Henry County Animal Care & Control

Frequently Asked Questions

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. 

The Animal Control ordinances are available in PDF format by clicking here.
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.
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 you.

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 veterinary offices.

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.

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.

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.

Under the FAQ section regarding payments; we accept cash, money orders and debit/credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Discover) 

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.

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 restrictions.

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.

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 testing.

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 Control.

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 online.

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.

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

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 for adoption.

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.

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.

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.

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.