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Service Field Services & Rescues

Field Services & Rescues

Our Mission: Guided by the humane ethic and livability interests within our neighborhoods, the mission of Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control is to ensure public health and safety as well as prevent pet overpopulation, animal neglect, and animal cruelty through education, rescue, and law enforcement.

Animal Control Officers are responsible for many types of investigations ranging in type from barking dogs to felony level dog fighting. Animal Control Officers are complaint driven as the volume of callers they respond to is very high. All complaints received are appropriately responded to. Officers prioritize their runs according to the safety issues involved for humans and animals. For example, an animal causing an immediate safety risk to a human would be of highest priority. Injured animals are taken next in order, then cruelty/neglect situations followed by confined stray animals, unconfined stray animals, and lastly by animal nuisances such as barking and sanitation complaints.  Read enforcement Cases.  10 Ducklings Rescued by Animal Care & Control from Storm Sewer in Fort Wayne

Public Safety and Animals
A variety of issues arise concerning human safety and animals. Most prevalent in the public's mind tend to be attacks on people by dogs. Those may involve owned animals biting visitors or family members or stray animals chasing individuals. Animal Control Officers are called for a variety of public safety issues. The raccoon that has entered someone's home or the stray dog who has taken up residence on someone's porch, refusing to allow the homeowner outside. These are relatively common types of situations.

Animal Rescue
Animals who have been hit by cars while running loose, are locked inside a hot vehicle or have been injured or abused in some fashion carry a very high priority response for officers. A stray, sick, neglected or injured animal should be reported to the shelter office immediately between 9AM and midnight, and to the Police Desk at 427-1222 to have an Animal Control Officer dispatched at other times. An officer, picking up an injured animal wearing a current city pet registration tag or with a microchip, will trace identification and deliver that animal directly to the owner's veterinarian if it is during business hours. If the animal is stray without identification, the animal will be examined by shelter staff and basic first aid supplied while attempts are made to locate the owner. If the animal's level of suffering surpasses the financial ability of the city to provide care, the city may euthanize the animal to relieve further suffering. If the animal that has been injured is owned, the owner is responsible for seeking veterinary care or may choose to relinquish the animal to the city. In an emergency situation an officer may be available to provide transport assist to the owner's veterinarian, but the city does not assume financial obligation.

Animal Bites
If an animal is an immediate threat to someone's health or safety, call 911. Any animal that causes an oral scratch or bites a human or another animal must be reported to the Department of Animal Care and Control. The citizen should seek medical treatment if needed and report the incident as soon as possible. Assistance from citizens is often needed in the case of stray animals to locate the animal in the area and in the case of stray cats, monitor cat traps.

In the case of any bite, the animal will be placed in a rabies quarantine for ten days or may be tested by the state in some circumstances. The Department of Animal Care and Control will gather information regarding the incident and current vaccination status of the biting animal. If the animal is legally restrained at the time of the bite, it may be quarantined in the home of the owner. However, this decision is at the discretion of the investigating officer and will take into account all facets of the investigation. Regardless of vaccine status, the animal must be quarantined 10 days. If the bite takes place while the animal is not restrained, is of advanced severity, or a repeat of previous incidents, additional enforcement action may be taken by the department.

Community Cats
Free roaming cats without acceptable identification which have been impounded or trapped in the community may be deemed a potential Community Cat by our Department based on age, health, and behavior. Once evaluated, such cats may receive services from our Coalition partners. HOPE for Animals may alter, rabies vaccinate, ear tip for visual identification each community cat. The Allen County SPCA will transport such cats for reintegration back into the community from where they were found or for placement in a barn cat program that they administer. A cat identified as an existing Community Cat may be immediately returned to the community and exempted from the legal hold period. View video on Community Cats in Fort Wayne and read frequently asked questions about the Community Cats Program.

See Permits and Licenses for rabies vaccination information

Click here: http://www.nodogbites.org/ for dog bite prevention information.

Animal Nuisances
Barking dogs, sanitation complaints, dogs or cats repeatedly at-large or not restrained, are a frustration to citizens and Animal Control Officers alike. The department will send a letter upon receiving the first complaint. If the problem persists and additional complaints are received, an officer will be dispatched for each complaint. Unfortunately, it is a common occurrence for an officer to run higher priority, safety related calls first, and ultimately not find an active violation upon arrival to a nuisance complaint. If after three trips to an address, a nuisance violation cannot be verified the complainant may request an affidavit. The affidavit requires three signatures form surrounding properties and may then be returned to the department to be filed with a summons for legal action.

Dead Animals
A dead animal may be reported to the Street Department at 427-1235. An owned animal that has died may be brought into the shelter at 3020 Hillegas Rd., Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 5:30 PM. There is no charge for disposing of the animal.

Animal Cruelty and Neglect 
These calls would include concerns for an animal that is in need of food, water, shelter, medical care, has been abandoned or needs to be rescued from a life threatening situation.  Additionally, an animal that is being used in fighting contests, has been beaten, tortured, burned, shot, etc., should be reported immediately.  Caller identity is not released by the department.

Stray Animals and Live Traps
Any stray dog or cat that has been caught will be picked up or may be brought into the department by a citizen.  If a stray animal can be lured into a confined area, fenced yard, or garage, it would be helpful but is not necessary.  Stray cats in a neighborhood are often difficult to catch and require the assistance of citizens to address the problem.  Many of these cats have been born wild and will not come to a person.  The Department of Animal Care and Control will provide a live trap free of charge to be monitored by the citizen in an effort to catch the cats.  Citizens will be shown how to set and bait the trap and the department will pick up the cats as they are caught.  Since all strays are held a minimum of three business days, if neighborhood pets are accidentally trapped they may still be claimed by owners.  If a wild animal is accidentally trapped, the citizen may release the animal from the trap or may call for officer assistance to do so.  Citizens should call the department to see if a trap is available before coming in to pick it up.

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Adoption Lobby Hours:

12:00 - 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
12:00 - 7:00 p.m. Wednesday

1st & 3rd Saturday of every month
11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Adoption Office: 260-427-5502

Closed Mondays FOR ADOPTIONS
To submit a pet adoption profile, you must do so 30-minutes before closing to allow sufficient time for processing.

Business Office Hours (lost & found- receiving lobby- citations or other law enforcement concerns):

11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Mon-Fri
11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Wednesday
CLOSED Saturday & Sunday

Animal Control Officer Assistance
9am-8pm Monday - Friday
After 8pm, weekend & holidays,
call 260-449-3000

After Hours / immediate officer assistance:
1:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. Emergencies

General Contact Information:
Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control
3020 Hillegas Road
Fort Wayne IN 46808
After 8 p.m. and on weekends and holidays, call 449-3000 for assistance.
Fax: 260-427-5514