Animal Control Officers are specially trained and tasked with enforcing state law, city ordinances relating to animals, and animal-related business licensing regulations, as well as enforcing animal control regulations to ensure a high level of public safety and peace. Specific areas of responsibility and activities include:
• Investigating all reports of animal cruelty and neglect.
• Investigating animal bite cases.
• Responding to animal complaints such as barking dogs, nuisance cats, etc.
• Patrolling city streets and neighborhoods for stray or deceased animals.
• Advising and assisting residents with nuisance animal concerns.
In 2021, Animal Control Officers responded to and addressed over 2,000 calls for service. The following were included in their activities:
• Investigated over 100 animal cruelty/neglect complaints.
• Handled over 30 animal bite investigations.
• Impounded over 200 stray dogs, nearly 400 cats, and over 200 other animals.
• In partnership with the Friends For Animals of Metro Detroit, reunited nearly 200 pets with their rightful owners and secured rescue or rehabilitation for nearly 200 animals.
In addition, Animal Control Officers also addressed over 500 other nuisance or deceased animal concerns.
Within the Ordinance Enforcement Division, Animal Control remains one of the highest requested services from residents.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I captured a dog that was running loose. Who do I call?
A: You can contact the Police Department at (313) 943-2001 and an officer will respond to transport the dog to the animal shelter.
Q: Are dogs required to be licensed in the city?
A: Yes. Dogs over the age of six months must be up-to-date on rabies vaccinations and licensed with the city. Dog licenses are $10 per dog and expire in February of each year. Contact the City Clerk's Office at (313) 943-2015 for more information on dog licenses.
Q: Where are stray animals taken once in the custody of the Police Department / Animal Control?
A: All impounded animals are taken to the Dearborn Animal Shelter intake facility. Call (313) 943-2697 to speak with animal shelter staff.
Q: How should I report an animal bite?
A: Animal bites should be immediately reported to the Police Department at (313) 943-2001.
Q: Are people allowed to let their cats run loose in the city?
A: Yes. However, owners must ensure that their cats are not creating a nuisance. Pet owners can be held responsible for their “outdoor cats” if a nuisance is created.
Q: I received a ticket from Animal Control. What should I do?
A: Citations issued by Animal Control Officers are processed through the 19th District Court. Read the citation carefully and contact the court if you have any questions.
Q: I have an issue with rats. Does Animal Control handle that?
A: No. Please contact Vector Control at (313) 943-2150.
Q: I am concerned about the welfare of my neighbor’s dog. Can someone check on it?
A: Yes, and all reports can be anonymous. Please contact Animal Control to report any signs of abuse or neglect of any animal.
Q: If I have a wild animal on my property, who should I call?
A: In accordance with state law, healthy wildlife should not be considered a nuisance simply because they exist. If you encounter an ill or injured animal, contact Animal Control at (313) 943-2079 for assistance. Only in extenuating circumstances will Animal Control Officers respond to wildlife complaints. You must hire a professional wildlife service. There is a list of certified contractors on the State of Michigan website by visiting the Nuisance Animal Control Directory (Michigan DNR).
Dearborn Animal Control
Dearborn Police Department
16099 Michigan Avenue
Dearborn, MI 48126
313-943-2079 (General Office)
313-943-2201 (After Hours/Animal Emergencies)