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Humane Law Enforcement


The Delaware SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Division (HLE) is committed to protecting animals from abuse. Delaware SPCA is granted law enforcement authority under Title 3 of Delaware State Law, and is charged with the responsibility to enforce Delaware Animal Cruelty Laws.

Our officers respond to over 1,000 complaints of animal cruelty each year, rescuing animals in distress. We provide safety, veterinary care and seek loving homes for neglected and abused animals, and bring those who caused the suffering to justice.

Our HLE officers also seek to educate animal owners and caretakers in an attempt to elevate the standard of care and improve the quality of life for as many animals as possible. Education can help an animal owner improve the care of their pet, allowing that pet to remain in a loving home.


If you would like to report suspected cruelty to animals, please call us at (302) 998-2281 in New Castle County, and (302) 856-6361 in Sussex County between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday-Friday. Calls received in the evening or on weekends/holidays will be handled on the next business day. For emergencies, please call your local police department. You may also file a complaint online.

We serve New Castle and Sussex Counties only, where we have shelter facilities.

PLEASE NOTE: Animal cruelty investigations do not include barking dogs, loud cats, or loose animals. In addition, concerns regarding improper shelter, lack of food or water or animals at large are handled by the organization contracted in each County for animal control. Please call:

  • In New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties, please contact Delaware Animal Care and Control at 888-352-7722 or 302-698-3006 ext 1


For a summary of animal welfare laws in Delaware, see this web page from the Michigan State University College of law has a list of Delaware statutes.


The Delaware SPCA’s HLE Program is not funded by the government. We are a nonprofit organization that replies on donations to provide this life-saving program. Please lend your support.