New Resource Enables Animal Control Officers to Report Animal Cruelty to FBI

Washington, DC—The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), in partnership with the National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA), announced today the release of its new resource, “NIBRS User Manual for Animal Control Officers and Humane Law Enforcement.” Unveiled at the recent annual meeting of the National Coalition on Violence Against Animals, the manual aims to ensure animal control officers (ACOs) and humane law enforcement (HLE) are aware of and fully equipped for their new and critical role in reporting animal cruelty incidents to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The role of ACOs and HLE became even more important on January 1, 2016, when the FBI started collecting data on animal cruelty incidents under its National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Since ACOs and HLE are the first responders to many, if not most, incidents of animal neglect and cruelty, this professional community will play a key role in developing an accurate and comprehensive system of animal cruelty crime reporting. (With no animal cruelty category in NIBRS prior to 2016, ACOs and HLE previously were not NIBRS reporters.) This manual helps bring HLE organizations and animal control agencies into the reporting system.

“Our organization led the effort to include animal cruelty in the FBI crime data reporting system,” said Dr. Mary Lou Randour, AWI senior advisor of animal cruelty programs and training. “Now, we are honored to partner with NACA to ensure that all potential reporters of animal cruelty crime are given the resources and training they need to develop a truly representative national database of such crime.”

In addition to providing reporting guidance and an introduction to the NIBRS animal cruelty incident report, the manual contains

  • a reporting form, developed in cooperation with the FBI, compatible with the NIBRS reporting system requirements;
  • a template for a memorandum of understanding that can be used to formalize relationships between an animal control agency and local police department for sharing data on animal cruelty incidents; and
  • a map of current NIBRS participation states (as of February 7, 2016).

”Given the link between animal cruelty and violent crime, NACA is proud of the collaboration with AWI to create the NIBRS user manual,” said George W. Harding, IV, NACA executive director. “This tool will ensure animal control and humane enforcement officers have a way to report the vast number of cases not seen by other law enforcement agencies, thus providing truer representation of animal cruelty statistics.” 

To maximize the reach of the resource, AWI and NACA will jointly distribute the manual to appropriate networks and offer training for ACOs and HLE. The manual is available here for free download.


Media Contact:
Amey Owen, (202) 446-2128,

About the Animal Welfare Institute
The Animal Welfare Institute is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild. For more information, visit

About the National Animal Care and Control Association
The National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA) was formed in 1978 for the express purpose of assisting its members to perform their duties in a professional manner. We believe only carefully selected and properly trained animal control personnel can correct community problems resulting from irresponsible animal ownership. NACA's purpose is to preserve the Human/Animal Bond by insisting on responsible animal ownership. For more information, visit