally respond to calls for incidents which occur in Westmoreland County, PA. If you need to report a situation outside of Westmoreland County, or involving animals other than horses, donkeys, or mules, please go here or here for a list of resources in PA.
Some Things You Should Know Before Making a Report
Keep in mind that our officers can only address issues that are illegal according to the cruelty laws stated in the PA Crimes Code listed below. Here is what Pennsylvania considers offenses that would relate to horses, under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5531–556.
An individual is committing an offense if they fail to provide:
Necessary sustenance and potable water.
Access to clean and sanitary shelter and protection from the weather. The shelter must be sufficient to permit the animal to retain body heat and keep the animal dry.
Necessary veterinary care.
Also, a person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly illtreats, overloads, beats, abandons, tortures, or abuses an animal.
You, and we, may not always agree with the way others care for their animals. But, if they are in compliance with the above standards, we cannot base our response on our opinions.
Did you personally observe the incident? You must have first-hand knowledge. Our humane officers cannot investigate second-hand, hearsay, or anonymous reports. We will not share your name or information with anyone unless ordered by a court to do so. However, there are some situations that can only be prosecuted if there is a witness who is willing to testify.
Photographs or videos that are legally obtained are of great value.
If you have read all of the above and feel that someone is in violation of the law, call 724-331-1577 to file a report.
You can also email email@example.com
The following information must be included:
A phone number where you can be reached.
The address/location of the incident. Remember, our officers can only respond in Westmoreland County.
Your relationship to the people or person you are reporting.
A detailed description of what you observed or witnessed.
What Happens After The Report is Made
Our officers will begin an investigation. Please do not call and ask for information or details regarding the outcome of the investigation. Active investigations must be handled properly and disclosing information can compromise the case and/or violate the legal rights of the individuals. If the officer needs more information, he or she will contact you.
Second Chance Equine Association