Animal Control FAQs

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  • How can I remove wild animals or feral cats from my property?

    FOR ANIMALS THAT CAN BE TRAPPED: Residents can come to the shelter to get a trap, which will require a $25 deposit. The deposit will be returned once the trap is returned. The resident then sets the trap in his or her yard. When an animal is trapped, Animal Control is contacted to come and collect the trap during normal business hours.

    FOR OTHER WILDLIFE: Please call the shelter so that they can put you in touch with entities that can work on your issue.

  • I found a pet. What happens now?

    If you are interested in owning this animal, complete a FOUND REPORT by contacting the shelter or filling out this form, and keep the pet at your home. Once you surrender the pet to the shelter, you are not entitled to the pet. 

    Found report information is made available to owners who have lost their animals. If you intend to keep the animal as your pet, you are required to license the animal within 30 days of finding it. If the owner is found and wants their pet returned, you are required to return the animal to the owner at any time.

    You have the right to be reimbursed by the owner for your expenses associated with the care and keeping of the animal. Keep your receipts!
  • What happens when I surrender my pet/animal to the shelter?

    Evaluation

    • Behavior Evaluation: All healthy pets surrendered to the shelter will be evaluated by the shelter’s animal behavior staff to determine if they qualify for our adoption program. Animals that exhibit certain unsocial, destructive or potentially dangerous behaviors will not be made available for adoption. These behaviors include, but are not limited to growling, alarm barking, trying to bite, hyperactivity, avoiding human contact, etc. Animals that appear friendly are given a health exam.
    • Health Exam: Pets are evaluated by our medical staff to determine if the pet is healthy. Healthy animals are given routine vaccinations, de-wormer and a flea treatment. Animals with minor medical conditions may be treated until they recover and/or are made available to another adoption agency. Healthy animals are referred to the shelter veterinarian for surgery as needed.


    Outcome

    • Surgery and Adoption: Healthy and friendly pets will be surgically sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped and made available for adoption. Adoptable pets will be available for adoption as long as they remain healthy.
    • Rescue/Transfer: Animals that do not appear friendly but do not pose a safety risk to people or other animals may be transferred to other adoption agencies, provided there are agencies available that are willing to take over the care and adoption of the pet.
    • Euthanasia: Euthanasia means the humane death of an animal. At the animal shelter, the procedure is conducted by highly skilled, certified euthanasia technicians. Euthanasia is conducted in a clinical setting using the same techniques as a private veterinarian.

    Animals may be euthanized when:

    • It is determined that a pet may pose a safety risk to people or other animals.
    • It is determined that a pet has a health condition that, even if treated, will not return the animal to a state of complete health.
    • A pet begins to shows signs of stress and/or illness due to confinement at the shelter.
    • A pet does not qualify for our adoption program and there is no other adoption agency willing to admit the pet into their program.
    • Space is unavailable.

    Louisiana state law allows the St. Charles Parish Animal Shelter to make your pet immediately available for adoption. Louisiana state law allows you to reclaim your pet during a short initial holding period, provided your pet has not already been placed in a new home. You are required to pay all fees and fines associated with the care, keeping, medical treatment and surgery of your pet upon reclaim. Your pet may be euthanized after a one-day holding period including the day of impound or days the shelter is closed. If you have any questions about your pet’s status, please contact the animal shelter at (985) 783-5010.

  • What happens to an animal that is brought into the shelter as a stray?

    Evaluation

    • Behavior Evaluation: All healthy stray pets surrendered to the shelter will be evaluated by the shelter’s animal behavior staff to determine if they qualify for our adoption program. Animals that exhibit certain unsocial, destructive or potentially dangerous behaviors will not be made available for adoption. These behaviors include, but are not limited to: Growling, alarm barking, trying to bite, hyperactivity, avoiding human contact, etc. Animals that appear friendly are given a health exam.
    • Health Exam: Pets are evaluated by our medical staff to determine if the pet is healthy. Healthy animals are given routine vaccinations, are de-wormed and are given a flea treatment. Animals with minor medical conditions may be treated until they recover and/or made available to another adoption agency. Healthy animals are referred to the shelter veterinarian for surgery as needed.

    Outcome

    • Surgery and Adoption: Healthy and friendly pets will be surgically sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped and made available for adoption. Adoptable pets will be available for adoption as long as they remain healthy.
    • Rescue/Transfer: Animals that do not appear friendly but do not pose a safety risk to people or other animals may be transferred to other adoption agencies, provided there are agencies available that are willing to take over the care and adoption of the pet.
    • Euthanasia: Euthanasia means the humane death of an animal. At the St. Charles Animal Shelter the procedure is conducted by highly-skilled, certified euthanasia technicians. Euthanasia is conducted in a clinical setting using the same techniques as a private veterinarian.

    Animals may be euthanized when:

    • It is determined that a pet may pose a safety risk to people or other animals.
    • It is determined that a pet has a health condition that, even if treated, will not return the animal to a state of complete health.
    • A pet begins to shows signs of stress and/or illness due to confinement at the shelter.
    • A pet does not qualify for our adoption program and there is no other adoption agency willing to admit the pet into their program.
    • Space is unavailable.

    The St. Charles Animal Shelter is required to hold stray dogs and cats for five business days for redemption by the owner. If you have questions about an animal you brought to the shelter, please contact us at (985) 783-5010. You may need to leave a message, and your call will be returned within three days.

  • What are the rules for keeping horses or other livestock (including chickens) on my property?

    For the local ordinances on keeping animals NOT considered pets and the keeping of exotic animals, click here.
  • What should I do if my pet goes missing?

    • First and foremost, make sure your pet is microchipped. This can help you get your pet back quickly in the event he or she goes missing. Microchips are available at the shelter or your veterinarian's office.
    • Contact the animal shelter immediately with the breed, age, sex and name of your missing pet, or fill out the form located here. Animal Control officers routinely pick up stray animals they find running at large. This could include your pet. Let the shelter know what to look for.
    • Contact local veterinarian offices about your missing pet. Find a list of vets in the area by downloading the Resource Directory.
    • Check other animal shelters in surrounding areas for your pet.
    • Continue to check the local animal shelter for your pet. 
    • Hand out fliers around your neighborhood and/or hang up notices in businesses with a photo and description of your missing pet. Please note it is illegal to post fliers on stop signs or other metal roadway signage.
    • Don't give up hope. Sometimes it takes months for pets to be found.
    • For more information, contact the shelter at (985) 783-5010.

  • How much is the adoption fee for animals at the shelter?

    The adoption fee for all animals at the shelter is $80 as of September 2009. To see a list of what this fee includes, click here.

  • A friend of mine said her small dog was attacked and killed by a hawk. Are there any other dangers from local wildlife I should be aware of?

    Here in rural South Louisiana there is an abundance of wildlife that can be harmful to both you and your pet. There have been recent reports of dogs being attacked by hawks and sightings of coyotes on residential streets. These animals should be considered dangerous, and it is best to keep a safe distance.

    Animal Control officers have limited resources when it comes to controlling wildlife, so the best defense is to be vigilant. Keep an eye on your pets at all times when they are outside. For more information on coyotes, see the following download:

  • I just adopted a puppy, and he'll be coming with me on walks around my neighborhood. What should I know about handling my dog in public?

    Everything you need to know about taking your animals out in public can be found in the parish code of ordinances under Section 4. It's important to know that it is illegal to allow your animal to run at large, even if you accompany then. If you're going for a walk, use a leash.

    And be sure to bring along plastic bags to pick up after your dog. Dispose of the waste in a sanitary manner. Allowing your dog to use the bathroom on any property other than your own is considered a public nuisance. Other nuisance behaviors are illegal too, such as excessive barking and chasing vehicles.

    Going for walks is an essential and fun activity for any dog owner, but please be considerate around your neighbors and their property.
  • Does the parish have regulations for owning Pit Bull dogs?

    There are some special rules when it comes to Pit Bulls. All Pit Bulls in St. Charles Parish must be registered with the Animal Control office via a microchip. Color pictures of the animal must be filed with registration. An Animal Control officer will inspect the living quarters of the dog before the registration can be approved.

    Please contact the shelter at (985) 783-5010 for more information on setting up a proper enclosure for your Pit Bull, or click here to read the full text of the related ordinance.
  • Is there a leash law in St. Charles Parish?

    Yes. Section 4-4 of the parish animal ordinances outlines the parish leash law and prohibition against animals running at large. Please help keep your animals safe from harm by having your pet on a leash whenever out of your home or fenced yard. The ordinance applies to both DOGS and CATS. Read the text of the ordinance here.

  • What calls do animal control officers NOT go on?

    1. Stray Animals: A stray animal is any animal that is running at large after hours. We will respond to it if a deputy has the animal in custody. Animal Control WILL respond to strays during normal business hours.
    2. Owner Surrenders: Should an owner and/or keeper want to surrender an animal, it must be done during normal working hours through the animal shelter.
    3. Trapped Animals: Any animal that is trapped, tied up or confined pending animal control pickup must be kept until normal working hours.

    All owned animals are the responsibility of its owner and/or keeper. Should said animals be injured, it is the responsibility of the owner and/or keeper to seek medical attention.

  • What should every citizen know about animal control?

    • The St. Charles Parish Animal Shelter holds all strays for seven days before taking any further action. Microchipping is critical because it can reunite pet and owner quickly. If you lose a pet, please notify shelter staff by making a lost report at (985) 783-5010.
    • All pit bulls in the parish are required by law to be microchipped and registered with the animal shelter. An animal control officer will inspect the animal’s enclosure before registration is approved.
    • Citizens may contact Animal Control or the Emergency Operations Center at any time to report strays. However, shelter policy dictates that shelter staff only respond to calls about strays that are in imminent danger on weekends or after hours.
    • Animal Control assists the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office with bite cases. If a bite breaks the skin, the person must seek medical attention and file a report with the sheriff’s office.
    • The shelter has plans to house only the pets of those being evacuated by the parish during hurricanes. Citizens evacuating on their own are required to bring their pets with them.
    • Dog and cat adoptions are $80 and include spay/neuter, a first set of vaccinations, rabies shot, deworming, defleaing, microchipping and a bag of food. Microchipping as a standalone service costs $20 and is available during normal business hours.
  • What calls do animal control officers always go on?

    1. Bite Cases: Should an animal bite a person and break the skin, we will assist the sheriff's office. That person must seek medical attention and file a report with the sheriff's office.
    2. Vicious Animals: A vicious animal is any animal that attacks, causes injury or otherwise exhibits a propensity to endanger the safety of a person or domestic animal.
    3. Injured Animals: Any stray animal in imminent danger or need of immediate medical attention is considered an injured animal.

    A deputy must be the requestor on all of the above calls. We also request a deputy to remain on scene on all calls. Neglected or abused animal calls will be left to the animal control supervisor's discretion as to whether it should be an emergency or standard operation call.