Frequently Asked Questions


It is unlawful for any person who has custody or ownership of a dog, to allow the dog to stray in or on any lot or land, whether public or private, other than that of the owner.

For you and your dog to be lawful, your dog must perform under the immediate direction and control of the person responsible for the dog.

Steps for solving:

1. Communicate with the dog owner when possible. Often, you will find, that he or she may be willing to solve the issue amicably.
2. After speaking with the owner, if the dog continues to run at large, or you don't know who owns the dog, you have several options.
  • Safely transport the dog to Douglas County Animal Services at 921 Dump Rd.
  • Contact Douglas County Dispatch at (775) 782-5126 to arrange for an officer to impound the dog. If impounded, redemption fees and fines will be charged to the dog owner.
  • If you prefer to hold onto the dog until the owner calls looking for it, contact Douglas County Animal Services to file a found dog report. Once the owner calls in, we will inform them that their dog has been found, and is safe with you.

3. If the violation continues, you may contact an Animal Services Officer to file a witness statement. Your statement will be forwarded to the District Attorney's office for review and possible prosecution for dog at large. It is important that your statement is thorough and honest, as you are signing this document under penalty of perjury. Please provide photos and/or video of the dog running at large when possible.


It is unlawful for any person who has custody or ownership of any dog to allow the dog to make any noise audible beyond the boundaries of the property on which the dog is situated for an extended period of time. Such extended period of time shall consist of constant barking, baying, crying or howling, for 30 minutes or more during a 24-hour period, or sporadically for 60 minutes or more in a 24-hour period.

Dogs making noise in response to a person trespassing, threatening to trespass, teasing or provoking the dog, or while working as a law enforcement canine or working dog, shall not be deemed a violation.

What can I do about my neighbor's dog(s) barking?

Barking complaints are often one of the most difficult and frustrating issues to be resolved, and please understand that it is unrealistic to believe that the problem can be rectified immediately.

Steps for solving:

1. We recommend that you begin by speaking with the dog owner about your concerns and try to come up with a solution. Oftentimes, the owners are not home during the barking episodes and are completely unaware that a problem exists.

2. If you are uncomfortable speaking with the dog owner, or the problem has not been resolved after communicating with the dog owner, you may call Douglas County Dispatch at (775) 782-5126, to file a complaint.

3. If the violation continues 14 days after an Animal Services Officer has made contact with the dog owner, we ask that you, as the witness, document the barking for two weeks. A barking complaint form will be given to you by the Animal Services Officer. No citation shall be issued for a barking violation unless a completed barking complaint form has been submitted to Animal Services.


Title 6.08.060

A.  It is unlawful for any person or group to keep, posses, or have custody of more than three (3) dogs over the age of four (4) months on the premises of a residence; business or any other location in Douglas County.

B.  Any person or group keeping, possessing, or having custody of more than three (3) dogs over the age of four (4) months, without first obtaining a Dog Breeder, Dog Fancier, Dog Rescue, Pet Service, Pet Shop, or Kennel License from Animal Services, will be given notice by the Animal Services Officer, to reduce the number of dogs allowed within thirty (30) days. Working Dogs or Foster Animals approved by Animal Services are excluded from this provision.



What can be done about stray cats?

In Douglas County, cats are recognized as free-roaming animals, whether they are owned, stray, or feral. Unlike dogs, cats may roam freely throughout the county, and are not required to be confined within an owner's property.

If you find a stray cat, you may contact Animal Services to file a found animal report. Once a report has been made, our staff will review the lost cat reports on file to see if there is a match. If there is no match, you may hold onto the cat until an owner calls, or if no one calls searching for the cat within five days, it will be considered an abandoned animal and you may release the cat to Animal Services, if the space is available. Please consider that we have very limited space, and oftentimes we may not have the ability to accept any cats for weeks or even months at a time.

The DAWG Found Cat Program has made it possible for those who are unable to hold a found cat, utilizing DAWG Fosters during this time of need.  This program arranges short-term care of found domestic cats/kittens (not feral) pending admission to Douglas County Animal Services.

Click here for more information on DAWG Programs

Feral Cats

If you have found a feral cat, please do not attempt to pet or hold it. In order to curb the feral cat population, Douglas County Animal Services provides a trap and release program for Douglas County Residents. If you would like to participate in this program, please contact Animal Services at (775) 782-9061. 
Please note, that we do not accept feral cats at our facility, nor can they be relocated to another location. After a feral is trapped, spayed/neutered, it must be released in the original location where it was trapped.