This is just a small selection of California’s animal-related laws most commonly seen by our Humane Investigations Officers. Please contact us if you have any questions or suspect animal cruelty or abuse.

  • You must provide food, water, shelter, and proper veterinary medical care for your animal. (California Penal Code Sections 597(b) and 597f)
  • You can not chain, tether, or tie out your dog to a stationary object. The law provides some exceptions such as permitting a “running line, trolley or pulley system” so long as the dog is not wearing a prong collar or choke chain. Violation of the law is an infraction or misdemeanor and may lead to fines of $250 to $1,000 and possible incarceration for up to six months. The animal must be able to reach food, water and shelter. Food and water containers must not be able to be tipped over. (Health and safety Code 122335)
  • It is prohibited to leave an animal in an unattended motor vehicle under “circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.”. Even on a cool day, an animal left in a vehicle in the sun could be subjected to extreme temperatures. (California Penal Code Section 597.7)
  • Animals carried in the back of pick-up trucks must be safely enclosed within a secured cage, cross tether, harness or other device that will prevent the animal from falling, jumping or being thrown from the truck in an accident. (California Vehicle Code Section 23117)
  • If you hit an animal with your vehicle in Monterey County, you are required to stop and give assistance to the animal. You are also required by law to notify the police or sheriff and attempt to contact the owner of the animal. (Monterey County Ordinance Title 8 Section 8.44.050)
  • It is a crime in the state of California to abandon any animal. If you are unable to find a home for your animal and you reside within Monterey County, please surrender your animal to The SPCA for Monterey County. If you reside outside of Monterey County, please contact your local humane society or your local animal control facility for assistance. (California Penal Code Section 597s)
  • Maliciously neglecting, harming, killing or poisoning an animal can be charged as a felony and may carry a penalty of one year or more in state prison and/or a $20,000 fine. (California Penal Code Section 597(a))

How to Report:

To report animal neglect or abuse, call 831-373-2631 or 422-4721 x213, or click here to complete an online report form. All reports are confidential.

Animal cruelty does not include barking dogs, disruptive cats or loose animals. If you have a problem with a loud animal call your local police agency. If you see a loose animal, a vicious animal, or an injured domestic animal on the side of the road call your local animal control. If you see injured wildlife or are unable to reach Animal Control for an injured domestic animal, please contact The SPCA at 831-373-2631 or 422-4721 or after hours at 831-646-5534.

Report Animal Cruelty

Click here to Report Animal Cruelty.

Our Mission

Our mission is to assure compassionate and humane treatment of all animals in our community.