How do I file a complaint?
Call our dispatcher at 693-5290 or stop by our office at 6489 Main St., Room 126. The complaint will be given to an officer to investigate. If the officer sees a violation when he/she arrives, appropriate action will be taken.
My dog never goes outside. Do I need to still buy a dog license?
Yes - All dogs four (4) months or older must have a county dog license.
County law reference-- Section 3-32
Must I put the county license tag on my dog?
Yes - Such tag shall be affixed to the collar of the dog to which it relates and must be worn by such dog at all times except: when the dog is competing in a dog show, or when the dog has a skin condition which would be exacerbated by wearing of a collar.
County law reference-- Section 3-34
You should be aware that if you fail to purchase an animal license you would be subject to a fine for the first offense.
Just a reminder "A LOST PET CAN'T CALL HOME; THEIR TAG IS THEIR TICKET HOME."
Who do I call if I am missing my animal?
Call or stop by our office. We will try to determine if an animal fitting the description of your animal was picked up and impounded. If we have not impounded your animal we will fill out a lost card describing the animal, and keep it on file. Please be mindful that it is very difficult to identify mixed breed animals due to discrepancies and variations in descriptions.
You should also contact the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society at 693-5520. Even though they do not pick up animals, they will frequently take in a stray animal that has been found by a citizen and brought to their facility. They are located at 6620 Jackson Lane, Gloucester, VA.
What does it cost to reclaim my animal from the County Shelter?
If your dog was picked up in a non-leash law area, and was wearing a valid county dog license, there will be no charge. If your dog was picked up as a stray (no valid license on collar) or was running at large the fees are as follows. The impoundment fee to reclaim an animal is $20.00 for each and every time an animal is impounded. A boarding fee of $10.00 per day for each day that the animal remains impounded in the county’s facility. Cash or check only; SORRY NO CREDIT CARDS.
County law reference-- Section 3-37
What are the rules on animals running loose?
No animal is permitted to roam free off the owner's property in certain areas of the county. This includes dogs, horses and other animals. There are several ordinances that apply:
The "leash law" covers dogs only. This ordinance states “it shall be unlawful for the owner or custodian of any dog to permit the dog to go upon any public street, sidewalk, or right-of-way or upon the property of another, and that the dog be kept secured by a leash or lead or other means of restraint”. Dogs being walked on a leash must also be wearing a county dog license.
County law reference-- Section 3-46
The "Animals and fowl at Large" ordinance states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to permit any animal or fowl owned by him or in his custody or under his control to run at large upon, or to graze alongside, any public street or highway”.
County law reference-- Section 3-4 and 3-6
An animal has bitten me - what should I do?
All animal bites must be reported, and failure to do so could result in a summons being issued. This is a matter of public health and enforcement of these regulations is the responsibility of Animal Control and the Gloucester County Health Department. Any animal that bites someone must be placed in quarantine for a 10-day period and cannot be removed from the county unless permission is granted by the Gloucester County Health Department.
County law reference-- Section 3-55
If you or any family member are bitten, call the Health Department at 693-6130 during regular hours and they will complete all required paperwork. For after hour’s assistance, call the Sheriff Dispatcher at 693-3890 and an Animal Control Officer will respond to complete the paperwork. If medical treatment is required the doctor or hospital providing the treatment should report the incident.
Every attempt should be made to identify the animal so the owner can be contacted and the necessary paperwork completed. If a wild animal is involved and cannot be located, you will be advised by your doctor and the Health Department what treatment is necessary.
Does the county have a "barking dog" ordinance?
Yes. It shall be unlawful for any owner or custodian of an animal to fail to exercise proper care and control of his/her animal to prevent it from becoming a public nuisance, such as, but not limited to: excessive or continuous barking audible outside the perimeter of the owner’s property.
County law reference Section 3-39
Does the county have a "pooper-scooper" ordinance?
Yes. It shall be unlawful for any owner to allow their animal to defecate on the property of other persons without their consent. Immediately removal of the defecated matter shall not constitute a violation.
County law reference Section 3-16
My pet is old and sick and needs to be put to sleep - does the County do this?
No. This is not a service provided by the County. We do not have the authority to perform this service for pet owners. A licensed veterinarian must do this.
Can my dog (animal) ride unrestrained in the open back of a pick-up?
No. It is unlawful for any owner or custodian of a animal to allow such animal to ride in any motor vehicle or in any portion thereof that is open in such a manner to permit such animal to jump out of the vehicle or to be thrown there from by acceleration of, stopping of, or accident involving, such vehicle. This includes, but is not limited to, the open bed of a truck, the interior of a convertible vehicle with the top down or removed, the rear storage portion of a station wagon with the tailgate open, and the trunk or hatchback portion of any vehicle with the trunk or hatchback open.
An animal is allowed in these prohibited portions only if it is tethered or confined to a cage of adequate construction and design to prevent its escape.
County law reference Section 3-17
What's the difference between Animal Control and the Humane Society?
The Gloucester County Animal Control Department is a county agency that works under the County Administrator. As such, we are governed by all county policies and procedures and totally funded by the county. Animal Control officers patrol the county streets and enforce all state and county animal related ordinances.
The Humane Society is a privately owned organization and is independent from county control. The Humane Society operates with private donations and private grants.
Can I adopt an animal from Animal Control?
No. The Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society
does all animal adoptions for Gloucester County. You may view online at Petfinder
any of the animals kept at the County’s Animal Shelter, located at 6584 Beehive Drive for possible adoption. Please note that the Humane Society is the approval authority for all adoptions and that all adoption paperwork is done through them. Please call Animal Control before going to the shelter to ensure there is an officer there to show you the animals.
I have a two (2) foot constrictor type snake that I purchased from a pet store, do I need to register it as an Exotic Animal?
Yes. County Law states that “non-venomous reptiles six (6) feet or longer in length which can normally be found in the wild, all constrictor type snakes,…” must be registered as an exotic animal.
County law reference Section 3-8
Is there something I can do to eliminate skunk odor on my dog?
Yes. Mix: 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with one cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon liquid soap. Work this solution into the dog's coat and then rinse with water. The peroxide will neutralize the skunk spray.
I found a dog or cat; can I just keep it?
No. You may hold onto the animal, but by law, you must contact Animal Control within forty-eight (48) hours to provide all information such as description of animal and location found to Animal Control.
County law reference Section 3-11
Please note that Virginia State Law 3.2-6585 states that "All dogs and cats shall be deemed personal property and may be the subject of larceny and malicious or unlawful trespass."