Animal Services

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    The City of Asheville’s Animal Services Unit's duties begin with enforcement of the Asheville Animal Control Ordinance. The team provides assistance to police officers dealing with situations involving animals, investigates animal bites, imposes regulations on dangerous animals, investigates reports of cruelty toward animals, impounds animals at large, assists sick or injured animals and addresses public nuisance violations such as dogs barking excessively. Other animal services activities include periodic foot patrols, neighborhood canvassing and education, assisting the public with the loan of traps for the capture of domestic nuisance animals and review of applications for permits for keeping of more than 6 animals, fowl, livestock or bees.

    Black Bear Sightings in the Spring
    Black bear sightings throughout North Carolina are becoming more common as the bear population increases and bears expand their home range. While black bears are not inherently dangerous and are rarely aggressive toward people, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission advises caution to reduce potential conflicts. Click here to learn more.

    Click here for a UNC-TV episode of NC NOW for additional information on black bears.

    Coexisting with Bears
    How Asheville residents can coexist safely and peacefully with bears.

    Spay and Neuter Law

    All dogs and cats six months of age or older must either be spayed or neutered, or the owner must possess an Unaltered Pet Permit. The permit fee is $100 for the lifetime of the animal and may be purchased on the first floor of City Hall, 70 Court Plaza. Permit applications may also be obtained at the Asheville Police Department at 100 Court Plaza. The fine for violating this requirement is $200.

    Click here to find out if you qualify for FREE spay and neuter services for cats offered locally by Humane Alliance.

    Keeping Chickens and other fowl
    Click here to learn more about the city ordinance that regulates the keeping of chickens and other fowl within the city's limits.

    Dog Licensing 
    City of Asheville's Animal Ordinance requires that dogs must be licensed every year on January 1st. The fee is $10.00 and all dogs must have a city license by the age of six months. The city license tag and a current rabies tag must be displayed on the dog at all times. 

    In an effort to increase efficiency in the licensing and re-licensing of dogs that live within the city limits, the City of Asheville has partnered with animal license registration provider, PetData Inc.  All pet licensing and re-licensing may be handled online at or by US Mail.  Dog license tags will no longer be available for sale at City Hall.

    Click the link below to review the Asheville tethering regulations.

    Ordinance 3795 - Unattended tethering of dogs prohibited

    Cats are not required to have a city license or to wear tags; however cat owners should be prepared to provide proof of current rabies vaccination.

    Reporting a Missing Animal
    Contact the Asheville Humane Society at (828) 250-6430. Visit the shelter at 16 Forever Friends Lane, Asheville, NC 28806 (off Pond Road, near the Farmers' Market in West Asheville).

    Borrowing a Trap
    To borrow a trap to help catch a domestic nuisance animal, contact the City of Asheville’s Customer Services Division at (828) 251-1122 or visit the first floor of City Hall, 70 Court Plaza, to pay a refundable deposit. Then go to the the Asheville Police Department Animal Services Office located at 75 Shelburne Road to pick up the trap. Pick up can be arranged at the customer's convenience by speaking with an Animal Services Officer by calling 828-252-1110.

    Wildlife Reports or Complaints
    To report a concern involving wildlife or bears, call the Wildlife Resources Commission at 919-707-0010.

    Coexisting with Coyotes
    How Asheville residents can coexist safely and peacefully with coyotes.

    Buncombe County Animal Services
    If you live outside the city limits, in Buncombe County, and need to file an animal control request or complaint, call (828) 250-6670.

    Contact Information

    To file a complaint or to request service, call (828) 252-1110. An Animal Services Officer is on duty from 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 1-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

    City of Asheville Animal Services
    Animal Services Supervisor: Sue D. McMullen
    Location: 75 Shelburne Road, Asheville NC 28806
    Mail: P.O. Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802
    Direct: (828) 259-5872
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