No matter what pet you decide to adopt, be sure it’s the right pet for your family.

Do you have a busy lifestyle? Are you away from home a lot? Who will take care of your pet(s) if you are not there? What type of budget do you have to feed and care for your pet?

For those reasons and more, many families will make the choice to adopt a “small animal.” A small animal is typically a pet that will spend much of its time in a cage; a rabbit, ferret, hamster, guinea pig, parakeet, rat, mouse, or gerbil. Get a cage, fill it with bedding and give it food and water, what could be simpler, right? WRONG!

Did you know that small animals need just as much, if not more stimulation than many other pets? Because these pets spend much of their time in a cage, it is very important to be sure they are getting proper exercise, nutrition and attention. They are more social than many people think.

Some other important factors to consider are:
1) How long will our pet live
2) Who will be the primary care-giver for our pet
3) How active is our pet
4) What type of time commitment will I need to care for our new pet

Many small animals have teeth that continue to grow throughout their lifetime and need things to chew on so their teeth can remain healthy. Rabbits, guinea pigs and other small pocket pets will need appropriate outlets for their chewing!

Small pets are also sensitive to extreme temperature changes and can have delicate respiratory systems. Being sure that their bedding is appropriate for their species as well as keeping their living space clean and dry is critical.

Just like dogs and cats, small animals need food, water and shelter. They also need attention, mental/physical stimulation and veterinary care.

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control has many small animals available for adoption including rabbits and small birds ($10), guinea pigs, mice rats, gerbils and hamsters (all $5 each) and ferrets ($50).

To see current availability visit and click the adopt link and choose other.

To learn more about what type of small pet would be right for your family, visit our website

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The holidays are a great time for fun decorations, presents, and lots of good food.

Just remember that while the holidays are fun for you they can pose many un-suspecting dangers to your pets.

Christmas trees for example, can be very dangerous if your pet should ingest pine needles, ornaments, tinsel, or ribbon. If you use an additive in the water of a Christmas tree, cover the water with foil to keep your pet from drinking it. Always supervise your pets around decorations – especially those with electrical wires that a pet might chew or become tangled in.

Be sure to keep a close eye on doors leading to the outside. Many pets escape and become lost as the family come and go for festivities. Always keep a collar and identification tags on your pet for its safety.

After big family meals, be sure to seal the garbage and remove it from the home. Chicken, turkey, and ham bones are a real temptation and if chewed by your pet, could splinter and create an emergency situation. Food from the dining room isn’t the only danger waiting to make your pet sick. Many holiday plants can be poisonous, so be sure to keep them out of reach. All around avoid the temptation to indulge your pets. The best advice is to keep your animals diet the same as it is the rest of the year.

Presents are always nice, whether giving, or receiving. Just keep in mind that animals have a powerful sense of smell. If you give a gift of candy or food to some one with a pet, let them know that a pet might try to investigate it, so they can place the gift out of the pet’s reach.

Adopting a new pet can bring the best of holiday joy to any family. Discuss it with all your family members and think it through. An animal can have difficultly adjusting to busy schedules and excess activity, but for many families, the holidays can be about quiet time with those you love. Be sure if you are adding a new pet to your family this holiday season you do so knowing a new pet will do better with additional attention, learning a routine, and getting to know your expectations. Make the holidays a happy and safe experience for all – including your pets.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pet owners should exercise caution and be aware of an illegal trend called Pet Flipping.

In a typical pet-flipping situation, a criminal will get hold of a dog or cat either by finding it or by stealing it, and then turn around and sell it for a quick profit.

Another aspect of the crime is when someone claims to be the owner of a dog or cat that someone has found and publicly advertised. By falsely claiming the found pet, the criminal can then sell it for profit.

Pet Flipping is a serious cause for concern for all pet owners, but also for anyone looking to buy a dog or cat. It could end up being someone else’s stolen pet.

Pet owners in Allen County are cautioned to supervise pets carefully whenever they are outside and invest in a microchip for permanent identification. You can currently get a microchip implanted at Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control for $15. You do not need an appointment; you simply need to bring your dog or cat to 3020 Hillegas Road during regular business hours along with proof of rabies and your legal I.D.

Have your pet’s spayed or neutered so they can’t be stolen and used for breeding. Keep your cats inside and your dog on a leash when walking through neighborhoods and city parks. Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle or tied outside of a business.

Don’t let your dog or cat become a victim of Pet Flipping. After all, your pet is counting on you to keep them safe.

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control
3020 Hillegas Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46808
Business Hours: Monday-Friday 11am-5:30pm (open until 7pm Wednesdays)
Adoption Hours: Tuesday-Friday noon-5:30pm (open until 7pm Wednesdays)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

During the summer months, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control wants to remind pet owners to pay extra attention to provisions for their animals.

Animals exposed to high temperatures, high humidity, and inadequate ventilation can become ill or irritable, and may pose a danger to themselves and to people.

• Do not leave any animal in a parked car, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach a fatal 110 degrees even with the windows partially opened.

• All animals must have plenty of clean, cool, water available at all times.

• When possible, bring pets into an air-conditioned area of your home; fans are helpful where air-conditioning is unavailable.

• For animals outside, provide a shady, sheltered place to rest and quantities of fresh water in containers that cannot be tipped and spilled.

• Be aware of the sun movement through the day if your animal is outside and you are leaving for work. Shade must be available all day as well as proper food, water & shelter.

• Change drinking water often. Dirty water breeds bacteria and attracts flies and mosquitoes. The larvae from mosquitoes can cause heartworm in dogs and cats.

• Take measures to prevent fly bites, fleas, ticks and parvovirus and seek the advice from a veterinarian.

• Schedule walks with your dog during the early morning or late evening, taking special care with older dogs, young puppies, and dogs with short noses.

• Parents are urged not to allow children to exercise a dog while the child is riding a bicycle or skating. The dog may get over heated and children won’t know when to stop.

• Supervise pets. Do not leave them alone in situations where they may come in contact with wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, and coyotes.

• Whenever taking your pet on an outing, never leave your pet inside the car and carry plenty of cool water for the pet to drink and have water that can be used to wet down your dog’s body.

• If an animal is panting excessively, or vomiting, or having difficulty walking in extreme heat, it may be suffering from heat stroke. If you suspect an animal is in trouble, move the animal to a cool place out of the direct sun and use cool water to lower its body temperature. Contact a veterinarian right away.

• Report signs of animal neglect to Animal Care & Control immediately by calling 427-1244 Option 1 or after hours, holidays and weekends: 449-3000 for officer assistance. Any animal that is found by the shelter to be left in conditions that pose an immediate health hazard to the animal will be taken directly to Animal Care & Control for its safety. An Animal Control Officer will leave a written notice for the owner to claim their pet from the shelter.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Almost 1 out of 5 bites becomes infected. Don’t be a victim. 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites each year; half of which are children. The rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest – nationally – for children ages five to nine years, and men are more likely than women to be bitten by a dog.

It may surprise you to know that over half of dog-bite injuries occur at home with dogs that are familiar to us. Adults with two or more dogs in the household are five times more likely to be bitten than those living without dogs at home.

During National Dog Bite Prevention Week, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control reminds parents to supervise the interactions between children and dogs. According to shelter spokesperson Jodi Hamilton, “Young children often lack the skills to understand when an animal is uncomfortable or just wants to be left alone, so the key to safety is supervision and education. Giving a child too much responsibility for a pet too early puts them at risk of being bitten.”

Animal Care & Control strongly advocates bite prevention to keep kids safe by providing bite free materials to schools, tour groups and community events.

By teaching children how to properly approach dogs and to ask permission before they pet someone’s dog, animal bites are reduced.

• Be cautious around dogs you don’t know.
• Treat your own pets with respect and gentle handling.
• NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
• Avoid unfamiliar dogs. If a dog approaches to sniff you, stand still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat.
• Don’t pet a dog by reaching through a fence.
• Always ask permission before petting someone’s dog.
• Don’t run past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things.
• Never disturb a dog that’s caring for puppies, sleeping or eating.
• If you are threatened by a dog, remain calm. Don’t scream or yell. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Avoid eye contact. Try to stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Don’t turn and run.
• If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.

• Socialize your dog or young puppy, so it feels at ease around people and other animals. Gradually expose your dog to a variety of situations under controlled circumstances; continue that exposure on a regular basis.
• Don’t allow your dog to be in places where it might feel threatened or be teased.
• Attend a dog training class. The basic commands “sit,” “stay,” “off,” and “come” can be incorporated into fun activities that build a bond of obedience and trust between pets and people.
• Avoid highly excitable games like wrestling or tug-of-war.
• Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog.
• Keep your dog healthy with yearly vaccinations. How your dog feels directly affects how it behaves.
• Spay or neuter your pet. Altered dogs are less likely to bite.
• Don’t chain your dog. Chaining increases aggression in dogs.

What Should I Do If My Dog Bites Someone?
Even if the bite can be explained (e.g., someone stepped on your dog’s tail), it’s important to take responsibility for your dog’s actions.

Did you know that Indiana law requires a biting animal (dog, cat or ferret) be placed in ten (10) day rabies quarantine even if it’s vaccinated?

Many people are hesitant to report bites because they are afraid of the outcome. Once a report is filed, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control must determine the severity of the bite, where the bite occurred (at home or off property) and how many times the animal has bitten. Those factors will determine whether or not the animal will be placed in the home for the quarantine period or housed at Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control for the ten (10) days required by state law. Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control does not automatically put biting animals to sleep. Owners that report bites are doing the responsible thing for the safety of other animals and the bite victim(s), human or animal. Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control wants nothing more than for the people and animals to be safe and healthy. Our goal, whenever possible, is to keep your animal at home where it belongs.

After a bite occurs, the following steps should be taken:
• Confine your dog away from the scene of the bite.
• Check on the victim’s condition. Wash wounds with soap and water. Professional medical advice should be sought.
• Report the bite. Call Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control inside the city and the sheriffs department in the county.
• Consult your veterinarian for advice about dog behavior that will help prevent similar problems in the future.
• If someone else’s dog bites you, seek medical treatment, and then call authorities with everything you know about the dog to help animal control officers locate the dog.

Dogs are wonderful companions. By acting responsibly, owners not only reduce dog bite injuries, but also enhance the relationship they have with their dogs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Obesity is the number one health problem among dogs.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, there are 77.5 million dogs in the United States with over 41 million of these dogs considered overweight or clinically obese.

Fat dogs are just so cute! What’s the big deal? The big deal is the long list of health risks associated with the excess weight. High blood pressure, crippling arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory distress and some cancers can shorten your much loved dog’s life by 2 to 2 ½ years. Besides reducing a dog’s quantity of life, excess weight also reduces the quality of a dog’s life.

The number one cause of obesity in our dogs is….humans.

Simply put, getting too much to eat and not enough exercise is the combined cause of obesity in our companion pets.

If too many calories and too little exercise is the cause, then reverse that formula for the treatment.

See if you can feel your dog’s ribs. Educate yourself regarding the appropriate weight for your breed of dog and your dog’s caloric intake in its daily food and treats.

In the words of Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, “The most important decision a pet owner makes each day is what they choose to feed their pet. Choose wisely. Your pet’s life depends on it.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tonight I am going to bed worried about a single injured and neglected hen from an open investigation. It seems silly after all these years. The welfare of a single, solitary, chicken…that is the nature of this profession and the reason very few reach retirement. It is not a job; it is a dual mission that we pursue for the animals who need our care or intervention and on behalf of the community in which we live.

Over the past 29 years I have been surrounded by the most amazing people from all walks of life and every station. What resonated for all was our mutual concern for animal welfare and the sense of belonging and personal investment that makes it right to provide for our animals as well as our citizens.

There are so many to thank for making my career here at Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control so meaningful. The incredibly professional staff and volunteers, city administrators supporting our efforts behind the scenes, my coalition colleagues, and a myriad of citizens spreading our good word and contributing to our cause.

My maxim right now is that I am too young to retire, but you have to recognize when it is time to step aside. So what is next for me? It will be a pathway of pursuit of my passions and time with my family. My encore career focus will be on cruelty interventions, teaching, photography, and travel, as well as helping others to pursue their passions. I will be leaving in January but will always support this wonderful and deserving agency and our hard working coalition. We have already been working on making this a smooth transition and knowing that we have built a strong, capable and caring team makes this, now, the right path to take. So instead of saying goodbye, which is always filled with sadness, I will say hello to tomorrow’s new adventure with great anticipation.

Belinda Lewis

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Every evening large raccoons scour my alleyway in the hopes of finding something to eat, and dozens of squirrels live in the old growth trees surrounding my south side historic home. I even had to call Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control once to have them retrieve a bat out of my children’s playroom.

If you are a city resident, chances are you, too, live side by side with all types of wonderful creatures. Urban sprawl has happened gradually and, over time, has created fragmentation of wildlife habitats making it impossible for any animal to travel without coming into contact with our neighborhoods. Many of the creatures do not exhibit fear of people because they are born and raised among us. They have replaced their nesting places with decks, tool sheds, storm drains, attics, crawlspaces and chimneys among other residential cubbies. Many of them are opportunistic feeders who dine on dog and cat food or garbage left out overnight.

It is important to know that wild animals creating a nuisance, or simply being present outside your home, are not considered a threat to public safety. For those instances, contacting a wildlife removal company or simply removing those items that are attracting them to your home can be enough. Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control should be contacted if the wildlife has made it inside your home or if any wildlife is causing an immediate public safety hazard.

We receive calls on a regular basis and will provide advice for the concerned caller. Many of those calls involve raccoons out during the day. Do not panic. This does not mean the raccoon is rabid. Raccoons have adapted and, although primarily nocturnal, it is not uncommon to see them out foraging for food during daylight hours. It could be a female foraging longer hours to support her young. We simply advise residents to seal their trash lids in some way and avoid leaving anything outside that may attract them. Urban wildlife enjoy the easy life we often unknowingly provide for them; they don’t like a hostile environment. Taking steps to deter them will encourage them to move on.

Often, in the spring, we will receive calls about baby birds that have fallen from their nest. If this occurs and you know where the nest is, gently place the baby bird back into its nest. It is an old wives tale that the mother won’t come back if you touch the babies. It simply is not the case. If you are unable to find the nest or it is unreachable, you can make a nest and place it in the tree as close to the nest site as possible. The parent birds will hear their baby and find it easily.

Mother rabbits often make nests in backyards. If the nest is near a fence line that your dog can reach, simply move the nest to the other side of the fence. A mother rabbit will join her babies near dawn or dusk. She may stay away from her babies nearly all day so as to not attract attention to the nest. If you fear she may not be coming back for her babies, sprinkle flour outside the nest area and watch for footprints. If in a 24-hour time period no footprints are seen, call Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control or simply bring the babies in.

Never put yourself at risk when it comes to wildlife in need of help. It is important that you never handle an animal that is injured. Always call when in doubt. Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, an all-access, all-species facility, will always send an officer to assist an injured or suffering animal. Call FWACC at 260-427-1244 for help or nights after 8pm & weekends contact us at 449-3000. We work with many organizations to do what is in the best interest of all injured, orphaned or sick wildlife. The Second Chance Wildlife Rescue, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, will take our orphaned, injured or sick wildlife for evaluation and rehabilitation. Upon recovery, the wildlife is returned to their natural habitat. “Bob the Batman” works strictly with bats (that have not bitten anyone), and he ensures their health before releasing them back into the wild. We also work with Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehab for birds of prey that are in need of care.

At Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, we believe humans and animals can live side by side safely. Take steps to discourage wildlife around your home by taking a few simple steps: Keep your chimney capped, secure your trash can lid with a thick rubber strap, don’t leave dog or cat food outside unattended and try to keep holes sealed off that may provide access to your home. For more information on how to discourage wildlife, visit our website at and click on “service” and choose “wildlife” or visit
We hope that you will continue to help us help both domestic and wild animals.

Local Companies licensed by the DNR for Wildlife Removal

American Animal Control

Basic Wildlife Removal

Critter Control

Naylor and Sons

Sly Fox Wildlife Control

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where did the summer go? A major change is on its way (fall & winter) and with it the first days of school. Going back to school is an exciting time for kids and families as we rush around school shopping; backpacks, clothes, changing our routines and gearing back up for after school activities. In this busy time, don’t forget about your pets! Your pets are going through an adjustment as well, many pets grow accustomed to the extra attention they receive over the summer months playing outside, hanging out late and night while you watch movies and they can even sense the relaxation that many of us experience in the slower, summer months.
As you return to school and new routines, keep in mind your pets are creatures of habit. Changing up their routines can be stressful and may even lead to ‘bad’ behaviors such as chewing up things they shouldn’t, having accidents inside your home or simply becoming more anxious because they don’t know what to expect.
Take the following steps to be sure YOUR pet makes the Back to School Transition with all A’s :
1. Routine- Be sure to keep your pet on a routine. Be sure that the daily routine you create for your pet mirrors a typical school day. Just like kids, pets become acclimated to the extra sleep, attention and fun over summer vacation. Work with them on specific times for food, walks, bathroom breaks and “free time” play with the family. This will help your pet know what to expect daily and minimize their anxiety
2. Separation – If your pet suffers from excessive separation anxiety you may want to consider a local Doggy Daycare. Or if your pet may be used to being left alone for long periods throughout the day, but remember, if you’ve been home, this new separation from their family can be very stressful. Be sure to create a safe place for your pet; cats can be kept in a room they are familiar with along with their litter, food and water available at all times with plenty of hiding places that are cozy. A dog, if it’s used to a crate, would be the safest place while you are gone. If your dog is used to having free reign, be sure to provide your dog with a blanket that smells like home (or you) and create a comfortable space for them.
3. Toys – Pets get bored too! Be sure to provide your pet some fun interactive toys to provide mental stimulation throughout the day or they may become destructive. For fun ideas on how you can provide safe and inexpensive interactive dog & cat toys:
4. Exercise – Never underestimate the power of exercise. Schedule 15-30 minutes in the morning to be sure your pet gets plenty of time outside or playtime inside (for cats think about a laser toy or simply a ball on the end of a string) so that they are more likely to rest during the day while you are away. A sleepy pet and one who has burned off extra energy first thing is less likely to bark / meow while you are away, and less likely to present with other behavioral issues. Not only will your pet benefit, but it will enjoy their ‘special’ time with you.
5. Schedule Veterinarian Appointments – Schedule your veterinarian appointments well in advance for annual vaccinations and routine care. This will help you avoid the stress on your entire family as you plan around meal times, after school activities and by placing them on your calendar you will be less likely to feel anxious about fitting them in. Dogs and cats are part of the family too, so make sure you focus extra attention on them when their world has suddenly been turned upside down. You may decide Doggy Daycare is a great option for your busy dog or having a neighbor who can check in on your cat throughout the day. You may even find it’s time to add a family member through adoption at Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control (click on the adopt link) to keep your current pet company. Whatever you decide, be sure it is the right choice for your pet and your family. Do your breed and species research and be sure that you set your pet up for success as your children go back to school.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Animal Care & Control reminds you to give extra attention to provisions for animals during summer heat.
• When possible, bring pets into an air-conditioned area of your home; fans are helpful;
• Animals must have a shady, sheltered place to rest and quantities of fresh water available at all times. Do not leave pets unattended in a garage or non-air-conditioned building such as a garage;
• Fly bites, fleas and ticks can cause serious problems for pets. Contact a veterinarian for preventatives;
• Do not take pets into the downtown festival areas. Officers will be patrolling and asking people with animals to take them home. It is against city ordinance to take pets to festivals and fairs within city limits.
• Leaving a pet in a parked car is a violation of city ordinance when the conditions, in that vehicle, would constitute a health hazard to the animal;
• Heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, a staggering gait and vomiting are signs that your pet may be suffering from heat stress. Contact a veterinarian immediately.
Any animal that is found by the shelter to be left in conditions that pose an immediate health hazard to the animal will be taken directly to Animal Care & Control for its safety. A written notice will be provided for the owner to claim their pet from the shelter located at 3020 Hillegas Road.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment