Animal Services Frequently Asked Questions
Animal control definition:
A government entity or department responsible for enforcing ordinances relating to the control, impoundment and disposition of animals. They take custody of stray domestic animals and facilitates their return to or placement in a home environment, defends animals from abuse and neglect, and protects the public from aggressive or dangerous animals. The animal control facility puts a 3-day hold, while vetting them to determine the best course of action to take
Animal shelter/Humane Society definition:
An establishment usually a Not for profit agency, supported by charitable contributions. They provide a temporary home for surrendered or stray dogs, cats, and other animals that are cared for and then offered for adoption.
Question: Who do I contact on the days that Animal control is not open?
Answer: You can Call the Animal Control office and leave a message, however after hours is reserved for emergencies only. We do not have the staff to call back non-emergency complaints after hours. If you do not have an emergency, please wait until the next business day to contact us. We are only contracted after hours for actively aggressive or severely injured animals; all other reports will have to wait until normal business hours.
Question: If I see a deceased dog or cat in the road or on the side of the road who do I call to remove them?
Answer: Animal control is unable to transport deceased animals, the county must be notified, in most instances the animal control officer will determine if the animal is deceased and then report it to the county. If you see a deceased animal after hours please contact the city side streets Public works 758-5400, City main roads DOT 758-3700 County roads- landfill 752-6050
Question: I found a stray dog or cat on a day Animal Control was closed what do I do?
Answer: If the animal is a danger to the community please call the animal control office leave a voice mail with a description of the animal, location and the dangerous behavior, if they do not meet this criteria you will have to wait to take it to animal control the next business day.
Question: Can I bring them to the shelter/Adoption Center?
Answer: The adoption center does not have the means necessary to do an intake, you must wait for Animal Services. The adoption center is just that, an entity that provides services to animals that are vetted and ready for foster, animal rescue or adoption.
Question: I have borrowed a trap from you, and I have trapped wildlife instead of my intended cat or dog, what do I do?
Answer: Any wildlife that is not injured a posing a threat should be released on site immediately, if the wild animal is injured please call FWC at 386-758-0525.
Question: I came across a neglected horse and goat while driving the county today can you come check them out if they look under weight.?
Answer: Unfortunately, we do not handle complaints on livestock, please call Columbia County Sheriff's office at 386-719-2005 as they address all livestock complaints.
Question: Can I make an anonymous complaint?
Answer: All our calls are subject to the public records law, once the case is closed all case information becomes public record.
Question: When I made a complaint on my neighbor’s dogs running loose on my property, animal control came out, but they didn't remove the dogs, why are the dogs not removed?
Answer: Per our policy we issue a written warning/ notice of violation on the first offense.
Question: I found a kitten or litter of kittens abandoned by my house, will mom return, or should I take them to the Humane Society/Adoption Center?
Answer: No, you should leave them, their mama in most cases isn’t far away, she is hiding to protect her babies. If she does not return in a few hours, please call our animal control. Please do not stay in the area, leave the area and check back in a few hours, to see if the mama returned to her litter.
Question: Should I report dogs running loose even if they aren’t bothering me?
Answer: Absolutely, even if it is only to make a report, we need to know if there’s a history of this animal running loose so we can address the situation before it could become dangerous.
Question: Does Columbia county require a license to possess an animal?
Answer: No, we currently have no licensing requirements in our county.
Question: If I feed an animal does that mean it is mine?
Answer: If you provide care/ food to an animal for longer than 7 days that animal is considered your animal. Please call immediately if you have a stray animal show up on your property so you are not considered the owner of the animal.
Question: Why when surrendering my dog or cat/kittens do I have to pay a fee?
Answer: Yes, an Owner Surrender for Columbia county residents is $40.00 per animal. While here is usually a waiting list please call ahead to be placed on this list. Typical wait times vary, you are not guaranteed a spot at any time. Please attempt to re-home your pet prior to utilizing our services, you can re-home your pet free of charge on this awesome website at rehome.adoptapet.com . We can only accept owner surrender once all these steps have been followed and we must have space, if we are out of space in the kennel, we will not take the animal. Out of county Owner Surrender requires $100.00 fee per animal, only accepted if space is available, can also be denied at any time per management
(The LCHS would prefer to take all the animals and provide them the opportunity to be adopted, however we do not have the space, nor the funding to house every animal that is abandoned, surrendered etc. In some instances, the animals are not adoptable, and a danger to society, therefore cannot be adopted or sent to rescue.)
Question: Am I responsible to pay a fee for bringing in an abandoned animal?
Answer: There is no fee for stray intakes inside of Columbia county, the person bringing an animal in must have a valid id showing residency in Columbia County
Refer all Calls regarding dead animals:
City Side streets- call Public works 386-758-5400
City Main roads- call DOT 386-758-3700
Examples of City main roads, 90,441-41-Baya, Main Marion etc.
County Roads- Landfill 386-752-6050