Help the Animals, Inc.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, no-kill animal shelter dedicated to providing a safe haven for homeless pets until they can be placed in responsible, loving homes.

Animal Cruelty & Neglect

If you see an animal being abused or neglected please call your local sheriff, police or animal control and report it. Animal abuse & neglect are covered under Indiana Abuse & Neglect Laws and your County Sheriff, Local Police or Animal Control Officer is responsible for enforcement. Additionally, besides Indiana state laws, each county and incorporated city have laws to protect animals. Please remember to get the exact address as officials will not respond otherwise.

Commercial Breeders:
The Animal Welfare Act can be enforced by the USDA & Indiana Dog Breeder Regulations are enforceable by state & county sheriff departments. Additionally, many counties & cities have have different definitions of "commercial breeders".

State of Indiana

Indiana Abuse & Neglect Laws Apply to all domestic animals.
IC 35-46-3-0.5

(1) "Abandon" means to desert an animal or to leave the animal permanently in a place without making provision for adequate long term care of the animal. The term does not include leaving an animal in a place that is temporarily vacated for the protection of human life during a disaster.

(2) "Beat" means to unnecessarily or cruelly strike an animal, or to throw the animal against an object causing the animal to suffer severe pain or injury. The term does not include reasonable training or disciplinary techniques.

(3) "Mutilate" means to wound, injure, maim, or disfigure an animal by irreparably damaging the animal's body parts or to render any part of the animal's body useless. The term includes bodily injury involving:

  • (A) serious permanent disfigurement;

  • (B) serious temporary disfigurement;

  • (C) permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily part or organ; or

  • (D) a fracture.

(4) "Neglect" means:

  • (A) endangering an animal's health by failing to provide or arrange to provide the animal with food or drink, if the animal is dependent upon the person for the provision of food or drink;

  • (B) restraining an animal for more than a brief period in a manner that endangers the animal's life or health by the use of a rope, chain, or tether that:

    • (i) is less than three (3) times the length of the animal;(3) times the length of the animal;

    • (ii) is too heavy to permit the animal to move freely; or

    • (iii) causes the animal to choke;

  • (C) restraining an animal in a manner that seriously endangers the animal's life or health;

  • (D) failing to:

    • (i) provide reasonable care for; or

    • (ii) seek veterinary care for; an injury or illness to a dog or cat that seriously endangers the life or health of the dog or cat; or

  • (E) leaving a dog or cat outside and exposed to:

    • (i) excessive heat without providing the animal with a means of shade from the heat; or

    • (ii) excessive cold if the animal is not provided with straw or another means of protection from the cold; regardless of whether the animal is restrained or kept in a kennel.

(5) "Torture" means:

  • (A) to inflict extreme physical pain or injury on an animal with the intent of increasing or prolonging the animal's pain; or

  • (B) to administer poison to a domestic animal (as defined in section 12(d) of this chapter) or expose a domestic animal to a poisonous substance with the intent that the domestic animal ingest the substance and suffer harm, pain, or physical injury.

*Under no circumstances is it legal for a citizen to inhumanely kill a domestic companion animal, even if it enters their property! (see definitions above)

*Animals may be legally killed only in self defense (dogs that are free-roaming or on private property that have no notices of a dog) -OR- if caught in the act of killing livestock by the livestock, property owner. In both cases, evidence must be presented to determine legality.

Shelter Care Laws

Wayne County, Indiana

Wayne County Animal Control: (765) 973-9355
Wayne County Sheriff's Department (765) 973-9393
Unchain Dogs Wayne County

*Please note that a dog may be tethered without time limits in Wayne County but there are restrictions to the tethering (please see below)

*Currently the ordinances are not online.


The City of Richmond Animal Control: (765) 983-7247
Mayor's Office: (765) 983-7208

Section 91.16 Humane Care of Animals

An owner of an animal must provide:

A. Wholesome nutritious food and adequate water and fresh air compatible with that animal's biological requirements to maintain body weight and hydration.

  • Shelter and protection from adverse weather (heat, cold, wind, rain, snow) of such design (e.g. dog house with 3 walls, roof and floor) that the animal can be completely dry and out of the wind, can heat the enclosed space with its own body heat with assistance of bedding (e.g. straw or blanket) and has adequate ventilation to provide fresh air.

  • If animal is in an outdoor enclosure (e.g. kennel or pen) the enclosure must be a minimum of 100 square feet (10' X 10') and be constructed of material sturdy enough to prevent escape and must contain within it a dog house or shelter as described above. The outdoor enclosure must be tall enough to prevent escape and must have a top of such design that escape is prevented but ventilation and daylight can penetrate (e.g. chain-link top).

  • Living space maintained so animal is not forced to sit, stand or lie in its own excrement, mud or puddles.

  • Veterinary care if animal is injured or ill.

B. Shall not tether any animal, as defined under this ordinance as a permanent means of confinement. An animal may be temporarily tethered, only if the following conditions are met:

  • Animal must be attached by a tether no shorter than 10 feet free from entanglement and must be attached by a non-choke buckle collar or harness.

  • The animal shall not be attached by use of a choke, snap, or any collar made out of chain, or any collar too small for size and age of the animal, or by a rope, chain, cable or cord directly attached to the animal's neck.

  • Animal's owner or custodian is outside and in visual contact with the animal or the animal is tethered only for the reasonable time necessary to complete a temporary task (e.g. work shift) not to exceed 12 hours in any 24 hour period.

  • Food, water, and appropriate shelter available to animal while tethered and animal monitored periodically.

C. Shall not abandon or neglect his or her animal.


Centerville Police Department: (765) 855-5222

* The Centerville City Council has updated its vicious dog ordinance to ban pitbulls or "any dog which has the appearance and characteristics of being predominately of breeds to bull terrier" even though the town mascot is a bulldog, considered by many to be a bully breed. The breed ban is considered (BSL) Breed Specific Legislation.

*Currently the ordinances are not online.