New Hanover County

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Homeland Security Alert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Updated and Maintained

 

by

 

Sgt. J. J. Brewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 
 

Captain K. W. Sarvis - Division Commander

 

Lieutenant D. Biddle

    

910-798-7500 Main

910-341-4349 FAX

 

Hours of Operation

M-F 8:00-4:45

Sat 10:00-2:00

   

 

Frequently Asked Questions

(1) What happens to animals that Animal Services Unit  (ASU) picks up? 


Animals surrendered at the shelter or picked up in the field as strays are held at our facility for three or five working days, not including weekends or holidays. 

The animals are held three working days, if the animal had no apparent owner. 

The animals are held five working days if the animal seems to have had an owner, for example, a neutered male, a collar, recently clipped, etc. 

Animals surrendered by the owner become the immediate property of NHC. 

After the holding period, during which time the owner may redeem their pet, the animals become NHC property. At this point, shelter staff determines which ones may be placed for adoption. (See Breed Regulation.) 

The animals are given a physical exam, vaccinated and dewormed, and checked for open wounds, which may have been inflicted by a potential rabies vector. 

The ones who are adoptable are placed in our adoption area (no specified time limit), awaiting a new home. Unfortunately, far more animals are surrendered for placement than those seeking new companions. 

Note: ASU will not attempt to adopt animals that have bitten or dogs that have been declared dangerous or potentially dangerous. 

 

2) What do I do if I find a stray animal? 
County ordinance requires that all stray animals be surrendered to ASU within 24 hours of capture. If the individual desires to keep the pet, they may advertise in the local newspaper with the largest circulation for five consecutive days. This advertisement must be started within 72 hours of claiming the pet. If the initial owner does not claim their pet after ten days, the individual who placed the advertisement shall be deemed the legal owner. 



(3) Do you adopt animals? 
Yes, between the hours of noon and 4:45pm, Monday through Friday. The adoption fee is $60.00, which includes pet neutering (mandatory), vaccinations for distemper (dog or cat), deworming for hooks and rounds, and a collar and a leash/cat-box. (See petharbor.com to view available pets.) 

(4) When does my pet need its rabies vaccination? County registration? 
The first vaccination is done when your pet reach four month’s of age. This vaccination is good for one year. If the next vaccination is given before this one expires, it will be good for three years. You are required by NC State law to have this done, even if your pet never goes outside. You are also required by NHC Ordinance to pay a licensing fee every year. This fee is renewable along with your rabies vaccination. Kennel fees are available, if you meet the stipulations. (See Fee Schedule.) 

 

5) Where do you have jurisdiction? 
ASU has jurisdiction throughout New Hanover County, excluding Wrightsville Beach. Wilmington residents fall under the ordinance as well as county residents. 



(6) How many pets may I own? 
You may own up to five pets inside city limits (enforced by county zoning). There are no restrictions on county residents. 

(7) What about rabies in NHC? 
Rabies was first identified in NHC on March 26, 1996, in a bobcat brought in to the office from the Castle Hayne area. As of May 13, 2011, we have had 128 positive cases, located throughout the county. The primary vector (carrier) of the life-threatening disease in our vicinity is the raccoon, although any warm-blooded animal may carry the virus. Opossums are the least likely mammals to carry rabies, and rodents - such as squirrels and rats - are also unlikely carriers. 

 

  (8) What happens if my pet bites someone? 
Your pet will need to be quarantined for ten days, because no vaccine is 100% effective. This is done for the victim’s protection, to allow ASU personnel to monitor the animal for symptoms of rabies. 

Pets with a current rabies vaccination at the time of the bite may be confined at their home, if a suitable area is available. An Animal Services Officer will periodically check the pet until the confinement is over. 

Pets without a current rabies vaccination at the time of the bite must be confined at ASU, a veterinary hospital, or an approved kennel. (Owner must pay all kenneling fees.) 

Pets running loose at the time of the bite must be confined at ASU, a veterinary hospital, or an approved kennel, regardless of rabies vaccination status. (Owner must pay all kenneling fees.) 



Pets with a current rabies vaccination at the time of the bite may be confined at their home, if a suitable area is available. An Animal Services Officer will periodically check the pet until the confinement is over. 

Pets without a current rabies vaccination at the time of the bite must be confined at ASU, a veterinary hospital, or an approved kennel. (Owner must pay all kenneling fees.) 

Pets running loose at the time of the bite must be confined at ASU, a veterinary hospital, or an approved kennel, regardless of rabies vaccination status. (Owner must pay all kenneling fees.) 

Note: These criteria deal directly with owner responsibility. An owner who fails to vaccinate their pet or allows it to run loose is not demonstrating responsible pet ownership. 

(9) Why are cats allowed to run loose? 
Although cats are more difficult to keep contained than most dogs; they fall under the same ordinance restrictions as dogs. Responsible pet owners find appropriate methods to protect their pet’s welfare. 

 

 (10) Is it okay to trap cats/dogs? 
ASU provides cat and dog traps to NHC citizens for a deposit fee, which is refunded through County Finance when the trap is returned to the shelter (general timeframe is 30 days). It is a violation of the county ordinance to remove your pet from a trap. Only humane traps are utilized by NHC. 



(11) What about dogs running loose? 
Dogs running loose are not allowed throughout the county. There is a county-wide leash law enforced, including the City of Wilmington. (See Ordinance.) 

(12) Why can’t I tie my dog out in my yard? 
It is a violation of the county ordinance to keep your pet tied out in your yard, unless you are in the yard with it. 

(13) How is a dog declared dangerous/potentially dangerous? 
There are three criteria that a dog may be declared under the law:

(1) Inflicted a bite on a person that resulted in broken bones or broken skin or required cosmetic surgery or hospitalization; or

(2) Killed or inflicted severe injury upon a domestic animal when not on the owner’s real property; or 

(3) Approached a person when not on the owner’s real property in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an apparent attitude of attack.

Victims and dog owners should inquire at the office to complete paperwork for the Initial Panel to review in these determinations. (See Ordinance.) 

14) What are the differences between ASU and the Humane Society? 
ASU is a government agency for NHC. We have officers that are available to respond to customer complaints, even in emergency situations. We are required to accept all animals surrendered by NHC residents. 


The Humane Society is a private group that operates an animal shelter and a public regional spay/neuter facility. They have the right to refuse animals, since they are a private organization. Call them at (910) 763-6692. 

The two groups work together for the benefit of the animals in the county. 

(
15) Where are you (ASU) located? 
ASU is located at 180 Division Drive. Division Drive runs from Castle Hayne Road to 23rd Street just north of the entrance to the airport. (910) 798-7500.