FAQ Categories


- If you know the name and address of the cat's owner, we will be glad to speak with them regarding the responsibilities of animal ownersip.

- Like dogs, cats are required by Forsyth County Code to be contained to the owner's property and are not to run at large. If you wish to set traps on your own property for cats, you are free to do so. Traps can be purchased at most hardware stores or online. Whoever traps the cat(s) is responsible for contacting the Forsyth County Animal Shelter at 336-703-2480 to arrange surrender. The person who traps the cat(s) must provide food, water, and shelter until arrangements are made with the shelter - it is illegal to simply leave the cat(s) in a trap without care. Traps can only be set on your property, not in common areas or on someone else's property. 

- Per Forsyth County Code if someone is feeding the cat(s), they are establishing legal ownership and, as such, are responsible for caring for the cats (making sure they have rabies vaccinations and other medical care), as well as keeping them contained to their property.

If it is on the roadway inside the city of Winston-Salem, call City Link at 336-727-2638.  If it is off the roadway outside the city limits of Winston-Salem, but still inside Forsyth County you may call the North Carolina Department of Transportation at 336-896-2350 and check to see if the road is state maintained and if they can pick the animal up.  Both agencies will only pick up dead animals that are in or alongside the roadway.  If you have a pet that is deceased you can take it to the landfill.

See our brochure concerning wildlife under our “Services” menu.

Contact our 24/7 dispatch center at 336-727-2112.

A barking dog is classified as a noise ordinance violation and you should call your local law enforcement agency.  Winston-Salem Police Department at 336-773-7700 in Winston-Salem, Kernersville Police Department at 336-996-3177 in Kernersville, or the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office at 336-727-2112 anywhere else in the county.

Forsyth County Code 6-10. Registration of dogs and cats required.
The owner of any dog or cat must obtain a registration for such animals within sixty (60) days after the dog or cat is acquired. New residents shall have sixty (60) days to register any dog or cat.
Dogs Cats
Spayed or Neutered $5.00 $5.00
Unaltered $25.00 $25.00
Failure to register within the proper time period may result in a late fee of 50% of the annual license registration fee. Possessing an unlicensed animal is a violation of the Forsyth County Code. Penalties for a violation may range from a $50 civil penalty to a misdemeanor citation of $95 per unlicensed animal.
All dog and cats are required to be licensed, but there are some exemptions from the fee requirements:
  1. Animals that are working members of public safety agencies.
  2. Animals in the care of a non-profit 501C-3 animal welfare organization as long as sterilization is a requirement of the organization before adoption.
  3. Handicap Assistance Dogs: Fees may be waived for handicap assistance dogs, provided the dog is sterilized.
  4. Hunting dogs may receive a reduced $5.00 fee upon the owner furnishing the County with a valid hunting license.
  5. Show animals may receive a reduced $5.00 fee upon providing three (3) recognized show event registrations per animal.
  6. Fertile animals unable to be sterilized for health reasons may receive the $5.00 registration fee providing a veterinarian provides a written statement explaining the animal’s condition.
Print a Pet Licensing Application. You can license a pet in person at the animal shelter during normal shelter hours, or by mail. Proof of current rabies vaccinations is required and documentation of your pets spaying or neutering is needed for the reduced fee rate. Receipts from your veterinarian generally document whether the pet has been altered as well as the dates of the rabies vaccination. A copy of such a receipt is all that is necessary. No special certificate is required. If you receive an application by mail, simply fill out the requested information and mail it back with the appropriate fee to Animal Control. A license tag and receipt will be mailed back to you.
  • You can print a Pet Licensing Application.
  • Pet licensing brochures that include an application are available at many public buildings and veterinarian offices.
  • You may call Animal Control at (336) 703-2479 and leave your name and address with a request for applications. We will mail them to you.<
  • You can write the application's required information for the additional pet(s) on a supplemental sheet of paper and mail it to us with the original application and required fee(s). Proof of current rabies vaccination and sterilization is required.
Provide us with your name, address, and phone number and information regarding the specific pet. We will inactivate the license account.

You can contact us by any of the following methods:
  • Email from this website
  • Call (336) 703-2479 and leave us the message.
  • Write on your renewal application that you no longer have the pet and send it back to us.
A rabies certificate from a veterinarian showing this information would be sufficient.
License applications are generated from existing databases maintained by the County (required by the state and local statutes). These are the former dog tax ag records and rabies vaccination records.

Call Wildlife Rehab at 336-785-0912..

Animal Services