Richmond Animal Care & Control is responsible for protecting the health and safety of the citizens and their pets in
the City of Richmond.
Animal Control Officers handle a variety of situations in the City of Richmond including:
- Investigating suspected abuse or cruelty to animals
- Abandoned animals
- Injured or sick animals
- Aggressive animals and animal fighting
- Livestock and poultry issues
- Animal bites
- Various other animal related situations that present a problem to the community
Cruelty to Animals:
Cruelty to animals is a serious offense. Cruelty comes in many forms, such as an animal not having food/water/shelter,
an animal being locked in a hot car, or an animal being beaten or tortured in some way. Additionally, dogs may not be
tethered for more than one hour during a 24-hour period.
Richmond Animal Care & Control relies on good neighbors to report suspected acts of cruelty or abuse. If you witness
animal cruelty or abuse, please call 804-646-5573 and make a detailed report, including your call back number so we may
get more information if needed. You can remain anonymous if you wish, but it's important you provide as much information
as possible. An Animal Control Officer will be assigned to investigate all reported situations of suspected animal abuse or cruelty.
Responsible Pet Ownership
The City of Richmond and Richmond Animal Care & Control enforce laws regarding the humane treatment of companion
animals and laws pertaining to the protection and well-being of citizens and pets. A few of the key regulations are
Spay/neuter your pets! Sec. 4-307. Breeding Permit
City of Richmond residents owning cats and dogs are required to have their pets spayed or neutered for pets four months of age or
older. Only a breeder who has purchased a breeding permit may be excluded from enforcement of this law. The cost of a breeding
permit is $100.00 per pet and is available for purchase at Richmond Animal Care & Control.
Area Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinics:
- Richmond SPCA (Richmond) /804- 804-521-1330
- Richmond Animal League (Chesterfield) / 804-379-9725
- Prevent a Litter (Richmond) / 804-359-6369
Keep your pet healthy! Sec. 4-365. Vaccinations
Cats and dogs four months of age and older must be vaccinated against rabies. Your pet’s rabies tag should be attached
to your pet’s collar. Rabies vaccinations must be given by a veterinarian and can be done at any animal hospital or
clinic. Richmond Animal Care & Control hosts rabies clinic in the city periodically throughout the year.
Ensure your pet’s safe return! Sec. 4-185. Pet license /span>
City of Richmond residents must purchase an annual license for each dog or cat they own that is four months of age or
older. The cost is $10.00 for each pet. License information can be found by going to the
License/Permit Your Pet
link found on the left side of this page. The license tag should be attached to your pet’s collar. If your pet goes missing
and is found by an animal control officer, an individual or is brought to an animal shelter, the license information
registered with the City of Richmond will help reunite you and your pet. In addition to licensing, we recommend you
have your pet micro-chipped. In the event that your pet goes missing and loses its collar, your contact information
will be intact and can be found with the use of microchip scanners used by animal control officers, veterinary clinics,
and animal shelters.
Sec. 4-90. Animal Excreta or Waste
City residents are required to clean up waste from both cats and dogs in all public places and private property. When
not disposed of properly, pet waste seeps into rivers and contaminates our drinking water.
Shhh your dog! Sec. 4-244. Be a good neighbor
Pet owners must control the behavior of cats and dogs so as not to become a public nuisance. Pet owners will be held
accountable for a pet’s excessive barking and the damaging of public or private property.
Leash your dog! Sec. 4-243.
The free roaming of dogs is prohibited. All dogs must be kept under restraint or confined in an enclosure. Dogs must
be walked on a leash when off the owner’s property.
Please contact the Health Department or Animal Control Department in the city or county in which the bite has occurred.
They will offer guidance on quarantine procedures and steps to ensure your safety and the safety of the animal.
Animal bites in the City of Richmond should be reported to Richmond Animal Care & Control at 804-646-5573 or the
City of Richmond Health Department at 804-205-3912.
The City of Richmond permits the keeping of up to four hens in all residential districts of the city. If you are
interested in keeping chickens, please follow the
License/Permit Your Pet
link on the left side of this page.
If you are experiencing a problem with nuisance wildlife, please call the Virginia Department of Game & Inland
Fisheries toll-free wildlife conflict helpline at 1-855-571-9003.
How to contact the enforcement section of Richmond Animal Care & Control
Call 804-646-5573 to report all animal related concerns. A call for service will be started and your request will be
dispatched to an animal control officer.
Please dial 911 for any animal related
emergency after hours and an officer will be dispatched.
City of Richmond – Animal Related Ordinances
A complete list of the animal related laws in the City of Richmond can be found by clicking on:
Virginia – Comprehensive Animal Laws
A complete list of the animal related laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be found by clicking on: