Orange County home page

DoggyAnimal Control Complaints & Issues

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

Nuisance Animals

Making a Nuisance Complaint

Cruelty Complaints & Concerns

Anonymous Reporting

Nuisance Wildlife

Injured & Orphaned Wildlife

Coyote & Other Wildlife Resources

Ordinances

Civil Penalties & Fees

 

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) 883-8398
  • 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.

For wildlife emergencies involving humans, call 911.  For ill or injured wildlife, call the NC Wildlife Resource Commission at 1-800-662-7137.

Warning

Most animals can bite or claw and may harbor illnesses which can be transmitted to people, including rabies. We recommend contacting a wildlife resource regarding your concern with any wild animals. 

 

Nuisance Wildlife Resources

Many wildlife "problems" can be prevented by some straightforward steps identified in resources listed below.  Animal Services does not generally deal with nuisance wildlife.  Services are available from companies specializing in pest or critter control. 

Injured or Orphaned Wildlife Resources

Coyote & Other Resources

Recent sightings of coyotes in our area have prompted public interest in this species.  As with other wildlife species, only aggressive behaviors or actual bites should be reported.

 

Feeding young wildlife (of any species) can be particularly dangerous for all involved.  Click here to read an important article from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission about the dangers of feeding young wildlife.


Ordinances

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)

$200

Failure to License

$200

Mistreatment

$200

Public Nuisance Violations

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

Failure to wear rabies tag

$50

Failure to permit kennel inspection

$25

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.