Mobile phone owners have a new way to report animal cruelty crimes thanks to a new smart phone application unveiled on Feb. 20 by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). The California-based ALDF advances animals’ interests through the legal system.

Organization spokeswoman Lisa Franzetta said that the ALDF Crime Tips application allows anyone who see or suspects animal cruelty or neglect to submit audio, video, picture, and GPS information of any incident straight to the nearest law enforcement authorities. ALDF worked with LiveSafe, a Washington D.C.-based mobile safety and incident reporting firm, to develop the application, Franzetta said.

"This discreet … way to help animals lets concerned citizens take action on the spot with the confidence that their tips will get to authorities who can help animals," said ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells.

Some rescuers’ opinions about the application are mixed.

Roy Gross, director of the Suffolk County, N.Y., Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said that the phone application allows callers to report animal cruelty as soon as they see it.

"If they’re driving by and they see something, they can call us immediately," Gross said. "If they wait until they get home, they probably won’t make the call or they’ll completely forget about it."

Meanwhile, Morgan Silver, executive director Horse Protection Association of Florida, said that while the application will help lead law enforcement to sites where abuse is in progress, it bypasses caller contact with rescue operators.

"We have received cal