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Pets and People – What to do if pets are in danger or if pet behavior causes a nuisance

Happy boy with little puppy


Did you know that more than half of all Douglas County households are also home to at least one pet?

With this reality comes the need to peacefully and safely co-exist with one another and our pets in ways that are helpful, equitable and consistent.

To help you and your neighbors know more about how to: properly license a pet; report the nuisance behavior of a pet; and how to report a lost or aggressive animal, an updated Control and Licensing of Dogs and Household Pets resolution was adopted by the Board of Douglas County Commissioners, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

The updated resolution is your resource for pet owner responsibilities and includes guidance on how to handle nuisance behavior, such as continuous dog barking from a nearby property. The resolution also provides guidance regarding keeping vaccinations up to date and making sure pets can easily be identified and returned to you if they become lost.

Nuisance barking may be reported using an online animal complaint form.  Douglas County Animal Services (DCAS), working in partnership with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, will help you report and resolve the situation.

Considering filing a complaint about a household pet?  Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • An animal control officer who witnesses the violation may act as a reporting party;
  • Filing a complaint requires at least two complaining persons from separate households or one complaint with evidence, such as an audio or video recording; and
  • In the case of a barking dog, the law requires that the complainant’s name and address be provided to animal control, as part of the citation process, and that a written warning first be issued.

You are encouraged to review the Sheriff’s Office web page summarizing the laws about animals and pets, to become familiar with the responsibilities of pet owners, and to learn more about what to do if you encounter nuisance or aggressive animal behavior.

Everyone benefits when animals are well cared for. Help by reporting animals living in unclean or unsafe conditions, without proper food or water, or animals living in households with too many other animals. If you are concerned about an aggressive animal or witness an animal bite or other public safety issue involving an aggressive animal, please call DCAS at 303-660-7529.

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