Orange County home page

Animal Control Complaints & Issues

Click the links below to move to the appropriate section on this pageannie

Nuisance Animals

Making a Nuisance Complaint

Cruelty Complaints & Concerns

Anonymous Reporting


Civil Penalties & Fees


Deer Hunting with Dogs Information

Please review this guide to information about Hunting Deer with Dogs in Northern Orange County, including rights, responsiblities and reporting.


Nuisance Animals

Animals falling under the Nuisance Animal Ordinance, include:

  • animals at large
  • doing property damage
  • barking
  • being outside “in heat.” 

Nuisance animals should be reported by jurisdiction using the following numbers:

  • Chapel Hill Town limits - (919) 942-PETS (7387)
  • Carrboro Town limits - (919) 918-7397
  • Remaining County - (919) 942-PETS (7387)
  • After hours: 911



Making a Nuisance Complaint

plotting cat

For those making a complaint in Hillsborough or Unincorporated Orange County, include as much of the following information as possible:

  • type of animal
  • description of animal
  • location of animal
  • animal owner information, if known
  • nuisance behavior
  • date and time of nuisance behavior


Complaint Form

Nuisance Ordinance



Cruelty Complaints & Concerns

Suspected cases of animal cruelty should be reported at the following numbers:

  • Chapel Hill Town limits - (919) 942-PETS (7387)
  • Carrboro Town limits - (919) 883-8398
  • Remaining County - (919) 942-PETS (7387)

Investigators may ask for the following information:

  • type of animal
  • description of animal
  • location of animal
  • animal owner information, if known
  • type of suspected abuse or neglect
  • date and time of suspected abuse or neglect
  • other details as needed

Complaints of abuse and neglect will be investigated as to their validity. When appropriate, legal action is taken by formally charging the violator.

Legal Definitions for cruelty can be found in the NC State Animal Cruelty Statute and the Orange County Animal Ordinance.




Anonymous Reporting

While anonymous reporting is allowed, Animal Services encourages the self-identification to ensure any investigation can perform necessary follow-up. However, complainants' names are considered public records, subject to disclosure to the public upon request. This may prompt some persons to prefer to submit cruelty complaints anonymously.





County Ordinance

The links below provide access to the Animal Control sections of the Code of Ordinances of Orange County.  They are not intended to serve as the official County Code for Orange County and may not include recent amendments to the County Code.  Current information is available from records in the County Clerk’s office in the official minutes of the Orange County Board of Commissioners.

Animal Control Ordinance

Ordinance Prohibiting the Display of Wild and Exotic Animals

Ordinance Prohibiting the Keeping of Wild Animals Dangerous to Persons and Property


Chapel Hill and Carrboro Town Ordinances

Orange County's Tethering Ordinance



Civil Penalties and Fees

These fees will only affect pet owners who violate county animal ordinances.

Violation Amounts are as follows:

Failure to Vaccinate (Rabies)


Failure to License




Public Nuisance Violations

$50, $100, $200, $300, $400

Failure to wear rabies tag


Failure to permit kennel inspection


Failure to wear rabies tag $50


Other Fees:  Out-of-county Surrender fee:  $50

The fees are designed to encourage responsible pet ownership and improve the safety of not only the animals, but the community as a whole.


Quick Links

Animal Services Facebook pageVisit us on Facebook



Check out the CDC's new webpage about Pets and Ebola for all the latest news!

Find out even more about Pets & Ebola from the American Veterinarian Medical Association.


Find out what's happening with the Free Roaming Cat Task Force, a subcommittee of the Animal Services Advisory Board.


Find out all you need to know about Rabies in Orange County and beyond on our Rabies Page.

Orange County Giving Fund

Make a secure donation in a number of areas of care by visiting the Community Giving Fund page


mobile web page

We now have a Mobile Page, designed to help you view our site on your mobile device.  Click HERE to use it!

animal cam


Check out our Animal Cam to see animals in our Featured Pet Room 24 hours a day!



Upcoming Events

Home for the Holidays!

November 1 - January 3

All dogs and puppies are available for only $60; all cats and kittens available for ony $50!

Chapel Hill/Carrboro Parade

Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 10 a.m.

Join Animal Services and many other great organizations and groups for the annual Chapel Hill/Carrboro Parade!

Canned Pet Food Drive

December 1 - 20

Bring cans of cat or dog food to the Animal Services Center to help families in need feed their pets this holiday season.  Four or more cans gets you a free Picture with Santa at our Pics with Santa event!

Pics with Santa

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 12 -4 p.m.

Bring your pet and/or yourself for our annual Pictures with Santa event, held at the Animal Services Center.  Cost is four (4) cans of pet food to go toward our Canned Pet Food Drive.