Monday, April 21, 2014
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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.

ACO Commendation 2012 REMOVE web
Chief Rusty York (back right) presents Commendation Award to our Animal Control Officers, along with Director Belinda Lewis (front left) Deputy Director Amy Jo Sites (left), Animal Care Supervisor Laura Rowe (front left) and two members of the FWPD (left rear).

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 very much complaint driven in our community 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. For further information see "Animal Bites".

Animal Control Officers are called for a variety of public safety issues. The raccoon that has entered the home, but decided not to hang out in the attic, 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 or have been injured in some other fashion carry a very high priority response for officers. A stray, sick, 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 permit or with a microchip will trace the identification by radio to the office 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 scratches 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 running at large, is of advanced severity, or a repeat of previous incidents, additional enforcement action may be taken by the department.

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, 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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3020 Hillegas Road
Fort Wayne IN 46808
260-427-1244
After 8 p.m. and on weekends and holidays, call 449-3000 for assistance.
Fax: 260-427-5514


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

Adoptions are Open: Tueday, Thursday, Friday 12:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 12:00 - 7:00 p.m.
1st & 3rd Sat 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Adoption Office: 260-427-5502


Business Office Hours:

11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Mon-Fri
11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Wednesday


Officer Assistance

6:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m. Mon-Sun
1:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. Emergencies