I have a neighbor who owns what I assume is a small dog based on the noises I hear coming from her apartment, and the problem is: recently the dog has started to sound like it’s enduring a significant degree of discomfort. I’ve had pets before so I like to think I’m a decent judge of when an animal sounds in pain and when it is just uttering lonely whimpers, and this animal sounds like it hasn’t been fed in days. So my question is: do I intervene? Knock on their door and make sure the pup is alright? I’ve maybe seen this neighbor once in over a year and a half in my apartment, and I’ve never had any interaction with them, so I could see that becoming pretty awkward. Is there an alternative? Like a Child Protective Services, but for pets? Does Animal Control have any authority in situations like this?

SF residents concerned about suspected animal abuse or neglect should definitely call SF Animal Care and Control’s emergency dispatch number: 415-554-9400.

According to ACC spokesperson Deb Campbell, callers “can speak to an Animal Control Officer about the situation, get advice, file a complaint – and do so anonymously if they wish. An Animal Control Officer will do a welfare check to see if the animal is receiving proper care, and take action if s/he is not. The action could be arrest, citations and/or taking the animal, depending on the circumstances.”

!mage: still from Animal Cops: SF

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