The Humane Society of Elkhart County appreciates when the public provides information which allows law enforcement and the Humane Society to address potential cruelty/neglect. However, due to local and state statues, the investigative process must follow specific guidelines to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to preserve the integrity of a potential case. Here are reminder tips that will help make the Humane Society and law enforcement’s jobs effective:
- Call the Humane Society and/or law enforcement to report suspected abuse or neglect providing details that you have seen as an eye witness. Hearsay or second-hand information is not acceptable. Individual citizens and the general public do not have the authority to make any assessments or make contacts beyond authorized agencies — law enforcement and the Humane Society.
- Provide answers to questions from law enforcement of the Humane Society regarding location, nature of the abuse or neglect and your personal name and phone number in order that they may speak with you further as needed. (This information is confidential and not shared with the suspect.)
- If you are onsite, for your safety and the safety and well-being of the animals, respect the work of Humane Society and law enforcement officers and do not interfere as they are dealing with the animals.
- Understand that posting any information on social media or spreading of information which has yet to be confirmed or denied may jeopardize the investigative process and destroy the integrity of the case.
- The Humane Society’s main responsibilities include helping the animals in question and working in cooperation with law enforcement. No information will be provided during the investigative process other than such information as may be allowed by law enforcement.
- As for the future disposition of case animals, a full assessment will be conducted by the Humane Society and the Humane Society. In accordance with all legal guidelines, the Humane Society then has the authority to make determination on behalf of animals and what is best for the animals in question.