Animal Control

Howard County Animal Control & Adoption Center
8576 Davis Road, Columbia, MD 21045
Please call 410-313-2929 for after hours animal-related emergencies.

UPDATE (May 15, 2020): With Howard County government offices closed, our shelter is still closed, however we have modified our adoption process and are making appointments for adoptions on specific animals listed on our website. If you are serious about adopting a specific listed pet, send us an email at and be sure to include this pet’s name and your name and phone number so we may contact you.

NOTE: Effective 5 p.m. on March 23, the Howard County Animal Control and Adoption Center is closed to the public.

If you have an animal-related emergency, such as a cruelty in-progress, an animal bite or a sick or injured animal, please call Central Communications at 410-313-2200. If you have a lost pet, would like to report a dead deer or any other non-emergency animal related concern, please e-mail

The public should rest assured that the animals currently in our center are being well cared for. Thank you for your understanding as we strive to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers, animals and the public.

Howard County Animal Control investigates animal cruelty cases, rescues endangered animals, accepts unwanted pets, administers a pet adoption program, conducts humane education programs and operates the county’s animal shelter. Volunteers assist with operations by taking the animals for walks, giving the animals personal attention and assisting with the adoption process. Howard County Animal Control shelters all types of homeless animals until new homes and new lives are found through adoption. Everyone wanting to adopt a pet must complete an adoption application and meet specific requirements before the adoption of an animal can occur.

Animal Control also responds for critically injured or deceased deer on county roadways and on private property, if the deer is within 250 feet of a dwelling. Residents should call 410-313-2780 during business hours or 410-313-2929 after hours.

Learn about Animal Control laws
Standards of care
ADA guidance for service dogs
Cat Adoption Guide / Dog Adoption Guide
Animal Disaster Preparedness Packet - Learn how best to keep your pet safe and how to include your pets in your emergency disaster preparedness plans.