Dogs & Laws

What You Can Do About False Complaints to Animal Control

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Pet owners know how exciting it is to have a pet in their homes or to have long walks alongside them in nature. However, do you know that not everyone is happy about your pet? Some human beings can be so jealous they might actively seek ways to eliminate anything that sparks joy in the lives of their proverbial neighbors. One of those ways is to call the local animal control agency and make a false complaint.


The most common cases involve dogs. Pet owners who have had issues with their neighbors know that a grumpy neighbor can go to great lengths to make their and their pets’ lives miserable. The chief goal may be to have the pet rendered dangerous and eliminated from their surroundings.

According to Animal Control’s history, having a case with such people may not be the best, especially if some allegations are true. That’s why every pet owner has to be careful with any complaint about their animals.

What You Need to Know About Animal Control

There are many local authorities charged with controlling various things. One of them is Animal Control, which enforces laws related to animals’ feeding, control, and impoundment.

Animal control agencies can work from community to community with little limitation when it comes to jurisdiction. Animal control officers can be employees of the city, while others can work on contractual agreements.

The Roles of Animal Control Officers

Below there are some of the responsibilities of Animal Control personnel:

  • Capturing and impounding dangerous animals.
  • Investigating cases of cruel animals.
  • Providing witnesses in animal court cases.
  • Generating incident reports.
  • Providing humane care to abandoned or lost animals.

1. Capturing and Impounding Dangerous Animals

Hosting dangerous animals can be risky. That’s why it calls for the responsible bodies to do that. Animal Control is the standard body that handles such cases. They can only do that with the help of their personnel.

2. Investigating Cases of Animal Cruelty

Having the animal control officers around you enables you to report any cases of animal cruelty. Animal abuse can include a wide range of things from neglect and hoarding to beatings and running a puppy mill.

3. Providing as Witnesses in Animal Court Cases

Most animal control bodies have adequate information concerning reported animal cases. That gives them an upper hand in court representation, so they can help a defendant if additional evidence is required.

4. Generating Incident Reports

If an aggressive animal has hurt anyone, animal control officers can write reports about the case. They can then forward them to the local Animal Control Agency for further investigation.

5. Providing Humane Care to Animals

You may realize that some people abandon their animals. However, you may not have adequate resources and room to help them. But, if you have an animal control agency near you, they can take care of the animal.

What to Do About False Complaints to Animal Control

If there are false allegations are brought against your animal, there are several steps you can take to build a strong defense. First, you need to be confident that the claim can be proven false if you provide Animal Control officers with the proper documentation. Some of the relevant pieces of evidence you can use include the rabies vaccination report and animal license.

Second, file a claim using that information. You can also ask the Animal Control Agency to provide you with relevant reports. They can help you make a valid claim against a neighbor. A dog bite lawyer can also help you win a case because such law professionals are very skilled at navigating dog bite laws in various states and know first-hand if your neighbor’s dog bite claim has any merit.

Also, it is good to know that dog owners have rights too. If your neighbors keep showering you with false allegations about your pets, let them know that you are considering filing a harassment suit against them if they don’t stop. In most cases, troublemakers will back down.

About the Author:


As a journalist, Leland D. Bengtson dedicated most of his career to law reporting. He aims to draw in the public and make people more interested in the field. He is active on multiple platforms to increase his outreach to the public. Leland tirelessly covers all types of legal issues, but he has a personal preference for medical malpractice. This is mainly because he witnessed the implications of medical malpractice on a family member. He also works as a contributor to .

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  1. Avatar Of Rc



    make a request under the freedom of information act in the city where the complaints are being make. Your cities .gov page will have a like to file under the foia. These are public records therefore available to the public

  2. Avatar Of Sheila Wilson

    Sheila Wilson


    You can go to your local courthouse and file a FOIA (freedom of information act) you must have the date the ACO came to your house. If a person filed a complaint against you you are legally entitled to a copy of the copy of the complaint and the ACO’s response on the complaint.

  3. Avatar Of Steven Derrick Russell

    Steven Derrick Russell


    My family is in the same boat. I had an animal control officer stop by with a false complaint that my dogs are being abused. They gave air ventilation and even a vent from our laundry room that blows in cool air. I asked the officer who made the call. No answer. He wanted to come into the yard and I told him no, not unless he has a warrant. Law enforcement and animal control officers are abusing their authority. They cannot come on your property without a warrant. I am now trying to contact an attorney to file a lawsuit against the officer and the city of Lawton, Oklahoma.

  4. Avatar Of Seanw



    Sadly there’s virtually no recourse in Canada for false animal control complaints. There is little due process that gives the accused a legitimate opportunity to defend themselves.

    They’ve deliberately given government carte blanche to imbue animal control activists (most of whom work for the SPCA so it’s really political tool to punish those that don’t agree with their abuse of power).

    I had two police & two SPCA people accost me at my own rental property that happened to be owned by a farm one of the neighbors doesn’t like. I politely declined to get involved because I didn’t know where the landlord was nor did I know where to find him. I told them so. They did not ask any questions about animal welfare. I told them I had no legal connection to the landlord other than as a tenant.

    The lead cop asked my name. I politely asked if I had a legal obligation to answer the question (having already invoked my right to not answer). When I politely advised him that I was not involved in their investigation nor did I want to be.

    He became enraged about that and said “I’m making you a person of interest in my investigation (with no additional information about me) & when I see you driving your vehicle on the highway I’m going to get you for illegally driving in BC. I told him I had not been here six months so my vehicle could not be illegal.

    He insisted that I had been here more than six months (without proof – it was a totally baseless & also false accusation). I’d been here since December 22nd which is the beginning of winter. It was mid-March when we spoke.

    He insisted that because I said I’d gotten stuck here for the winter that I was claiming I’d been here six months – which is ludicrous since winter is only 3 months long as are all the seasons – but sure enough he was accusing me of lying & mispresenting how long I’d been in the province – but without any additional evidence or proof than he already had which was none.

    Regardless he was not afraid to commit a crime in front of 3 witnesses — all of them enforcement people. That means they are all corrupt & protect each other. He threatened to watch for me on the highway so that he could stop & ticket me for an illegal vehicle. He indicated he could have it towed & leave me stranded on the highway.

    He promised to aggressively pursue me for what he referred to as “rudeness” which apparently means “exercising your right not to answer questions out of a concern they would be used against me”. Which is exactly what he did – he used everything I said to try & incriminate me & when it didn’t work he became enraged & committed a criminal offense while threatening me.

  5. Avatar Of Shandi Cheek



    I have a neighbor who’s making false claims against me about the welfare of my dogs. Every time the police and animal control come to my house they find nothing wrong with my dogs. I’ve told them I’m want to file an harrassment charge against the caller, but no one will give me the neighbor’s info. what are my next steps to stop them from bothering me and waisting the authorities time?

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