Harnett County,
North Carolina

Animal Services 

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Frequently Asked Questions

QHow can I become a volunteer at the shelter?

Individuals can assist with our rescued animals at the Animal Shelter. Typical duties include: gretting and assisting the public with adoptable pets, socializing with the animals, and keeping the kennels clean. To view the volunteer policies, requirements, and application, click here. For more information, email animalservices@harnett.org

QHow can you people do this kind of work? Don’t you feel awful?
AWe all have pets of our own and love animals very much. We are here because we are trying to help the animals. We make sure they are cared for correctly, we try to find homes for the unwanted pets, and for those that may be suffering, we help to alleviate their pain, even if that means putting some of them to sleep. Yes, there are many situations where we feel the animal doesn’t deserve to be put down, but we have no choice in the matter. We can only offer our time and care for these animals. That is why we work here.

QWhy do I have to give my name and address when I make a complaint?
AAnimal Services must have a valid reason for going on someone’s property. Also, if the case reaches court, you may be needed to testify.

QI found an injured raccoon by the side of the road, should I take it to a vet?
ANO! An injured animal is more prone to bite when it is in pain. Plus, in Harnett County, raccoons are the number one carriers of the rabies virus. Instead, call Animal Services, Wildlife or the Sheriff’s Department.

QIf I can purchase the Rabies vaccine at a feed store, does it vaccinate my pets?

Technically yes; however the state does not recognize this as a legal vaccination. A benefit to veterinarian vaccinations, you receive a tag with a number that can be tracked nationwide. This helps when your animal gets lost or is picked up by the Animal Services. Harnett County Animal Services offers a 1 year rabies vaccinations for your pets at the Animal Shelter for $ 8.00.  

QWhat do I do with bats in my house?
AIf there is a possible exposure (any chance of contact), Animal Services would impound the bat for rabies testing. However, bats that fly in or bats in the attic, get turned over to a group of people that specialize in wildlife removal.

QHow does Animal Services catch animals that are skittish and run off when approached?
AWhen we arrive at a scene, we look at the situation and decide what kind of steps we need to take. We utilize three main devices for capture. First, we attempt to catch the animal by hand. Second, we will use humane animal traps, and third, we can use tranquilizer equipment.

QCan an opossum transmit the rabies virus to humans?
AOpossums can be infected by the virus like any other mammel, but it is rarely transmitted to humans

QIf an animal is foaming at the mouth, is that a sign that it is rabid?

NO! Animals will foam at the mouth after a good run. Animals sometimes eat things they are not supposed to, like frogs, grass, and even other animal’s waste. This will also cause the animal to drool or foam around the mouth.

QMy neighbor allows his dogs to run loose and they get in my trash. Can anything be done about this?
AHarnett County has no leash law. However, the towns do and this is enforced by Harnett County Animal Services. We suggest that you first discuss the situation with the neighbor. More than not, an owner is unaware of what the dog is doing and to bring it to the owners attention may get some resolve. If the problem continues, call our office and make a nuisance complaint. We will then warn the owner to fix their problem or they may be fined.

Q What are my rights if a dog comes on my property and growls at me?

This is a serious matter. First, if at all possible, shoo the dog away
(spray water, yell), or try to avoid the animal. Second, are you luring the dog onto your property? Do you have a female dog in heat or do you place food outside for your pets? If the dog continues to come onto your property call Harnett County Animal Services or Harnett County Sheriff's Department.

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