Animal Control

Report a Problem

Call 757-565-0370 to report stray dogs and cats, suspected abuse of livestock or domestic animals and small injured wildlife such as raccoons and opossums. Animal Control handles nuisance domestic animals for excessive barking, biting or attacking without provocation, chasing vehicles, trespassing upon school grounds or private property in such a manner as to damage property.

Call the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) at 800-FOR-ROAD or 1-800-367-7623 for dead animal pickup along roadsides.

Call the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at 804-367-1000 for nuisance wildlife or to report problems with larger wildlife such as bears or deer.


Animal Control offers many services to citizens including:
  • The impounding of stray dogs and dogs running at large
  • Capturing stray dogs
  • Attempting to locate the owners of stray and found animals
  • Loaning cat traps to citizens for stray and feral cats for them to transfer to the Humane Society
  • Offering animals for adoption
  • Assist with sick and injured wildlife such as racoon and opossums
  • Investigate animal neglect and cruelty

Dog Licenses

Dog licenses can be purchased at the EOC building in Toano, the Treasurer's office on Mounts Bay Road, or online. All dogs and cats are required by state law to be vaccinated for rabies at 4 months of age. If you keep a dog outside, the animal must have an enclosed shelter and water. If on a chain, the chain should be 3 times the length of the dog's body.

For more information, see our Brochure (PDF).

Health Examinations

Health examinations are a very important part of your pet's existence. All preventive health programs must involve the following:

  • Nutrition
  • Parasite control
  • Vaccinations
  • Miscellaneous categories that include grooming, bathing, nail trimming, and dental examinations
Please contact your local veterinarian for this information.

Animals in Parked Vehicles

Please be kind and leave your pet at home in a cool place when out shopping or doing errands. Do not leave your pet in a parked hot vehicle while out doing errands. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly become 10-20 degrees hotter than the outside temperature.

Even with the windows cracked the temperature inside of the vehicle within minutes can become 10 degrees hotter than the outside air. A dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5-102 degrees. A dog can withstand a body temperature of 107-108 degrees for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage or even death.


Dogs do not sweat like people. Heavy panting can result in the dog passing out and possibly going into a coma. Signs of heat stress:

  • Deep Red or Purple Tongue
  • Dizziness
  • Glazed Eyes
  • Heavy Panting
  • Inability to Stand
  • Rapid Pulse
If your pet gets overheated you must lower the body temperature immediately! Get him/her into the shade and apply cool water all over the body especially the head and neck area as well as the paws. Let him drinks small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Get your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

In the state of Virginia it is considered unnecessary suffering to leave your pet in a parked vehicle with no ventilation especially during the hot summer months. Pet owners may be charged with cruelty to animals or failing to provide adequate care in these circumstances.

Rabies and Animal Bites

"Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It kills almost any mammal or human that gets sick from it." (Virginia Department of Health)

The Rabies virus lives in the saliva, the virus is spread by getting the infected virus into a wound. Only mammals get rabies. Rabies can be prevented by getting the proper vaccinations from you local veterinarian on a regular basis. Keep records of your pet's vaccinations for future reference. If your pet is bitten, contact the local health or animal control authorities. To limit the possibility of exposure, keep your pets on your property. Don't leave garbage out that may attract wild infected animals to your property. A rabid animal sometimes acts tame. Do not keep wild animals as pets. If you see an animal acting strangely, report it to your local animal control. Do not go near it yourself!

What to Do

If you have been bitten, don't panic but don't ignore it. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and plenty of water. Get medical attention as soon as you can. If you can, identify the animal before it runs away. Then call the local animal control. If it is a wild animal that must be killed, do not damage the head. The brain is used to test for the rabies virus.

If your pet has bitten someone, tell the person who was bitten to see a doctor immediately. If your pet is a dog, cat or ferret, it will have to be confined for a period of 10 days for observation.

More Information

Please call the Law Enforcement Center, 757-253-1800, and the Virginia Health Department 757-253-4813.