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Animal Control

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Peoria Animal ControlThe City of Peoria and the Peoria Police Department are dedicated to providing the best possible service to the citizens of Peoria. In fact, the Police Department’s Animal Control Unit was created as a result of this dedication. City leaders recognized long ago that without providing local animal care and control services, Peoria residents would be served by a centralized county-wide system that has limited resources to deal with animals across the valley, and simply is not able to provide the level of service that Peoria’s Animal Control Unit offers.

Staffed with five full-time Animal Control Officers, the Unit responds to calls of animals disturbing, loose animals, animal cruelty cases, injured animals, and a host of other situations involving domesticated animals. Peoria’s Animal Control Officers are civilian employees authorized to investigate and enforce the Peoria City Codes pertaining to animals.

Our Animal Control Personnel are dedicated to providing humane treatment for all animals in their care, and each officer receives specialized training by the National Animal Control Association in animal safety, handling, first aid, apprehension techniques, and capture equipment. Based on our documented patterns of service calls, the unit is assigned to work shifts seven days a week, and their hours range from 6am to midnight most days.

To contact Animal Control call 623-773-8311

What are the City of Peoria’s requirements for pets?
Peoria encourages responsible pet ownership, and places no limit on the number of cats or dogs you can have at your home, as long as they do not create unreasonable noises or smells and are properly cared for. Pets that are outside must have access to food, water, and shade. Pet owners are responsible for the general care, health, and humane treatment of their pets. This care can become expensive, but this does not remove the responsibility of the owner. To help manage their pet’s health care expenses, owners can purchase pet insurance for their pets to provide coverage for vet bills, behavior therapies, and wellness programs. While the City of Peoria does not require nor recommend any particular pet insurance provider, you can learn more by following this link for a review of many pet insurance programs and what they can offer you and your pet:  

What can I do about feral cats?
Since 2011, Animal Control stopped picking up or impound feral/free roaming cats from citizens.  Instead, the unit encourages citizens with feral cat issues to utilize the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) approach.  The change is a cost saving measure, but is also considered a best practice and a more humane alternative to dealing with feral cats.

When a feral cat is permanently removed, nature’s tendency is to over-populate the vacancy it creates. By not creating that vacancy, and by preventing the existing cat from reproducing, the feral cat population will decrease over time. The activity of our most frequent trap users supports this claim – some of them have trapped as many as 50 feral cats from the same location, a clear indication that the trap and euthanize approach is not the best solution.

Your favorite search engine will return a long list of hits for “trap neuter return”,  and will help identify local programs and provide links to the body of research behind the TNR philosophy.

What can the city do about a barking dog?
The most common animal disturbance that Peoria animal control officers respond to are barking dog complaints.  It is a violation of Peoria City ordinances for a dog owner to disturb another resident’s peace by allowing their dog to bark excessively and unreasonably. It is not a violation for a dog to bark.  It is only a violation if the dog is barking excessively and unreasonably. 

To report a barking dog, call the non-emergency number at 623-773-8311. Any Animal Control Officer who personally observes excessive barking can issue a citation to the owner. If our investigation of a barking dog does not result in such an observation, we will continue to respond to subsequent complaints in an attempt to observe the violation.

As an alternative, the complainant can request a form which allows them to provide information about other neighbors who have similar experiences with the same animal and are willing to say so at a court hearing. Once completed, this allows the Animal Control Officer to interview other witnesses and forward a case for prosecution.

In addition to these two avenues which can lead to prosecution, the department offers another option that avoids prosecution but seeks to resolve the problem in another way. The Neighborhood Mediation Program exists to provide a forum for neighbors to work through this type of conflict. Mediation can help dog owners learn how they are affecting others, help complainants learn what steps the dog owner has taken to address the problem, and provides an opportunity for neighbors to solve a problem together without legal action.

More information on barking dogs (PDF)

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