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Animal Cruelty

The Athens County Humane Society takes all reports of animal cruelty seriously. Humane agents are bound by very specific laws contained in sections 959.13 and 959.131 of the Ohio Revised Code. 

How to report

  • You can fill out our online form HERE

  • Leave a voicemail at (740) 590 - 0711 with your name, nature of complaint, and a valid telephone number. A humane agent will investigate the matter. We will only contact you if we need more information or need to ask for a signed, written statement. 

  • For stray dogs in Athens County, contact the Athens County Dog Warden at (740) 593-5415. 

  • Fore feral/stray cats, please email The humane agents can not assist you with that.

  • For animals locked in a hot car, or other immediate emergencies call 9-1-1

Athens County Humane Agents

What do our Athens County Humane Agents Do?

   Our Humane Agent’s primary responsibility is to ensure the humane treatment and well-being of animals in Athens County. They work closely with animal rescue organizations, government agencies, and the community to enforce and promote animal protection laws, investigate reports of animal cruelty, and provide education and outreach programs. They utilize measures to proactively prevent animal abuse, rescue animals in distress, and collaborate with other professionals in the field to advocate for animals.

*To learn more please see the Ohio Revised Code 959.13  and 1717.06.


Our County Humane Agent’s tasks:



Animal Welfare Enforcement

  • Investigate reports of animal cruelty, neglect, or abuse, inadequate food, water and shelter, abandonment (different than a stray roaming the streets) unsanitary conditions. 

    • If multiple cases of abuse have been reported, priority goes to the animals in the greatest danger. Seriously injured animals (life at risk) are the highest priority, followed by situations that require speedy action: young nursing animals without a mother; near-death starvation; animals without food, water, or shelter; weather-related situations such as extremely cold or extremely hot conditions; or abandonment.

    • Lower priority is given to non-emergency police and government assists, such as animals being released during a homeowner eviction, or general welfare calls. Efforts will be made to respond to these situations, but cases where animals are in great danger will be dealt with first.

  • Gather evidence for potential legal action.

  • Collaborate with law enforcement agencies and legal professionals to build cases against individuals involved in animal cruelty.

What do we NOT investigate?

  • Stray dogs roaming the streets (with or without identification) should be

  • reported to the Athens County Dog Shelter. Contact them at 740-593-5415

  • The Humane Agent does not respond to reports of “nuisance” animals

  • such as barking dogs, feral/stray cats, cats up trees, or dogs safely tethered outside.

Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation

  • Respond to emergency calls and rescue animals in distress, ensuring their safety and providing necessary medical care.

  • Coordinate with veterinary professionals and animal shelters to facilitate the rehabilitation and placement of rescued animals.

  • Work with foster caregivers and adopters to ensure appropriate placement and monitor the well-being of animals.


Education and Outreach

  • Develop and deliver educational programs on responsible pet ownership, animal welfare, and the humane treatment of animals.

  • Provide owners with information about the humane treatment of animals and about animal laws in Ohio

  • Conduct community outreach initiatives, including workshops, seminars, and public speaking engagements to raise awareness and promote compassion towards animals.

  • Collaborate with schools, community groups and local organizations to develop partnerships and implement animal welfare initiatives. 

Administrative Duties

  • Maintain accurate records of investigations, rescue operations, and other activities in accordance with organizational and legal requirements.

  • Prepare reports, documentation, and court testimonies as needed for legal proceedings.

  • Assist in the development and implementation of policies and procedures related to animal welfare.

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