Animal Control

Sandersville Police Department Animal Control
430 Beck Blvd.
Sandersville, Georgia 31082
Phone: 478-552-2756
After Hours and weekends: 478-553-0911
Fax: 478-552 -2801
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*In the left hand column you will see Sandersville/Washington County Animal Shelter- click on this.

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Hours of Operation
Weekdays 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m until 10 a.m. (adoptions by appointment only)
Closed on Sunday

The Sandersville Police Department Animal Control Unit is responsible for the enforcement of laws pertaining to animals. The unit also accepts abandoned or orphaned animals from City residents, which are placed for adoption.

The Animal Control Division is lead by Senoir Animal Control Officer Greg Haynes . The mission of the Animal Control Unit is to enforce state laws and City ordinances pertaining to animal control and management; educate the community in responsible pet ownership and wildlife care; and provide for the housing and care of homeless animals and coordinate their adoption when possible and their humane euthanization when adoption is not possible.

The Police Department, Animal Control Unit does not handle wildlife, or pest control, in or outside of your home. Private companies provide this service for a fee. The only wildlife the unit handles are those animals suspected of having rabies or those that are a danger to human life.

The City's current animal control laws were adopted in 1990 and repealed laws made in 1941. Under the current ordinance it is unlawful for: 

  • Anyone to maintain a dangerous animal or fowl.
  • Any animal to enter any place where food is stored, prepared, served, or sold to the public except dogs trained specifically to assist a person with a disability when such dog is actually being used by a disabled person as an aid for that disability.
  • Any dog to chase, run after, or jump at vehicles moving on public streets and alleys.
  • Any dog to attack, bite or injure another animal or person, or to jump upon and otherwise threaten other animals or persons without provocation, unless in defense, protection, or assistance of its master or other persons, except when such person is using the dog in conjunction with a criminal activity.
  • A person to allow animals in their custody to unuly disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
  • Any animal to feed from, turn over, or otherwise disturb garbage containers or bags.
  • Any animal to scratch, dig in, or run through flower beds, gardens, or fields or damage any property other than that of the owners.
  • Any female dog in heat to go upon or have access to streets, roads, or public areas. No owner or custodian of any dog in heat shall permit the dog to roam or run free beyond the limits of his property.

The law also states:

  • Any place, including pens, yards, enclosures, lots, or premises at which animals or fowl are kept shall be maintained in a clean condition free of obnoxious odors and fly-breeding media or attention.
  • No person owning, or having in his custody, animals, fowl, or livestock shall permit same to go at large. A dog is to be on a leash or in the immediate control of his owner or his agent or on his property.
  • The owners of all dogs and cats shall cause a collar with the name and address of the owner of such animal to be worn at all times by such animal. It shall be the duty of the owner to cause a tag certifying that the animal has been inoculated against rabies during the current inoculation period, to be attached securely to the collar and kept there at all times during the license period.
  • The owner or person having custody or control of any cat or dog four months of age or older shall be responsible for having each cat or dog vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian. When claiming or adopting an animal from an animal shelter, all dogs and cats must have proof of a current rabies vaccination if of age.
  • Any person finding any animal or fowl upon his property to his injury or annoyance may take up same and remove it to the local animal shelter whereupon the animal shelter will take possession of it.
  • Any animal that is out of control or unattended or otherwise in violation of this chapter, whether or not the animal is on private or public property, shall be impounded by the Animal Control Officer or any law officer.

It is also against city ordinance to cruelly treat or unnecessarily harm any animal in any way. Any person who inhumanely beats, underfeeds, poisons, overloads, neglects, or abandons any animal shall be guilty of a violation of this section. Causing one  animal to fight with another constitutes a violation of this section. The Animal Control Officer or law officer shall be authorized to remove or cause to be removed to a safe location any animal that appears to be abused or suffering unduly as may be necessary to prevent further suffering.

It is also unlawful for any person to hinder, interfere, harass, or otherwise obstruct performance of any Animal Control Officer in the official performance of their duties. It is unlawful to attempt to or to release any animal captured or impounded. Tampering with traps or other capture devises utilized by an Animal Control Officer is prohibited.

Animal Control Officers willl exercise every reasonable care to prevent the injury, illness, death, escape, or pilfering of any animal with which he deals in carrying out the provisions of this ordinance, but he shall not be responsible for any such occurrences.

In the event any animal subject to being impounded cannot be captured without actual danger to the officer or public, the Animal Control Officer or any law enforcement officer is authorized to shoot such an animal when shooting can be done without endangering persons or property. In the event an animal has been seriously wounded and to move it would cause further suffering, an officer is authorized to shoot the animal to end its suffering.

Any animal or fowl not redeemed within three days will be adopted or humanely disposed of. An animal may be disposed of at the discretion of the Animal Control Officer regardless of days impounded.

The owner or custodian who redeems an animal or fowl from an animal shelter or designated place of impoundment will pay the board bill in full before taking the animal or fowl off the premises. In addition to board fees, there shall be an impoundment fee assessed against owners who recover their animals or fowl which were impounded. Fees are posted at the animal shelter.

Any animal that is known to have bitten a person shall be confined for the purpose of rabies observation to the animal shelter or to a veterinary facility for a period of not less than ten days and all expenses incurred for such confinement and observation shall be paid by the owner of such animal. The animal may be quarantined at the owner's residence at the discretion of the Animal Control Officer. Every animal suspected of having rabies shall remain in quarantine until its natural death or until its freedom from suspicion of rabies has been established to the satisfaction of the Animal Control Officer.

Adult stray animals that remain unclaimed by their owners for three days become City of Sandersville property and are placed for adoption. All puppies younger than three months old have to spend five days in quarantine before they are available for adoption. All adopted animals are subject to an adoption fee. The adoption fee includes a bond to ensure that dogs and cats comply with O.C.G.A. 4-14-01, which requires that dogs and cats adopted from public shelters are sterilized. Also included in the adoption fee is a receipt for the first years rabies vaccination.

City Code requires animals to have a yearly rabies vaccination. Failure to have the adopted dog or cat sterilized could lead to criminal prosecution! Dogs or cats impounded for bites are not available for adoption. Some animals will be held longer than three days before they are available for adoption. Criminal court cases such as animal cruelty and dog fighting cases may prevent the animal in question from being available for adoption. After the Court has disposed of the case, animals may be available for adoption.

Prospective adopting persons must have a Federal or State issued photo identification card. Drivers license and Military Identification cards are acceptable forms of identification. Any person wanting to adopt a fighting breed dog will have to comply with a criminal background check.

Owners wishing to reclaim their animals should provide proof of ownership along with proof of rabies vaccination. If the animal does not have the current rabies vaccination the animal can still be reclaimed, however, additional fees apply. Animals owners are charged a reclaim fee as well as a per-day board fee. As with the adoption, a valid form of identification is required for reclaiming the animals. Some owners may not be able to reclaim their animals due to pending court cases.

There are numerous state laws regarding animal care and ownership. The most notable violations involve cruelty and animal fighting. Animal Cruelty can take many forms; from intentional, malicious behavior, to mere neglect. Animal Cruelty is covered by laws which differentiate by behavior; felony treatment for intentional malicious behavior towards animals, and, misdemeanor treatment for neglect of animals.

City ordinances also prohibit the killing or slaughtering of any livestock or fowl within the City limits, except by written permit granted by the Mayor and Council. No person shall set up and maintain any butcher pen or slaughterhouse of any place for killing, butchering, or slaughtering any livestock or fowl within the City unless written permit has been previously granted by the Mayor and Council.

It is also unlawful to keep or raise hogs or bees within the city limits.

The entire area embraced within the corporate limits of the City of Sandersville is designated as a bird sanctuary. It is unlawful to trap, shoot, hunt or attempt to shoot or molest in any manner any bird or wild fowl or to rob bird's nests. In the event any federally unprotected species of bird is found to be a nuisance in the opinion of the proper health authorities, those authorities will meet with representatives of the Sandersville Police Department, Animal  Control  Division, and the Washington County Humane Society to find a solution.