Report a Concern

It is important to report a welfare concern or an alleged offence to an Authorised Officer (a person who is authorised under the relevant piece of legislation to enforce the law) or a Garda.


If urgent, ring 112 or 999.

Welfare of All “PROTECTED” Animals

An Garda Síochána
Every member of An Garda Síochána is authorised under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013

  • Contact your local Garda station. (24/7).
  • If urgent, ring 112 or 999.

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
DAFM have Authorised Officers/Veterinary Inspectors can investigate a welfare concern relating to any animal (including farm animals), and have inspectors in every county in Ireland. The DAFM Animal Cruelty Helpline is:

SPCAs (Authorised Officers)

  • DSPCA (Dublin only) or
  • ISPCA (Cavan, Carlow, Cork, Donegal, Kildare, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Meath, Offaly, Sligo, Tipperary, Roscommon, Waterford, Westmeath, Wicklow)

NB: The DSPCA/ISPCA cannot investigate welfare concerns relating to farm animals, or if an equine is on a farm where farm animals are also kept. Concerns regarding farm animals should be sent to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and/or An Garda Síochána.

Local Authority or Council
Some local authorities have veterinarians and departments that deal with animal welfare. Contact your local authority.

Customs and Excise Officers (Revenue) (e.g. at ports/airports).
If you have any information about smuggling, report it using Revenue’s Confidential Freephone number 1800 295 295.

Also contact local animal rescues, as who may be able to assist or notify Gardaí.

Horse Racing

IHRB (Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board). The IHRB also have Authorised Officers under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013. Confidential Hotline:

Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare Helpline:

An Garda Síochána

Greyhound Racing

Greyhounds are considered a “farm animal”. Concerns for the welfare of greyhounds can be reported to:

Greyhound Racing Ireland (24/7):

Reports received by the public will be followed up by a member of GRI’s welfare team, who have the power to carry out unannounced inspections and act under the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011.

An Garda Síochána

  • Contact your local Garda station. (24/7).
  • If urgent, ring 112 or 999.

Stray Animals

Stray Dogs

If you have a found a dog straying, by law, you must do the following:

(a) return the dog to its owner, or
(b) deliver the dog to a dog warden, or
(c) detain the dog and give notice in writing containing a description of the dog, the address of the place where it was found, and the address of the place where it is detained to the member in charge at the nearest Garda Station to the place where the dog was found, or to a dog warden.

See Section 13 of the Control of Dogs Act 1986.
  • Contact your local Garda station (24/7)
  • Local Dog Warden (Council).

Stray Horse or Donkey

Stray horses or donkeys (and hybrids) should be reported to:

  1. Your local Garda station and
  2. Your local authority.

If urgent (e.g. animal or person is in immediate danger, ring 999/112).

Wildlife Crime

“Wildlife Crimes” are offences against laws which protect wild plants, animals and habitats. Amongst the most important of these laws are the Wildlife Acts 1976 to 2018 and the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011. Both the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Minister with responsibility for nature conservation may bring prosecutions for such offences. The latter is the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is part of the Heritage Division of that Department.

Members of An Garda Síochána (AGS) and authorised officers of the NPWS are empowered to investigate suspected wildlife offences and bring proposals for prosecution. For this reason, AGS and NPWS have often engaged with one another when investigating wildlife offences.

CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI)
Telephone: +353 (1) 6663381
Detective Superintendent Kenneth Keelan
Detective Sergeant James King
Harcourt Square,
Harcourt Street,
Dublin 2,
D02 DH42

Illegal Fishing, Water Pollution, Invasive Specie

Contact Fisheries Ireland:

Inland Fisheries Ireland encourages members of the public and farmers to report illegal fishing, water pollution or invasive species by telephoning the confidential phoneline 0818 34 74 24 (open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week).

Illegal Pet Trade

If you have a concern about the welfare of pets imported or documents used.

Example: Falsified – or lack of – documents (pet passports, health certificates and rabies titration results) for transport of pets into or within the EU. The falsified information usually concerns the vaccination status, the age of the animal, its origin or its intended destination so fraudsters can by-pass animal health requirements and traceability checks. Report concerns to:

Dog Breeding Establishment

A dog breeding establishment is a premises that keep six or more female dogs, older than six months, which are capable of breeding. It is an offence to operate without being registered with the local authority (council).

  • If you suspect the premises is a dog breeding establishment and is not registered with the local authority, report this to the local authority.
  • If you are concerned for the welfare of any animal from a dog breeding establishment, follow the steps above to rep

Illegal Pet Seller

If you suspect a person is not in compliance with Animal Health and Welfare (Sale or supply of pet animals) Regulations 2019 (No. 681 of 2019), contact:

Further information

Report a Concern re: a Veterinary Practitioner

Complaints and concerns regarding veterinary practitioners can be reported to Veterinary Council of Ireland.

53 Lansdowne Road 
Dublin 4 D04 NY29 

Tel: +353 (0) 1 668 4402 

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