Animal Control Fact

Officers possess mace, catch-poles and a tranquilizer gun. We use non-lethal means to secure animals.

Animal Control is responsible for enforcing State laws and County ordinances pertaining to animal control, animal cruelty, and abuse in the rural areas of Guilford County, the city of Greensboro, as well as the town of Jamestown. The primary goals of the Animal Control Program are to:

  • enforce animal control laws picking up stray and unwanted animals
  • providing informational services to the public concerning animal control
  • and by issuing citations

Download the Animal Control Ordinance

Guilford County’s Animal Control ordinance states: “The actions of an animal constitute a public nuisance when an animal disturbs the rights of, threatens the safety of, or damages a member of the general public, or interferes with the ordinary use and enjoyment of another’s property.” Contact us, if you believe there is a public nuisance in your area. We’ll need your help and support in providing a positive outcome.

For Animal Control emergencies, questions or comments, call (336) 641-5990.

Animal Control is open Mon - Sat from 8am – 5pm closed on Sundays. For services on Sunday, after hours and Holidays call Metro 911 non-emergency number 336-373-2222 if it’s an emergency call 911. Animal Control only responds to sick, injured or vicious animals after hours.

If a vicious dog is running at large, law enforcement personnel are dispatched and will respond to the call. Also, 911 Dispatch will contact the on-call Animal Control Officer to assist in the emergency. Please reserve general questions and inquiries for the business day.

Health Information

FYI – New County Animal Ordinances Effective January 1, 2011

Guilford County Animal Control (GCAC) would like Guilford County residents to be aware of new animal ordinances that will take effect on January 1, 2011. These ordinances are designed to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our county’s animal population. Four areas are addressed in the new ordinances: high volume dog breeders and retailers, inherently dangerous animals, exotic animals, and fees/penalties. The county animal ordinances document is available online.

High Volume Breeders

A high volume dog breeder is defined as a breeder who maintains more than seven intact female dogs during any calendar year. A high volume dog retailer is any person who sells, resells or transfers ownership of more than 50 dogs during any calendar year including selling, reselling and transferring dogs to pet stores, breeders, kennels and dealers. High volume breeders and retailers will be required to obtain a permit (at no cost to them) and be inspected annually by Guilford County Animal Control. These breeders and retailers may obtain an application for a permit by contacting GCAC at 641-5990. Once the application has been completed by the facility owner/representative and submitted to GCAC, an appointment to inspect the facility will be established by GCAC. The annual inspection will include: animal housing, nutrition and hydration, behavioral requirements, grouping, staffing, handling and health/veterinary care. If the facility passes the inspection, a permit will be issued. If the facility does not pass inspection, the facility owner/representative will be provided with information on how to correct the problem(s). Once the problems are rectified and the facility has been re-inspected, it will be issued a permit. Facility inspection results are public record and are available to the public upon request by contacting GCAC. Subsequent annual inspections will occur unannounced.

Inherently Dangerous Animals

The new ordinance makes ownership of an inherently dangerous animal within the county unlawful. Examples of inherently dangerous animals are bears, big cats (lion, tigers, panthers, etc.) and wolves. This would be a major public health and safety issue to humans and animals alike. All owners of exotic animals must obtain a permit (at no cost to them). The purpose of this ordinance is to let Animal Control know where these animals are located and housed in case of some type of emergency that would require evacuation or alternate housing/location arrangements. The permit may be obtained by calling GCAC at 336-641-5990.

Fees and Penalties

The fees and penalties for Animal Control violations will be strengthened as of January 1, 2011. Repeat violations are addressed in the new ordinances and fees/penalties increased. The purpose of this portion of the ordinance is to lessen repeat violations and further protect the animals within Guilford County. One mission of Guilford County Animal Control is to protect the safety and ensure the well-being of the animal population within Guilford County. These revised ordinances will strengthen Animal Control’s ability to do so. Residents with any questions may call Animal Control at 336-641-5990 or email a question.

Wildlife and Rabies

Check out our Rabies page for more details on the latest news, what to do for wild or domestic animal attack and bite of humans or your domestic pet and how to prevent the spread of Rabies. Animal Control receives numerous inquiries about wildlife. Yes, coyotes are here in Guilford County. Are you seeing them or raccoons or bats in your neighborhood or along the woodlines? What is considered normal behavior for these animals? Are they looking for food, water or are they exhibiting signs of illness? Are they eating the fruit from your trees, eating the goldfish from your pond or drinking from your bird bath? Is there construction in the area? Here are some authoritative sources on wildlife.

  • Coyotes
  • Raccoons
  • Bats
  • Co-Existing with Wildlife

If wildlife is causing damage to your property, or maybe, you simply want the wildlife removed, contact a private firm for a consultation. Here’s a list for animal relocation services in Greensboro and the surrounding area:

  • Animal Control Experts LLC: (336) 303-0223
  • Critter Control: (336) 370-0445
  • McNeely Pest Control: (336) 292-4968
  • Pest Management Systems Inc.: (336) 272-4400
  • Triad Wildlife Experts: (336) 686-8930
  • Wildlife Care Inc.: (336) 697-4006

Public Nuisances

Is there a nuisance dog or cat in your neighborhood? Is the pet allowed to run at large? Or maybe it is a stray? If so, contact Animal Control, provide us with as much information as possible. While we can’t be at every corner to watch for domestic animals running at large, we respond and investigate your concern. If we can find the owner of the animal, we will talk with the owner and, if necessary, we will issue citations for violations of the Animal Control Ordinance. Violations of the Animal Control ordinance vary with the maximum fine being $500 per incident per animal for certain ordinance violations while the most common fine starting at $100 for first offense of an ordinance violations.


Cats, cats, cats. What’s the deal with cats running at large? Can they? Is there a leash law for cats? Animal Control advocates for responsible pet ownership. Responsible pet ownership includes keeping cats under control of an owner. The Animal Control ordinance does not mandate a leash for cats. Therefore, cats can run at large, however, when a cat becomes a nuisance to an adjoining neighbor, a walker or jogger, Animal Control can take steps to investigate and trap the nuisance cat(s). If an owner can be found, we will issue a citation. Have you seen a domestic animal not being watered, fed or provided with adequate shelter? Animal Control investigates allegations of animal cruelty. We assign an Animal Control Officer (ACO) to the case. The disposition of the case is left to the professional judgement of the ACO. All steps are taken to identify an owner. Appropriate and proportional legal action can be an end result in the investigation.

At Home Rabies Vaccinations

Animal Control provides the service of at home rabies vaccinations. One of our certified rabies vaccinators will set up an appointment with you to come to your residence and vaccinate your animals for $5.00 per animal. Download the following Home Visit for Rabies Shots application, complete the requested information and return to us including a money order or personal check (no cash) to our office. We are sorry but our officers cannot collect any form of payment in the field. The completed application along with payment must be submitted to our office before an at home rabies appointment will be set.

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