Animal Control

The Caroline Animal Control operations fall under the supervision of the CCSO. The primary point of contact for Animal Control is Lieutenant J. Heffler. The Animal Control shelter may be reached through our dispatch center at 804-633-5400. Animal Control deputies enforce the laws and regulations of the state and county with an emphasis on animal control laws. 

Duties performed by Animal Control deputies include:

  • Answering citizen complaints
  • Catching stray animals
  • Investigating possible animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment
  • Assisting other law enforcement agencies, Conservation Police and Fire and Rescue personnel with animal related calls
  • Maintaining the animal shelter
  • Euthanizing animals when necessary

Adoption Information

Dogs and cats are available for adoption at the Caroline County Animal Shelter. Only Caroline County residents or adjoining county residents (Hanover, King George, Essex, Spotsylvania, Stafford, King and Queen, and King William) are able to adopt non-sterilized animals. By state law, anyone who adopts a dog or cat must have his or her new pet sterilized. Any Virginia citizen may adopt animals that have already been sterilized.

Adoption Fees

  • Adult dogs: $75 unsterilized ($10 adoption fee, $50 spay/neuter certificate, $15 deworming with panacur)
  • Adult dogs: $25 sterilized ($10 adoption fee, $15 deworming w/ panacur) 
  • Puppies (less than 6 months old): $85 ($10 adoption fee, $50 spay/neuter certificate, $10 distemper/parvo vaccine and $15 deworming with panacur) 
  • Cats: $75 unsterilized ($10 adoption fee, $50 spay/neuter certificate, $10 Felovax IV vaccine, $5 deworming) 
  • Cats: $25 sterilized ($10 adoption fee, $10 Felovax IV vaccine, $5 deworming) 
  • All animals: $15 for a 30-day flea/tick treatment 


We can always use the following items (pleas drop them off directly at the animal shelter):

  • Washable blankets
  • Towels (any size)
  • Dog and cat treats
  • Grooming supplies
  • Cash donations for vaccines and wormers 

Animal Laws

All owners of dogs and cats must have proof that their animal(s) have been vaccinated again rabies by four months of age by a licensed veterinarian. All dog owners or custodians must have a current Caroline County Dog License or Kennel License for all dogs four months old or older. It is against the law to permit any dog to run at large at any time, except when engaged in lawful hunting in the open season and accompanied by the owner or custodian. 

Any dog found without a valid Caroline County Dog License attached to it's collar will be considered "unlicensed" unless the its owner can prove otherwise. Deceased animals must be disposed of by their owners, the property owner, or by the Virginia Department of Transportation if found in a roadway. Animal Control will not dispose of dead animals. Cruelty to animals and fowl is prohibited Any dog deemed "dangerous" by the General District Court will be completely restricted to ensure public safety and health. 

Any dog deemed to be "vicious" by the court will be euthanized. It is unlawful for anyone to keep any poisonous or dangerous reptiles. Livestock are not permitted at be at-large at anytime. 

Response Times

Normal response hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm, Saturday noon to 8 pm (spring through summer) 10 am to 6 pm (fall through winter) During regular business hours, citizens requesting assistance from Animal Control may call 804-633-5400. A dispatcher will take key information and relay it to an Animal Control Deputy by radio. Calls are prioritized according to the potential threat to the safety and health of the public. All calls are answered as soon as possible, but it may take up to 48 hours depending on call volume. 

Emergency Response Hours

Monday through Friday 5 pm to 8:30 am. Saturday and Sunday after hours posted above During emergency response hours, one animal control deputy is designated "on call" and will respond to health and safety related emergencies only. Citizens may request assistance by calling 804-633-5400. 

Emergencies Include

  • Animal bites requested by the Health Department or if the owner is unknown
  • Critically injured animals with unknown owners
  • Livestock in roadway
  • Dogs attacking livestock 

Note: A dog(s) running at large is not considered an emergency. Animal control does not respond to situations involving wildlife, but will provide general information and contacts to assist with wildlife problems. Situations involving wildlife are handled by the Commonwealth of Virginia Conservation Police. The Conservation Police may be reached at 804-367-1258. 

Dog License

All dog owners must purchase an annual license for all dogs four months of age or older. Licenses may be purchased at the Treasurer's Office located at:
212 N Main Street
Bowling Green, VA 22427

A certificate of vaccination for rabies must accompany license applications. 

Cost for Licenses

  • Single dog spayed/neutered - $5 Single dog 
  • Unspayed/unneutered - $10 Kennel for 20 dogs or less $25 
  • Kennel for 21 dogs or more - $50 

Lost or Missing Pets

Email us information about your lost or missing pet. Animal Control high recommends that you first call about your missing pet. After you have called, you can then follow up by providing an email with a complete description of the animal including name, age, sex, weigh, and breed. Include a picture if you have one. Please include all pertinent contact information, including a phone number. Animal Control officers will acknowledge receipt of your email as soon as possible. If you have not heard back within 24 hours please call 804-633-5400 to speak to an Animal Control deputy