How do I report stray animals, nuisance animals, or animal cruelty situations?
Animal Control & Rescue Center's hours are listed above to report stray, loose, or nuisance animals. We will need a description of the animal(s) causing
the problem, a description of the problem, and your name, address and phone number so we can get back in touch with you if necessary. The owner’s name and/or address is helpful, but not required.
For example: “My name is John Smith and I live at 123 Pine Street. My phone number is 555-1234. There’s a large, brown dog out loose on our street. I think it might belong to the family at 135 Pine Street. I’m worried because it’s barking at the kids getting off the school bus.”
Cruelty and neglect complaints, dog fights and cockfights can be reported anonymously, but it’s important for you to provide as much information about the problem, as possible. For example: “There is a very skinny black dog tied to the front porch on the northwest corner of Oak Avenue and Pine
Street. I don’t know the address, but it’s a blue house with white trim. The dog has no food, shelter or water.”
Dog fights and dangerous animals situations may be reported 24 hours a day, and a serious cruelty complaint may also be reported outside of normal business hours. Call police, sheriff or 911 at night, on weekends or holidays for these situations.
If you witness someone causing deliberate harm to an animal, you can report them to us. Try to have as much information as possible. Photos or videotape of the abuse is even better. Be sure to use the time-date feature on your camera, if this is possible.
If you think someone is neglecting an animal, let us know. According to law, animals must be provided with adequate food, water and shelter, adequate space, clean living conditions and basic veterinary care. “Shelter” means an actual dog house being able to duck under a
porch, car, or boat doesn’t count. If a dog is kept on a chain, the chain must be at least five times the length of the dog (not counting the tail) and it must be set up so the chain doesn’t get tangled on bushes, posts, etc.
Animal fighting is considered cruelty to animals. Even if no other evidence of cruelty or neglect is present, animal fighting is illegal on its own. Drugs, gambling, prostitution and other illegal activities are often present at human-induced animal fights
or fights set up by people to challenge one dog against another. You may report dog fights or cock fights either to Animal Control or directly to the police or sheriff. It is against the law to allow dogs to run loose in East Baton Rouge Parish. Dogs must be in a yard, in a pen, or on a chain. Dogs walked on a leash
must be under the direct control of their owner at all times.
Cats are not required to be on a leash or under the direct physical control of their owners, but they are not allowed to leave their owners’ property. If your wandering
cat causes a nuisance for your neighbors, the neighbors have the right to humanely secure the cat and ask us to pick it up. You may either place the animal in a cage, secure it on a screen porch, or use a humane trap
like a “Hav-A-Hart” trap. If you don’t own a humane trap, you can rent one from a rental store or borrow one from the Animal Control & Rescue Center.
If loose animals are causing a problem in your neighborhood, simply call the Animal Control & Rescue Center at 774-7700. Be able to give the dog’s location and a good description. If you think you know who the dog might belong to, tell us.
You must give your name when you report a loose or stray animal, and if the owner turns up, he or she has the right to ask who called about their pet. The
law requires us to provide this information if they ask, but they have to come out to the Animal Control & Rescue Center in person, show legal
identification, register in a log book, and either pay a copy fee for the information copy it down themselves.
We do not give out information on the scene or over the phone about the person who made the complaint.
What should I do if I find a stray pet?
Call the Animal Control & Rescue Center. If the animal is wearing a rabies tag on its collar, you can read the tag number to us over the phone and we can trace the animal’s owners so you can contact them.
If the animal is not wearing tags, you may want to take care of the animal for a few days while you run a “found” ad in the paper. The Advocate runs “found” ads for free (4 lines for 3 days; call 388-0111).
You may also want to post “found” flyers in your neighborhood and in adjacent subdivisions. It’s a good idea to place a few flyers at local gas stations, veterinary hospitals, grocery stores, etc.
If you can’t find the owner, or if you are not able or willing to try, just give us a call during normal business hours and we will pick the animal up.
If you have kept the animal for more than a week, ran a “found” ad in the paper, and the animal is unclaimed, you may keep the dog or cat if you’d like to give it a home.
What about pet licenses, and how many pets may I keep?
When your dog or cat receives its rabies shot and gets its tag at a licensed veterinarian’s office, it becomes officially licensed in East Baton Rouge Parish. City-Parish law requires both dogs and cats to be vaccinated for rabies at the age of three months, then once a year afterwards, and to wear a rabies
tag on the collar. Even if you think your full-time indoor pet will never get out, accidents can happen. The serial number on your pet’s rabies tag will trace it back to you. Be sure to save your vet’s receipt–if your
pet loses its rabies tag, you will be able to prove it is up-to-date on its shots.
Ferrets are also required to have an annual rabies shot.
If you’ve just moved to East Baton Rouge Parish, you must have your pet licensed and vaccinated by a veterinarian in the parish within 30 days. Don’t worry if your pet was
recently vaccinated somewhere else. The “extra” shot won’t hurt if your pet is in good health, but take your vet’s advice. Sometimes a veterinarian will advise you to postpone the rabies shot if your pet is sick, pregnant, or taking medication.
Please be aware that the rabies vaccinations and tags one can purchase at feed stores does not count as a legal vaccination in East Baton Rouge Parish for dogs, cats or
ferrets. These animals must be vaccinated at a licensed veterinarian’s office.
Most birds, reptiles and other small animals commonly available in pet shops require no license or permit, but some do. It is illegal to keep certain wild or exotic animals as pets in East Baton Rouge Parish.
If you have an unusual pet, or if you think you might want to get one, contact Animal Control & Rescue Center to find out if your pet is allowed in East Baton Rouge Parish or if any
special permits are required. This information is also available in the online copy of the ordinance.
We require that a person keeping more than twelve animals over four months of age apply for and obtain a kennel permit.
You must have a minimum of 1200 square feet of yard available for the first dog you have, and 300 additional square feet for each additional dog. A yard with less than 1200 square feet is considered to be an animal pen, with special requirements.
The conditions in which your pets live must meet the humane standards set by the City-Parish regarding food, water, shelter, cleanliness and veterinary care. We do not set a rigid limit on the number of pets per dwelling, but we do require that your household pets do not become a nuisance to other people and animals.
Details on the requirements for animal pens and cages may be obtained from the Animal Control & Rescue Center, or by reading the ordinance posted elsewhere on this website.
Contact the Animal Control & Rescue Center or read the online ordinance for details about keeping livestock animals in the City-Parish.
Townhouses and apartment patios are exempt from the yard-size requirement, provided the animals do not cause a nuisance to the neighbors. Food, water and shelter must be provided, and the area must be kept clean, odor-free, and free of parasites like ticks and fleas.
The number, size and type of pets allowed by your landlord, mobile home park or subdivision rules may differ from the laws set by the Animal Control & Rescue Center. Some landlords, for example, do not allow tenants to keep boa constrictors, even though it is legal to have a pet boa constrictor in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Because rental leases and residential neighborhood agreements are private contracts, these situations do not fall under our jurisdiction. We suggest that you contact an attorney if a dispute arises over the pet restrictions in your rental lease or subdivision restrictions.
A barking dog in our neighborhood keeps us up at night. Who should we call?
If barking dogs are a problem in your neighborhood, we suggest the neighborly approach as a good place to start. Maybe the dog’s owner isn’t aware that the dog is a problem to others, and the solution might be, as simple as asking the owner to bring the dog inside during the hours when you are trying to sleep. It’s surprising how often people are willing to cooperate when they become aware that their pet is keeping someone else awake.
If the neighborly approach fails, you must write a letter describing the problem. Give as much detail as possible, including:
your name, address and phone (this must be included in your letter),
location (address) of the dog(s) causing the problem,
description of the animal’s problem behavior,
description of how the
animal’s behavior is affecting you
When we receive the letter, we can dispatch an officer to discuss the problem with the dog’s owner. A warning notice will be left to document the visit. If the dog continues to bark, and you make another complaint within 15 days, the owner will receive a summons.
Be aware that, according to the definition used in the law, nuisance barking or noise-making must be excessive before a summons will be issued.
Be aware that, according to the definition used in the law, nuisance barking or noise-making must be excessive before a summons will be issued.
Raccoons are getting into my garbage. What can I do?
Many problems with raccoons, opossums and other wildlife often can be solved simply by building an enclosed pen for your garbage cans. It should have a top and four sides. Use a spring-type latch-this lets the garbage collector in but keeps raccoons out. You can also buy ready-made, raccoon-proof pens at some feed stores.
Tamper-resistant garbage cans are another good solution. Or you could try stretching a piece of bungee cord across your garbage can lid. Just anchor the bungee cord to the handles. It’s also important to avoid leaving pet food out at night.
If raccoon and opossum problems persist after you’ve removed food sources and secured your garbage, you can rent a humane box trap from the Animal Control & Rescue Center. A $25 deposit is required. This allows you to keep the trap for one week. Your deposit is returned when you return the trap. When you rent the trap, you will be given detailed instructions on setting it up and baiting it.
When you catch your raccoon, or other nuisance animal, call the Animal Control & Rescue Center and an officer will come and pick up the trapped animal. You never have to touch it.
Please do not feed raccoons. Sure, raccoons are cute. But rabies isn’t. Raccoons can
carry rabies, which is transmittable to humans, pets and livestock. Raccoons also carry distemper, a serious disease which can be transmitted
to dogs and cats who aren’t up-to-date on their shots. If a raccoon bites a human, a doctor must be called immediately. Treatment may
be needed for exposure to rabies and other diseases. If a raccoon bites a pet, take the pet to a veterinarian right away.
More information on how to humanely discourage wildlife
Who do I call to help me with a dead animal?
There are no special laws concerning the disposal of most deceased pets on your own property, but you will want to bury it as deep, as possible, at least two feet for a cat, small dog, or other small pet; three feet or more for a larger pet. It’s a good idea to place a few paving stones directly above the spot to discourage scavengers. You might also want to plant a tree or bush to mark the spot, or make a marker of your own. The law does require that large livestock animals must be buried at least six feet deep, or cremated.
Beware of buried utility lines, always call “Dottie” at 1-800-272-3020 before you dig a hole. If you don’t have a yard, or if you are not able to dig a grave, you will need to find another means of disposing of your deceased pet. Some veterinarians offer burial and cremation services, or they will refer you to someone else who can help. Look in the Yellow Pages under “veterinarians” and “pet cemeteries, crematories and supplies.”
Another way to dispose of a dead animal is simply to wrap it neatly in paper, a plastic bag or an old t-shirt and deposit it at the curb in a closed garbage can or in a sturdy box you’ve taped shut (this will prevent scavengers from disturbing the remains).
It’s better to avoid wild animals found dead on the road. Rabies can survive in the corpse of a dead animal, and rabies is often the reason the raccoon was out in the road in the first place. If you have an urgent reason to remove a road kill, use plastic or latex gloves, put the dead animal in a plastic bag, and secure it in the garbage as described above. Be sure to dispose of the gloves and to wash your hands thoroughly after attempting this. Never touch a road-killed animal if you have an open cut or abrasion on your hands.
AW (or company currently contracted) picks up dead animals on city streets. Call 778-3800 to report a dead animal on the side of the road. If you’re a good Samaritan and you notice that a dead dog or cat is wearing its rabies tag, you can call us and tell us what the tag number is, and we can track down the owner to notify them of the situation. Dead animals on the Interstate or on a state highway should be reported to 231-4131. For dead livestock call 389-3254.
Someone has been bitten by an animal. What needs to be done?
Because of the danger of rabies, which is always fatal if untreated, animal bites and scratches must be reported to the Animal Control & Rescue Center. A bite report will be taken, and every effort will be made to find the animal, quarantine it, and observe its health for ten (10) days. Anyone who has been bitten is safe from rabies if the dog or cat which bit them is still alive ten days later.
If you, a family member, or a visitor to your home was bitten by your own pet, if it is up-to-date on its rabies vaccination, and if it was not running loose or otherwise in violation of the animal control ordinance at the time the bite occurred, you must report the bite, but you may be allowed to keep your animal confined in your own home and examined by your own veterinarian after ten (10) days have passed. The animal must not be allowed to run loose or make contact with other animals or human visitors for ten (10) days. You may also choose to kennel your pet at your veterinarian’s office during this time. If the animal dies for any reason during this time, you must contact the Animal Control & Rescue Center so your pet’s remains can be examined for rabies. Please call us at 225-774-7700 or read the online ordinance for details on what criteria must be met for the animal to be allowed to remain at home.
If the dog or cat was not up-to-date on its rabies vaccination, or if it was running loose or otherwise in violation of the ordinance at the time the bite occurred, the animal will be impounded in our Rabies Observation Kennel here at the Animal Control & Rescue Center for ten days. The owner may reclaim the animal after ten days have passed, and must be ready to pay any fines (such as, failure to vaccinate against rabies) that may apply. In some cases, you may pay your fines at the ACRC and then we will transfer your pet to your own veterinarian's office for observation.
If you are bitten by a wild mammal, such as a fox or raccoon, notify Animal Control & Rescue Center immediately and we will make every effort to capture the animal and examine it for rabies. Birds, reptiles, fish, and other animals do not carry rabies. If you are not sure whether or not the animal that bit you is a mammal, please call ACRC and we can help identify it for you.
Due to risk of infection from bacteria, and due to the risk of dangerous venom from a snake or spider bite, you should see a physician if you have been bitten by a bird, reptile, spider, or any other non-mammalian animal for medical treatment, but the animal does not need to be impounded or quarantined.
If the ACRC is unable to locate the animal which bit you, you must go through a series of post-exposure anti-rabies injections to protect you against the rabies virus. While the risk of rabies is very small in the case of dog and cat bites, the virus is always fatal if untreated. However small the odds are the risk is almost always too great to gamble on.
If you have been bitten by a wild animal which got away, you must have the injections to protect your health. Consult your physician for medical advice as to whether or not you should have the injections in situations where a dog or cat got away.