Animal Control

Howard County Animal Control investigates animal cruelty cases, rescues endangered animals, accepts unwanted pets from Howard County residents, administers a pet adoption program, conducts humane education programs and operates the county’s animal shelter.

COVID-19 UPDATE: The Howard County Animal Control & Adoption Center has reopened to the public by appointment. Anyone wanting to visit the center for animal viewing, adoption, surrender, or other reasons should use the contact information on the right to make an appointment  Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri., 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Tues., 1:30-7 p.m. It is closed Saturday and Sunday. 

Animal Control Officer Holding kitten

STARTING JUNE 6, 2021: All private shelters must be registered with the Howard County Animal Control and Adoption Center to ensure an appropriate standard of care. Private shelters are defined as a non-governmental facilities for domesticated animals (not including livestock and poultry) for the purpose of re-homing, rehabilitation or permanent housing. 

Adoptable Animals

Howard County Animal Control has a number of animals available for adoption. 

Black and white dog
Adoption Rules and Procedures
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Adoption Rules
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In order to ensure the well being of the animals adopted from the shelter, the following adoption rules have been established. 
 
1. The minimum waiting period for all adoptions is at least 24 hours.

2. All animals adopted from the Howard County Animal Control facility are to be household pets and a part of the family. Animals should not be confined for extended periods of time in such areas as a crate, basement, laundry room, or garage or to be tethered or chained. Animals are not to be left outside unsupervised and cats are adopted into strictly indoor homes only.

3. All persons living in the household should be involved in the selection of the pet and must visit with the pet prior to adoption. This must be done within 48 hours of filing the application. It is required that the primary caretaker approve the selection.  

4. Howard County Animal Control (HCAC) has the right to prohibit the adoption to persons having a history of violating Animal Control laws, losing or giving away an animal or if you had a pet that was injured or killed by a moving vehicle.  

5. After conducting a health and temperament evaluation, the Animal Control Administrator or Kennel Supervisor may deem any animal unavailable for adoption.

6. HCAC also has the right to prohibit the adoption of certain animals into homes with children. Enrollment in obedience classes or other requirements may be assigned for animals with special needs. We require most dogs under two years old to be taken through an obedience class.

7. No animal is to be sold or used for vivisection and/or experimental purposes. No animal is to be used as a guard dog, hunter, mouser or breeder.

8. The animal must be maintained in accordance with the Animal Control laws of the county in which the adopter resides. All pets currently owned by the adopter must be maintained in compliance with the Animal Control laws in order for the adoption of a pet to be approved. State law requires all dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies. Howard County laws require all dogs, cats and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies.

9. Dogs and cats must wear a collar and identification at all times. All animals adopted from the shelter are microchipped. It is highly recommended that the adopter register the microchip with a national registry to insure the safe return of their pet, should the pet be lost.

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Adoption Procedures
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1. An adoption application must be filed on the animal that a citizen wishes to adopt. An interview and/or home visit must be conducted and approved before the animal is released from the shelter. The maximum holding time on an application to be processed is 48 hours.

2. ALL ANIMAL ARE SPAYED OR NEUTERED PRIOR TO THEIR RELEASE. If any medical condition prevents HCAC from being able to spay or neuter an animal prior to adoption, adopters are given a prescribed time by which the animal must be spayed or neutered. Adopters will reimburse HCAC for the medical expenses relating to spay/neuter, vaccines and licensing prior to taking custody of the animal (please see fee schedule below).

3. Once the adoption is final the animal may not be transferred to another owner or otherwise disposed of but must be returned to this shelter if the owner can no longer care for the animal.

4. HCAC has the right to inspect the applicant’s home after the adoption to ensure the well-being of the pet. HCAC also reserves the right to reclaim the animal, if in its opinion, the animal is not being properly and humanely cared for. HCAC will reclaim all animals if all the requirements of the adoption contract are not met.

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Adoption Fees
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In order to encourage citizens to adopt a pet, we attempt to keep prices as reasonable as possible. The fees charged are exactly what the veterinarian charges the shelter. Absolutely no profit is incurred with adoptions.  
 

Dog Adoption Fees   Cat Adoption Fees  
Neuter/ Physical/ Pain Medication $110 Neuter/ Physical/ Pain Medications

$60

Spay/ Physical/ Pain Medication $125 Spay/ Physical/ Pain Medication

$80

Distemper Vaccine $9 Distemper Vaccine $9
Distemper Booster $9 Distemper Booster 

$9

Rabies Vaccine (4 months and older)  $12 Rabies Vaccine (4 months and older)  $12
Advantage Flea Treatment $10 Advantage Flea Treatment $10
Heartworm Test $7 Feline Leukemia/ FIV Test $15
Microchip ($40 value) Free Microchip ($40 value) Free
Dog License (Howard Co. Residents)  $6 Cat License (Howard Co. Residents)  $6
Dogs at Most

$178 (Female)

$163 (Male)

Cats at Most

$141 (Female)

$121 (Male)

 

 

Ferret Adoption Fees  
Spay/ Neuter $30
Rabies Vaccine $10

 

Rabbit Adoption Fees  
Spay/ Neuter $30

Optional Service Fees

Please request these services before your interview is scheduled.

Fecal Check $30 Physical Exam $27
Bath (Dog Only) $40 First Leukemia Vaccine $25

We also offer discount spay and neuter certificates for animals that are not from our shelter. Please ask the front desk for pricing.

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Adoption Resources
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Thank you for saving the life of a shelter pet. We have created adoption guides for both cats and dog to help during the initial adjustment period as you begin training and caring for your new companion animal. It is our goal for this to be a successful and happy placement for you, your family and your new pet. 

Cat adoption guide | Dog adoption guide

Register Your Dog or Cat

All dog and cat owners must purchase Howard County annual licenses for their pets. Each pet shall wear the license tag attached to a collar or harness. Pets properly tattooed, microchipped or ear tagged are exempt from the requirement of wearing the license tag, but the purchase of a license is still required. 

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