Cruelty and Neglect to Animals

The league investigates reports of cruelty and neglect to animals with our trained humane police officers. The Humane League of Lancaster County is a private organization with court appointed Humane Society Police Officers, who are able to enforce the laws protecting animals from cruelty.

All complaints of cruelty and neglect to animals are kept confidential and are investigated, even anonymous phone calls.

To report a case of suspected animal abuse simply call US

Humane Law Enforcement Department:

The Humane League of Lancaster County’s Humane Law Enforcement Department is a law enforcement department with full police officer powers of arrest. Our officers work along side all local and state law enforcement departments, District Attorney’s Office, Probation and Parole Offices, Children and Youth Services.

Our officers respond to all reports from the public of animal abuse and neglect including dog fighting, rooster fighting, incidents regarding no shelter, no food or water, sanitary living conditions, necessary vet care and physical abuse. The officers enforce the laws of the State of Pennsylvania regarding animal abuse and neglect under PA State Crimes Code Title 18 Sec. 5511.

To Report Animal Cruelty or Neglect:

Call (717) 393-6551 ext. 223 between 8am to 8pm 7 days a week.

If this is an emergency please contact:

ORCA (717) 397-8922 between the hours of 8pm to 8am or contact your local Police Department or veterinarian.

Do you have a question about what constitutes an emergency?


To Report a stray animal contact: ORCA (717) 397-8922 – Your Local Police Department or State Police

What are Pennsylvania’s Dog Laws? Also see Pennsylvania Anti-Cruelty Laws

  • All dogs three months of age or older must be licensed. Licenses are issued by the County Treasurer
  • All dogs must be under control and must not be allowed to run at large. Dogs are personal property, and owners are responsible for damages caused their dog.
  • It is illegal to mistreat or abuse any animal. Violations should be reported to a local humane organization or the police.
  • It is illegal to abandon or attempt to abandon any dog.
  • No dog under seven weeks of age may be sold, traded, bartered or transferred.
  • You may not place any poison or harmful substance in any place where dogs may easily eat it, whether it is your own property or elsewhere.
  • You must have a current kennel license if you operate a facility that keeps, harbors, boards, shelters, sells, gives away or transfers a total of 26 or more dogs in any one calendar year.
  • Owners of dogs and cats 3 months of age or older are required to have a current rabies vaccination. It is illegal to interfere with an officer or employee of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture engaged in enforcement of dog laws.

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement’s website:

What about the Puppy Lemon Law?

To lodge a complaint about a violation of the Puppy Lemon Law, Contact the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection web site at:

What are legal conditions for a dog kennel?

What is a Puppy Mill?

How can you stop Puppy Mills?

Link to stories about abused animals we saved

Humane Law Enforcement Dept. Wish List

*35 mm camera

*35 mm film

*Video camera

*Handheld floodlights


*Office Supplies

*Radio Equipment

*Rescue Poles

*Bite Gloves

*Bite Batons

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