Since December 22nd last year, the U.S. government has shut down a slew of essential services and functions due to a lack of federal funding.

One key component of the shutdown has been the USDA, who have abandoned many of their key activities and responsibilities in relation to animal welfare.

The USDA is responsible for inspecting research labs, animal breeders and dealers (including puppy mills), and exhibitors of exotic animals like roadside circuses to ensure they meet the minimum animal care standards. However, all these functions have now stopped.

In addition to this, the USDA’s Animal Care hotline that people previously used to report abuse is out of action.

With officials no longer there to hold people accountable, who can we turn to for help if we spot animal abuse or cruelty?

Luckily, there are plenty of amazing organizations throughout the country that offer their own hotlines or reporting avenues.

If you see or learn of any animal welfare violations, reach out to one of the following organizations:

There are countless animal advocacy and welfare organizations, large and small, in almost every town, county, city, and state throughout the U.S. ready and willing to speak up for those who can’t speak themselves. With the “temporary” government shutdown dragging on and no end in sight, it’s up to us to make sure that animal cruelty never goes unreported.