Henry County Animal Care & Control
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find a copy of the Animal Control Ordinances
for Henry County?
Henry County does have a limit to the number of pets someone can own. When people think “pets” they generally think of our department, but the number of pets you may own actually falls under the County’s Planning and Zoning Department. In the County’s Unified Land Development Code (ULDC), “pets” are defined as “a tame animal kept for companionship or pleasure.” The number of adult domestic pets that can reside at any residence in our County, regardless of how their property is zoned, is four (4). Property owners that have property zoned RA (residential/agricultural) who wish to own more than this number are required to obtain a Conditional Use from the Planning and Zoning Department for a “non-commercial kennel.” If a conditional use is approved, the maximum number of adult domestic pets allowed is ten (10). Additionally there are supplemental standards that are applicable for all non-commercial kennels.
Henry County’s zoning ordinances, including zoning ordinances relating to animals, are enforced by the Henry County Code Enforcement Department.
Livestock (horses, cows, donkeys, pigs, goats, etc.) are not considered “pets.” Livestock may only be kept on property three (3) acres or more and zoned RA (residential/agricultural). The exceptions to this are miniature pigs and miniature goats.
Miniature pigs (pigs that do not exceed 100 pounds) and miniature goats (goats that do not exceed 40 pounds) are considered “pets.” However, only one (1) miniature pig or two (2) miniature goats may be housed on any property in the County that is less than three (3) acres in size. Please refer to Section 3-4-11 of the Henry County Animal Control Ordinance for complete requirements for owning miniature pigs and/or goats.
Also, as a point of note, it is a violation of Georgia State Law and Henry County Ordinance to keep native wild animals (squirrels, fox, coyotes, raccoons, deer, etc.) as pets. Additionally, ownership of most exotic pets (monkeys, wolves, wolf-hybrids, large cats and cat-hybrids, etc.) requires special licensure through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. For more information about owning exotic pets in Georgia, please visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website or call (770) 761-3044. The Henry County Planning and Zoning Department can be reached at (770) 288-7526. The Henry County Code Enforcement Department can be reached at (770) 288-7387.
How many pets can I own?
The Animal Control ordinances are available in PDF format
How do I submit a complaint about a stray or nuisance
You can call 770-288-7387 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.
until 4:30 p.m. and request an Animal Control Officer be dispatched
to handle the complaint.
How do I submit a complaint about a barking dog or
other noisy animals?
You can call 770-288-7387 during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30
p.m. and request that an Animal Control Officer meet with
My pet is missing. What do I do?
The best way to locate your missing animal is to come to the
Animal Shelter during the shelter’s business hours to
look for you pet. Calling the shelter is not the best way
to locate your pet because the description you give may match
several animals or may not be interpreted the same by the
individual on the phone. We suggest you visit the shelter
at least once a week.
When you come to the shelter, bring pictures of the pet and
any vet records. This will assist with the reclamation of
your pet is found in the shelter. If the pet is not at the
shelter the employees will assist you in filling out a lost
report and advise you of ways to continue your search for
your lost pet.
The best way to ensure the safe return of your pet is for
the pet to be wearing a collar with a current Rabies tag and
be micro-chipped. If the animal can be identified as yours,
it makes it so much easier to get him or her back home! Please
remember however, that animals will sometimes lose their tags
or have them removed by someone. Even if you animal leaves
home wearing a collar and tags, there is always a chance the
collar may not be on the animal when it is picked up.
Additionally, you may want to advertise your lost pet. The
Henry Herald (770) 957-9161 and The Henry Times (770) 957-6314
allow pet owners to place “Lost” ads at no charge.
Also, signs can be placed in your neighborhood and at local
I’ve found a pet. What do I do?
Found animals should be reported to the Henry County Animal
Care and Control Shelter. The owner may well be trying to
locate their missing pet and the shelter is the central location
where owners come to look.
What do I have to do to reclaim my animal from Animal
The owner must go to the Animal Control Shelter during normal
hours to reclaim the pet. You must bring a valid identification
such as your driver’s license or Georgia I. D. and proof
of ownership such as photographs of your pet or vet records.
What do I need to do to adopt a pet from Henry County
Animal Care and Control?
To adopt an animal from the shelter, you must be eighteen
(18) years of age, have a valid I.D. (Drivers License or Georgia
I. D.) and have the proper fees for the adoption. Additionally,
you must sign an adoption contract agreeing to have the animal
spayed or neutered. This contract is a legal document and
the failure to comply will result in court action.
What method of payment do you accept?
We accept cash or money orders. At this time, we cannot accept
personal checks, credit or debit cards.
What do I do if an animal bites or scratches me?
All bites or scratches, where the skin is punctured and bleeding
occurs, are a possible rabies exposure. The first concern
is your immediate injury. If the injury is severe, call 911
immediately for medical attention. 911 will notify Animal
Care and Control of the bite and an Animal Control Officer
will respond. If you are taken to the hospital the Animal
Control Officer may meet you at the hospital or contact you
when you return home.
If the bite/scratch is not severe wash the area with soap
and water for ten minutes. Contact you doctor for any further
advice on treatment. Contact Animal Care and Control at (770)
288-7387 so the department can take action.
What happens after I file a bite report?
An Animal Control Officer will contact the owner of the animal
and inform them of the bite/scratch if they are not already
aware of the situation. The owner will be advised of the quarantine
required for a biting/scratching animal. The owner can choose
to quarantine their animal at the Henry County Animal Shelter
for the 10 day quarantine period or at a veterinary clinic.
The owner will be given a dead line for complying. If the
animal is quarantined at a veterinary clinic, Animal Control
must be notified of what clinic and Animal Control personnel
will contact them to make sure they understand the quarantine
If the animal is quarantined at the Henry County Animal Shelter,
the animal will be placed in the kennel in the isolation area
for the 10 day quarantine period. During that time employees
of Animal Control will care for the animal. The owner can
visit the animal, but first must contact Animal Control to
arrange a day and time. After the quarantine period is over,
the victim and the owner will be contacted.
In lieu of quarantine, the owner can request that the biting animal be put to sleep with the Director or his or her designee, approval. If the owner elects to do this, we will send the animal to the State Lab for rabies testing. Once we are notified of the rabies test results, the victim and the owner will be notified of the findings.
If the animal can not be immediately located, humane traps
will be set for the animal.
What animals carry rabies?
Carnivores such as fox, skunk, raccoon, bobcat, coyote, wolf
are not legal to possess and could have the rabies virus without
showing any signs. They can even be born harboring the rabies
virus! These carnivores should not be handled even if they
are babies or are injured. Any bite or scratch from these
animals should be reported to Animal Control so that a report
can be made and the animal can hopefully be sent for rabies
Bats that bite or scratch a person or domestic animal are
of great concern regarding potential rabies. Use care with
protection to contain the bat and call Animal Control to have
a report made and to pick up the bat for rabies testing. If
you locate a bat inside you home and are not sure if an bite
or scratch has occurred, contact Animal Control for guidance
before disposing of the bat.
Livestock such as cattle, horses, mules, donkeys, goats, swine,
and sheep are not likely to have rabies. However, exposure
to saliva from livestock infected with rabies is a concern.
If at the time of the exposure, the animal is clinically ill
with signs suggestive of rabies then treatment and testing
must be weighted against the circumstances of exposure. Involve
your doctor and the Georgia Poison Control Center in the decision
of treatment and testing. Again, Report the bite to Animal
Small animals and rodents such as squirrels, hamsters, guinea
pigs, gerbils, chipmunks, rats, mice gophers, moles, rabbits
and hares seldom survive an attack from a rabid animal and
do not normally carry rabies. Any bite or scratch from these
animals should be treated, but Animal Control does not take
reports or confine these animals for rabies testing.
Dogs, cats and ferrets should always be vaccinated against
rabies. Although these animals are not born with rabies, they
can be exposed to the virus and be a risk to humans. Larger
animals such as dogs, cats and ferrets can survive an attack
of a rabid animal and contract rabies. The state requires
that all dogs, cats, and ferrets that bite or scratch where
the injury bleeds be confined for a ten (10) day quarantine
period. The ten day period is necessary to observe the animal
for any signs of rabies.
If you need additional information about a particular incident,
contact Animal Control at 770-288-7387. For more information
on rabies, the Georgia Rabies Control Manual can be accessed
What do I do if my dog or cat bites someone?
Did the bite bleed? If so, you will be required to make a
decision about the future of your pet. Quarantine is a MUST
under the Henry County Animal Control Ordinance. This quarantine/confinement
is necessary for 10 days. You can choose to quarantine the
animal at your veterinarian or the Henry County Animal Shelter.
If you do not choose to keep the animal because of the bite,
you can request that the animal be put to sleep and tested
for rabies. Neither of these options are not pleasant, however,
because of the potential for a rabies exposure and/or liability
on your part, you must make the decision that is best for
your situation. Animal Control does not normally adopt out
animals that have bitten or scratched, but every situation
is considered individually.
If the bite location did not bleed, the situation may result
in a citation, however the 10-day quarantine is not required.
Are animals licensed in Henry County?
Henry County Animal Care and Control does not license pets,
but requires all animals to wear a current rabies tag.
Where do go to pay a fine for an animal violation?
Some violations are payable prior to the court date. If you
reside in the unincorporated areas of the county and have
received a citation, contact Henry County Magistrate Court
to see if the fine for citation you have received can be paid
prior to the court date. If you live within the city limits
of Hampton, Locust Grove, McDonough or Stockbridge, contact
your respective city court regarding prepayment.
If prepayment is not possible, you must appear in the proper
court on the date and time designated on your citation to
have your case heard.
- Henry County Magistrate Court (770) 288-7700
- Hampton City Court (770) 946-4306
- Locust Grove City Court (770) 957-5043
- McDonough City Court (770) 898-9575
- Stockbridge City Court (770) 389-7900
How long do you hold animals?
Impounded animals are held four (4) working days (Animal Control
working days) to give the owner an opportunity to reclaim
their pet. After four (4) working days, the animals become
the property of Henry County. After that time, animals are
held for an indefinite period of time. As long as space is
available and the animal is healthy and not aggressive, it
will be held until it is adopted or until it no longer qualifies
What do I do if I am looking for a specific type
animal to adopt?
We have more pure bred animals that most people think. While
we don’t keep a “wish list”, if the type
of animal you wish to adopt is not at the shelter, many times
we can give you contact information for individuals or rescue
groups that may be able to help you.
I found a yellow card on my door, what does it mean?
You have either filed an animal control complaint or someone
has filed a complaint regarding your pet(s). There are times
when residents are not home when an issue is addressed and
we leave card to let you know we’ve been to your home.
The card should contain specific information on why we were
out and a telephone number for you to call for more information.
There is a snake in my yard! What do I do?
Many people feel threatened by the presence of snakes. However,
a majority of these snakes are non-venomous and should not
be feared. If you find a snake on your property, stay clear
and give it room to naturally move away. Snakes are just as
frightened of you are you are of it! Animal Control does not
remove snakes that are outside. Occasionally, however, a snake
may enter a residence. If this happens, call Animal Control,
who will come and relocate the snake.
I have found a baby deer. What do I do?
White-tailed deer fawns are born between mid-May and July.
They are relatively scentless and, with their brown coats
and white spots, are pretty well camouflaged. Mother deer
do not remain close to their fawns in order to prevent drawing
attention to it. However, they keep watch over the fawns from
a distance throughout the day. If you come across a fawn,
its natural response is to remain still and silent and, when
approached, to lie its head down and try to hide. These babies
are not abandoned and should simply be left alone. If you
happen to see a fawn, don’t pet it or pick it up, just
leave the area.