Animals in Danger

Most people hear about or witness animal mistreatment at least once in their life. Often people do not know what is considered correct treatment and which occasions should be reported.

What to Do if You See Animals in Danger?

The animal welfare officials decide whether to take further actions. Please report all occasions even though you would not be sure if the law being broken or not. Do not hesitate to ask for help – it is for the animal’s best.

Mistreatments should be reported to animal welfare authorities (municipal veterinarians, supervising veterinarians, state veterinarians – contact your own municipality’s telephone exhange for phone number – and the police 112) or any of the SEY’s animal welfare counsellors.

SEY’s animal welfare counsellors are animal welfare educated citizens working on a voluntary basis. They observe ethical precepts and professional secrecy. In mild cases, the SEY’s animal welfare counsellors instruct the owners to treat their animals better, whereas in aggravated ones, they contact the animal welfare authorities.

How Acute is the Case?

If you hear about or see an animal in an urgent need of help, please contact the police or the official veterinary of your municipality acting as an animal welfare authority (contact your own municipality’s telephone exhange for contact information). In acute cases you can always call 112.

Immediate help may be needed, for instance, if animal is:

  • physically mistreated;
  • starved or dehydrated;
  • kept in too cold or hot a place;
  • in danger of being hit by a car;
  • penned on a balcony.

If you are unsure of the acuteness, you may contact any of the SEY’s animal welfare counsellors.

Non-Acute Cases

If you know or suspect that an animal is in need of help but not within the next couple of hours or the same day, you should contact the acting veterinary or your municipality or SEY’s animal welfare counsellor.

Quick but not necessarily acute help is needed if you suspect that:

  • someone operates a puppy mill;
  • a dog is not walked often enough;
  • a dog spends his time alone outdoors without stimuli or exercises;
  • an animal needs a new home;
  • a cowshed or a stable is not up to the statute;
  • the cleanliness of cats’ environment is not taken care of.
Photo: Suvi Elo

Wild Animals in Danger

Helping an injured wild animal is a duty of a citizen and an important tasks of animal welfare authorities. Any injured wild animal should be reported to the emergency exchange 112. SEY’s animal welfare counsellors offer help and advice as well.

Young wild animals do not usually need help – their parent supervises them even though they seem abandoned. If you are even slightly unsure of an animal’s situation, contact the SEY’s animal welfare counsellor. Do not touch the young before speaking to an expert. Especially the prospect of a young brown hare collapse if they are taken to human facilities without reason.

Photo: Jouko Torssonen

Lost, Found and Strays

Lost and found animals as well as sightings of strays should be reported to a local rescue house (if unsure contact your own municipality’s telephone exhange) and to a local animal welfare association. Furthermore, it is advisable spread the information online, for example on or social media.

Make an online animal mistreatment report to SEY

You can contact SEY also by email if you suspect that an animal is being mistreated and want to report it.

In urgent situations, please do not send email, but contact your local animal welfare counsellor or municipal veterinarian or health officer (contact your own municipality’s telephone exhange for contact information) or, if the case is pressing, the police or 112.

Our wish is that all cases are primarily reported to SEY’s animal welfare counsellor or a local supervising veterinarian. In absence of a supervising veterinarian, you may also contact your municipal veterinarian. The contact information should be found on your municipality’s web page or telephone exhange. 

If you fail to find the needed contact information or do not wish to contact a veterinarian, you may make the report sending us email.

Describe in detail what kind of an animal the case concerns, what has happened and give a full address. If the report lacks a specific address, we cannot take further actions.

You need to use your own name making an email report. Your phone number is required in case we need more information. We do not deal with reports filled without a phone number or with a false one. The personal details are always confidential.

We relay some of the reports to the animal welfare authorities (especially in regions without a SEY counsellor). PLEASE TELL IF YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION TO BE PASSED ON.

Please notice

  1. Usually the reports are about barking dogs. If your case is similar, please contact first the owner and talk with him/her. If the disturbance continues, you may contact your property manager or SEY’s animal welfare counsellor.
  2. Internet is full of shady reports about, for instance, puppy mills. These cases are very difficult to investigate (the offenders often change their location, name and number), so it is advisable to gather as much information as possible in advance. Unfortunately, SEY has no resources to start a thorough investigation – these cases should be given to the authorities. If you, however, suspect that a puppy mill going on somewhere, you should contact either a SEY’s counsellor or a local animal welfare authority. The offender may always be new and unknown to the authorities.
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