We are proud to partner with Larimer County to provide Animal Protection and Control services. Our Animal Protection & Control Officers are responsible for upholding state laws and local ordinances that keep pets and people safe.
Field response service for Larimer County
Animal Protection and Control provides service seven days a week; one field officer will respond as time permits (8-hour shift) based on priority level.
If you are in need of immediate assistance place call us at 970.226.3647, ext. 7. All calls will be handled on a priority basis.
Larimer Humane Society field response service
Animal Protection and Control
*Shelter available to receive, find lost and adopt animals 7 days a week (except major holidays)*
Rabies vector species examples:
- Rabies vector species (dead or alive) vs. dog or human – Respond
- Raccoon in a window well – Respond for a $35 fee
- Sick raccoon in backyard but has not interacted with dog – Respond
Key animal control issues
Report animal neglect/abuse
Animal cruelty includes abandonment of a pet; physical abuse; failure to provide food, water, shelter or veterinary care; improper tethering; overworking an animal; fighting of animals; putting animals in a situation that causes distress (i.e., a hot car); or keeping an animal in unsanitary conditions.
If you are concerned for the welfare of an animal, request a welfare check immediately online or by calling us at 970.226.3647 ext. 7.
For more information regarding the improper care and treatment of animals as it pertains to the Larimer County Land Use Code, Chapter 6, please visit section 6-80, “Improper Care or Treatment Prohibited.”
License your pet
Pet license laws are in place and enforced in unincorporated Larimer County
What animals need to be licensed by law?
- All dogs four months of age and older must be licensed annually.
- Residents of unincorporated Larimer County are encouraged to purchase a license for their cats as well, although not required by law. An optional cat license (where not required) is $5.00.
- If you live outside Larimer County and wish to have a license for your pet, the fee is $5 since it is not within our jurisdiction. This is a great way to get your pet back home to you should he or she become lost.
- If you reside in the town of Estes Park or Berthoud, please contact your Town Hall for licensing requirements.
For more information regarding dog licensing as it pertains to the Larimer County Land Use Code, please visit Article II.)
Thank you for continuing to be a responsible pet owner and keeping your animal(s) license current. License your pet.
Dangerous or vicious animals
If you or your pet has been a victim of aggressive behavior displayed by another animal, call us immediately at 970.226.3647 ext. 7. If you have a life-threatening situation involving both humans and animals, call 911.
Reports of vicious animals will be investigated by our officers. Statements from the victim, owner, and any witnesses will be taken. Proof of rabies vaccination may be required. The animal may be quarantined and/or impounded. Citations and/or criminal charges may result.
For more information regarding dangerous animals as defined by Larimer County’s Land Use Code, please visit section 6-79.
Animal bites and reporting
If a dog or cat bites you, seek medical attention immediately. In unincorporated areas of Larimer County, it is the law to immediately report any knowledge you may have of an animal other than a rodent, rabbit, bird or reptile biting a human to an animal protection and control officer.
Report a bite online or call us at 970.226.3647 ext. 7.
Due to the potential exposure to rabies, all bites should be treated by medical professionals and reported to Animal Protection and Control. Learn more about rabies.
Once Larimer Humane Society receives your report and verifies the information, an animal control officer will contact the animal’s owner. The animal will then be confined for a period of 10 days from the date of the bite at the animal shelter, the owner’s home, or at a veterinary hospital of the owner’s choice, at their expense. During the 10-day observation period, no rabies vaccine shall be administered to the animal.
Once the 10 days have passed, an animal control officer will return to the confined location to verify that the animal is still healthy and release the animal from confinement. The owner will be responsible for all fees for care and confinement of the animal.
For more information regarding animal bites and reporting as it pertains to Larimer County’s Land Use Code, please visit section 6-52.
Unreasonable pet noise (barking, whining, howling, yowling, squawking, etc.) that disturbs the peace and quiet of any person in an excessive, continuous, or untimely fashion should be reported.
Step 1: Communicate with the pet owner
If there is a barking dog in your neighborhood, talk with your neighbor before making a complaint. The owner may not realize that the dog is barking and causing a disturbance; dogs tend to bark when their owner(s) are not home. Try to work out a mutually agreeable and reasonable solution in a neighborly manner.
If you are uncomfortable approaching your neighbor directly, Larimer Humane Society advises you print the noisy pet letter for your corresponding jurisdiction and deliver it to your neighbor.
Step 2: If the noise continues, submit a complaint
If the barking continues after discussing the issue with your neighbor or notifying them of the problem, file a formal complaint online or by calling 970.226.3647 ext. 7. Before filing a complaint please have the following information available:
- The address for the barking dog(s), if known
- A description of the dog(s) (size, breed, color, etc.), if known
- The exact time and date the dog was causing a disturbance (download the record sheet here)
- Your name, address and phone number
- The owner’s name and telephone number, if known
Once a formal complaint is filed, please allow the dog’s owner 7-10 days to correct the problem.
Step 3: If the violation continues after a first formal complaint is reported
If the animal disturbance continues 7-10 days after filing a formal complaint with Animal Protection and Control, please file a second complaint, providing the same information as listed above.
Upon receipt of a second formal complaint, we will dispatch an officer to your neighborhood to verify the complaint and to your residence to obtain a witness statement from you and, ideally, a neighbor. When filing a second complaint, please attempt to have the name and number of a second neighbor to corroborate your testimony. Multiple statements from various parties can strengthen a case, rule out neighbor disputes and aid in addressing the problem quickly and fairly. Recording all days and times the animal was causing a disturbance by downloading the barking dog incident log will help Larimer Humane Society better serve you.
Stray and off-leash animals
Even the most responsible pet owners can be accidentally separated from their pets. Each year, we provide nearly 3,000 lost animals with a temporary safe haven until they can be reunited with their owners. We are committed to keeping pets in their homes with the people who love them. A valid license and ID tags help ensure your pet makes it back home to you quickly and safely.
If you encounter a stray animal and feel comfortable bringing it into the shelter, please do so. If the animal you encounter is wearing its license tag, you can call Larimer Humane Society at 970.226.3647 and obtain the owner’s contact information to notify the owner that you have their animal.
Impound and boarding fees will apply to pets brought into the shelter. If your pet is lost, please check our lost pets section.
Impound and boarding fees will apply to pets brought into the shelter. For more information regarding stray animal impoundment as it pertains to the Larimer County Land Use Code, Chapter 6, please visit Article V: Impoundment and Reclamation and sections 6-101-106.
IMPORTANT UPDATES REGARDING RABIES AND WILDLIFE: Larimer County leads the State of Colorado in terrestrial rabies cases. View the latest update of rabies cases in Larimer County here.
If you are having a conflict with wildlife, please carefully review your options:
- If you reside in Larimer County and have concerns regarding a SICK, INJURED, OR AGGRESSIVE skunk, raccoon, bat, fox, or coyote, contact Animal Protection & Control at 970.226.3647 ext. 7. DO NOT TOUCH or ATTEMPT TO INTERVENE with the animal.
- For other wildlife issues including nuisance, all other injured wildlife species, or orphaned wildlife, contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 970.472.4300, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For help after hours, contact the Colorado State Patrol at 303.239.4501.
Deceased animals in the roadway
Larimer Humane Society is contracted with Larimer County to remove deceased animals from public roadways. Report a deceased animal by calling 970.226.3647, ext. 7 or online here.
Deceased animals located on private property within Larimer County can be picked up by Larimer Humane Society’s Animal Protection and Control officers for a fee of $35 per animal. Request a pickup by calling 970.226.3647, ext. 7 or online here.
Pet waste is smelly, unsightly and, if not disposed of properly, can be health hazard. Larimer County indicates any owner or keeper of a pet animal is creating a public nuisance if “a pet animal…which creates offensive odors which materially interfere with or disrupt another person in the conduct of lawful activities at such person’s home or which urinates or defecates upon private property not owned or exclusively occupied by the owner or keeper or upon public property if the feces deposited by the pet animal are not immediately removed by the owner or keeper.” Section 6-78 (1).
Unfortunately, due to our case load, our officers are not always able to patrol parks and trails. If you witness a dog owner or caretakers’ failure to pick up after their pet, please kindly approach them and ask them to clean up after their pet.
If you notice repeated incidences of this ordinance being overlooked, please contact Larimer Humane Society’s Animal Protection & Control department and, depending on available staff and resources, we may send an officer out to the scene to investigate or we will schedule a time to meet with your home owners association or property managers, if applicable.
For more information regarding animal waste as it pertains to Larimer County’s Land Use Code, Chapter 6, Animals, please visit section 6-78 (1).
Report animal waste violations by calling 970.226.3647 ext. 7 or online here.
News and disaster preparedness
Like all areas of the United States, Colorado can be prone to natural disasters. Occasionally, we may experience a blizzard, tornado, or wildfire that can put our loved ones in harm’s way.
Before a natural disaster strikes, consider reading these tips from the ASPCA on how to protect your pet in the event of an emergency.
If you are ever evacuated from your home and space permits at our shelter, Larimer Humane Society will open its doors to your pet, providing him or her shelter and care until you are cleared to return to your property.
Stay tuned to this space in the event a natural disaster occurs in Larimer County for specific information on what Larimer Humane Society is able to do within our means to protect and/or rescue endangered pets in our community during the situation.
In partnership with Colorado State University’s Extension office, Larimer Humane Society assists community members in preparing to raise urban agriculture while following applicable laws and guidelines.
If you are interested in raising chickens, ducks, and goats in unincorporated areas of Larimer County, please read the information provided below and be sure to check your zoning and HOA laws prior to acquiring urban agriculture.
Helpful information for owning urban agriculture
Cold weather safety
Colorado temperatures can drop significantly during the fall, winter, and early spring months. To ensure you keep your pet as warm as safe as possible, follow these tips from the ASPCA .
- Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.
- Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals, and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
- Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
- Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
- Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.
- Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
- Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.
- Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
- Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.
Pets in cars
Colorado passed a law protecting people from criminal or civil liability if they break a window to remove an animal in distress from a hot car. But the law is very specific on the steps that need to be taken to remove an animal from a vehicle. It’s important to know that if any of these steps are skipped, the person who breaks the window will not be protected under the law, opening them up to possible civil or criminal charges.
These steps must be followed.
1. You must make every attempt to locate the owner.
2. You must contact Animal Protection & Control at 970.226.3647 ext. 7 or call the police.
3. You must provide Animal Protection & Control or police with a detailed description and location of the vehicle.
4. IF you remove the animal from the vehicle, you are responsible for that animal. You must remain close to the vehicle until law enforcement arrives.
5. IF you remove the animal from the vehicle and it requires immediate medical attention, you must contact law enforcement and leave a note on the vehicle.
It is Animal Protection & Control’s responsibility to keep the people and animals of our community safe. Pets left in cars on a hot day is a high priority for Animal Protection & Control. We have an average 13 minute response time. This means when the temperatures is above 80 degrees and Animal Protection & Control receives a call about a dog in a hot car, an officer will stop what they are doing and go directly to the scene to help the animal in the car.
While we are here to help, the best thing everyone can do to keep animals safe is to simply NEVER leave your pet in the car on a hot day.
Rabies is on the rise in our community, and we need to take steps to keep ourselves, our family, pets, and community safe. In addition to wildlife, we continue to see multiple cases of humans and pets exposed to the disease in Northern Colorado.
Rabies is an incurable disease that is often fatal in humans and always fatal in unvaccinated animals. The good news is that rabies is 100% preventable with proper vaccinations for pets, horses, and livestock as well as avoiding wildlife.
The State of Colorado takes rabies exposure seriously. Because of the seriousness of this disease the State of Colorado has strict laws in place regarding rabies exposure to keep people and pets safe. Learn more about Colorado rabies laws.
What happens to humans exposed to rabies?
Based on the exposure risk, individuals who come into contact with a rabies-positive animal may need to receive post-exposure treatment to prevent the transmission of the disease. Without that post-exposure treatment, rabies is usually fatal in humans.
What happens to pets with current rabies vaccinations that are exposed to rabies?
If your pet comes into contact with a rabies-positive animal and they are current on their vaccination, they will need to receive an immediate vaccination and 45-day at-home observation to ensure they are healthy. Rabies vaccinations are the best way to protect your pet from this deadly disease.
What happens to pets that are not vaccinated against rabies?
If your pet is not up to date on their rabies vaccination or has never received a rabies vaccination, the risk of transmission is much higher. There is no post-exposure treatment for animals like there is for humans, this means rabies in unvaccinated animals is always fatal. These animals may be humanely euthanized or will need to receive a series of vaccinations and be quarantined for up to 120 days. The first 90 days of this quarantine must be at a secured facility at the owner’s expense.
When to call Animal Protection & Control:
- If you or your pet has had physical contact with a wild rabies vector species animal such as a raccoon, skunk, or bat
- If you have a bat in your house
- If you find an animal that is sick or acting strangely
- If you or your pet have been bitten by another companion animal, such as a cat or dog
Animal Protection & Control can be reached at 970.226.3647 ext. 7.