Animal Control Complaints & Issues

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AnnieANuisance Animals
Making a Nuisance Complaint
Cruelty Complaints & Concerns
Anonymous Reporting
Civil Penalties & Fees

Deer Hunting with Dogs Information

Please review this guide to information about Hunting Deer with Dogs in Northern Orange County, including rights, responsibilities and reporting.

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) 918-7397
  • Remaining County - (919) 942-PETS (7387)
  • After hours: 911

Making a Nuisance Complaint

For those making a complaint in Hillsborough or Unincorporated Orange County, include as much of the following information as possible:
  • plottingcattype 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

CheerioAWhile 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.


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 (with November 2016 amendments)
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.

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Upcoming Events

Low-cost rabies vaccination and microchip clinic
Thursday, May 11
5 pm - 7 pm

Our next clinic will be held at the Farmer's Market in Hillsborough, located on E. Margaret Lane. One and three-year vaccinations offered for $10 (must have proof of previous vaccination for 3-year vaccine).  Microchips offered for $25.  Cash only for this clinic! Please bring animals on leashes and in carriers.  See details and other clinic dates this year on our rabies page.

Margaret's Cantina Dinner Proceeds

Every 2nd Monday of the month
Eat dinner at Margaret's Cantina on the 2nd Monday of every month and 10% of proceeds will go to the Spay/Neuter Program at Animal Services.