Animal Control

To request a welfare check on an animal, report a loose or injured animal, report an animal bite or file a complaint about an animal, please contact Animal Control Dispatch at 307-635-1453 or after hours 307-286-5089.

If you have a life-threatening emergency, please contact 911.

ANIMAL CONTROL: (307) 635-1453 | DAILY 8 A.M. – 8 P.M.

Press Release of hours and service changes


The mission of the Animal Control Department:

“To provide exceptional service to the people and animals in the community by enforcing local and state laws pertaining to the safe and humane treatment of animals.”

About the Animal Control Department:

The Cheyenne Animal Shelter’s Animal Control Department specializes in the investigations of animal cruelty, rabies prevention and animal attack investigations. Each Animal Control Officer has trained in a classroom setting and in the field about Constitutional Due Process as well as the application of Animal Laws within the Laramie County Area.

Our fully staffed team consists of two (2) dispatchers and six (6) Animal Control Officers. We pride ourselves as the subject matter experts in animal legislation. Our fleet of 6 vehicles are specifically designed for the safe transport of animals to and from the Shelter.

Animal Control Department Services Provided:

Animal Control Officers oftentimes respond to calls where aggressive animals have broken free from containment and are threatening public safety. Calls of this nature will always take first-priority along with assisting other first responder agencies, calls of injured or hurt animals, and animals left in conditions that adversely affect their health or welfare.

Although the Animal Control Department understands it is frustrating if a dog is trespassing on your property, barking excessively, or using your yard as a restroom. These calls fall lower on our priority list and an Officer will follow up with you as soon as possible.


Enforcement: Enforce state laws and local ordinances pertaining to the humane care and treatment of animals;

Human & Animal Safety: Investigate reports of aggressive animals that may cause harm to humans or other animals; Removal of animals interfering with commerce; Assist other law enforcement when potentially dangerous animals are present;

Animal Treatment: Investigate potential animal cruelty, neglect or abuse; Shelter and care for stray, lost or sick animals;

Public Outreach: Educate the public on the care and treatment of animals in our homes, neighborhoods and adjoining lands; Inform the public of the importance of disease control, population control and prevention.



Important forms

Laws & Ordinances

Learn about the local laws in your jurisdiction here:


City of Cheyenne

Animal Control laws and ordinances enforced by the Cheyenne Animal Shelter Animal Control Unit within city limits can be found here.


Laramie County

Laramie County Animal Control ordinances can be found here.


State of Wyoming

For information on Wyoming state laws regarding animals, please review the Wyoming State Statutes click here.


Animal Control faq

Is Animal Control operated as a division of the City/County?

A: Animal Control is operated by The Cheyenne Animal Shelter, which is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization governed by an independent Board of Directors. However, the Shelter contracts with City of Cheyenne and Laramie  County to provide animal control serves for our community. Our officers adhere to the laws and ordinances set forth by the State of Wyoming, Laramie County and the City of Cheyenne.

What types of calls do you get on a typical day?

A: Animal Control officers handle a variety of nuisance complaints including barking dogs to dogs running at large; dog bites and animal attacks, animal welfare checks to lost and injured animals. We check on dogs left in hot cars and investigate animal cruelty cases as well as cases of hoarding animals. Some situations reach as high as felony charges for animal cruelty. Animal Control officers assist outside agencies such as the Cheyenne or Pine Bluffs Police Departments, the Laramie County Sheriff’s Departments, Wyoming Highway Patrol, local fire departments and Wyoming Game and Fish. We are not authorized to arrest suspects, but we conduct investigations and assist with evidence in the prosecution of animal cruelty cases.

What are your hours? Is there always an ACO on duty/on call?

A: We have two officers on duty working a shift from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, but one of those officers is always on-call for emergencies after hours. ACOs have to be especially mindful of responding to all calls based on differing levels of urgency, manpower, and coverage. Where some calls can be as far as sixty miles from base, especially during after-hours coverage, it requires another officer to be notified for standby while the responding officer leaves the greater area of impact where the highest frequency of calls are generated.

How many full-time ACOs does the Shelter employ?

A: Currently, the Animal Control Unit consists of a total of four full-time officers, one part-time and one alternate officer, with an average of two officers on shift per day.

On average, how many animal cruelty cases do you investigate in Laramie County per year?

A: We are involved in as many as 40-50 animal cruelty investigations per year.

What penalty is imposed if an animal is found to be neglected or abused?

A: If a felony is involved without conflict of other crimes intersecting the case, we will investigate, take our findings to the District Attorney’s office and see how they wish to proceed. In some cases, Police or Sheriff may arrest as in a full custodial arrest; or warrants for an arrest may be issued by the District Attorney in which case any sworn law enforcement officer, upon an encounter, can arrest.

Minimally, the citations are set ten days out from the date when the officer charges for the crime. However, the time until the defendant’s initial appearance could be slightly longer depending upon various factors such as waiting for all restitution costs to be finalized. In the interim between the charging date and the final disposition of the court, the defendant is required to pay all care and kenneling costs associated with the case starting with the initial impound fee of $75 plus $25 per day in care costs. If the defendant is found guilty, he or she is subject to fines as high at $750 per animal, plus court costs of $55. In some cases, an additional fee of $150 is attached to the fines for the State Victim’s Fund.

Further, if the defendant is found guilty, he or she may be required to permanently surrender the animal to the Shelter; placed on probation for six to twelve months; and/or prohibited from owning animals in Laramie County for up to one year.

Is overpopulation a problem? If so, what happens to the animals that go unclaimed and do not get adopted and why?

A: We are not seeing the numbers of puppies that we used to, but we are still overwhelmed with kittens and cats. We try to save every animal we can, but we struggle with the feral cat and neonatal populations during kitten season. Because of this, we are constantly looking for more foster homes to help save the under-aged kittens, as well as funding to expand programs such as our Feral Cat Program, TNR, Barn Cat Program, and other community resources as funding allows.

What happens to animals in hoarding cases?

A: This is one of most challenging aspects of our job. It is a multi-faceted and complex endeavor to handle hoarding cases. Once a situation is assessed and determined to be unhealthy and unlawful, we must go through the necessary steps to seize the animals and bring them into the Shelter for medical exams, quarantine for possible disease, and placement into protective custody, pending legal action.

Based on circumstances, animals may be in the Shelter’s care for weeks, if not months. This costs the Shelter thousands of dollars in which we may never receive restitution. We work with the hoarders and try to reason with them to surrender the animals so we may sterilize and release them for adoption into loving homes.

This process has proven to be difficult to say the least. We work with local agencies to help assess the deplorable conditions found in the hoarders’ homes, assist in presenting evidence of hoarding and animal neglect/abuse in court, and we must monitor these individuals on-going to prevent recidivism. We do have compassion for these individuals; they are typically in denial about their ability to provide adequate care for their animals and their intent is not necessarily to harm them, but find themselves overwhelmed.

What is the protocol if my dog bites someone? If I am bitten by a dog?

A: Bite cases involve several considerations. First and foremost is the victim. If the victim is a person or a dog, we immediately want to know if the biting dog is vaccinated against rabies. Pending that discovery, our next consideration moves to public safety.

We want to know if this is a first offense or an animal with a repetitive history in biting. In owner/victim cases, we often allow the animal to remain in the custody of the owner and place the animal on a “home quarantine” if it is current on vaccinations.

Depending on other factors, especially if the animal is NOT vaccinated, we will bring the animal to the Shelter for a medical observation quarantine. Finally, bite cases often involve medical restitution costs. In those cases, the owner of the animal will be charged for public nuisance or harboring a vicious animal and MUST appear in Circuit Court. It is not uncommon, if the owner is found guilty, for the animal to be permanently surrendered to the Shelter. In addition, the owner will be fined and made to pay all out of pocket expenses, specifically the medical costs associated with the bite.

Are there any laws/ordinances requiring pets to be brought inside due to freezing temps?

A: There is no law in place or City ordinance marking a temperature line at this time. However, shelter from the elements must be provided for a domestic animal being kept outside. It is up to the ACO’s field discretion to decide if an animal is suffering and in danger due to extreme weather. The ACO will discuss the situation with the pet owner, and if no owner is present, may confiscate the animal and take it to the Shelter for evaluation and protection.

Wyoming Statute 6-3-203 (B) is clear, that every animal owner must provide their animals with the proper food, drink, and protection from the weather; and any owner that cruelly abandons the animal, or in the case of immediate, obvious, serious illness or injury, fails to provide the animal with appropriate care, is subject to penalties for animal cruelty.

f there is an injured animal in traffic, do I call 911 or Animal Control (or both)?

A: You should call Animal Control, but you may also call the police if traffic is being impeded by the situation. The police can manage traffic and may be able to respond sooner as we cover a wider area.

ACOs strongly suggest you do not enter into traffic to rescue a dog. Typically, the dog will run blind into traffic without considering the movement of vehicles when the dog is being pursued. Of even greater concern is the individual pursuing the dog in traffic where a strong possibility exists of being struck by a vehicle.

What steps do you take to remove a dog from a hot car; what are the consequences to the owner if an ACO must do so?

A: We will try to find the owner as soon as possible, especially when the vehicle is parked in front of a store or business. If we must open the vehicle, we will typically use specialized tools to gain access with minimum or no damage to the vehicle. If the circumstance warrants emergency entry and the vehicle cannot be accessed by use of our tools, we will gain entry through the window. In such cases, the owner of the pet is responsible for any damages to the vehicle.

If the owner does not return to the vehicle and the animal is taken to the Shelter for care, a reclaim fee may be charged. If there is a case for animal cruelty or neglect, and the case goes to court, the owner may be charged up to $750 for the violation.

How much is the ticket for off-leash?

A: Off leash City fines are the same as dog-at-large fines for the City. In the County, the language is a bit more permissive: “A dog or cat off the premises or property of the owner except when said dog is in the immediate accompaniment and control of the owner or some other competent person and obedient to that person’s command.”

The officer always has the option to charge for “at large” violation through the Circuit Court even if the offense took place in the City of Cheyenne. Fines in the County are higher for “at large” violations than in the City.

Are all pets required by law to have rabies shots? Are older or sick dogs exempt due to immunity or weakened health?

A: Yes, in the City all pets must be vaccinated against rabies. “Pets” in the City are defined as dogs, cats, or ferrets. In the City, the animal must be vaccinated starting from four months old. In the County, the animal must be vaccinated starting from three months old. The County does not designate ferrets being required for rabies vaccination. Exemptions in the City and County are considered for older animals or ones with compromised health, but only with a letter from a veterinarian.

If I have a complaint about an animal, can I request to be anonymous?

A: Yes, we understand how contentious it can be to report someone, especially a close neighbor, and we will retain your anonymity. However, if the ACO is NOT a witness to a crime and the only witness is the complaining party, the complainant’s identity will be revealed according to the Constitution’s 6th Amendment which includes the right of the accused to confront their accusers. For this reason, some cases do not make it into court where the complainant is in fear of disclosure.

Is Animal Control run through mostly employees, volunteers, or a mixture of both?

A: Our staff is comprised of employees who have either prior law enforcement experience or a mixture of military and law enforcement experience. We strive to hire animal control officers with these types of backgrounds as an in-depth ability to analyze a situation — whether in the field or in court — is necessary.

How many calls do you respond to, on average, per day?

A: The Laramie County/City of Cheyenne ACO unit responds, on average, to 15-35 calls per day (varying seasonally) adding up to approximately 8,200 calls per year.

Do you just cover the City of Cheyenne or the whole of Laramie County?

A: The two officers on duty are responsible for a jurisdiction expanding from the City of Cheyenne to all of Laramie County which includes Burns, Carpenter, Horse Creek, Federal, Hillsdale, and Pine Bluffs. We also cover all areas within the County including open range, farms, and ranches.

Do you answer calls for any and all types of animals?

A: Yes, we will respond to any calls related to animals, but we work in conjunction with other agencies such as the Sheriff’s Department for livestock in the County, and Wyoming Game and Fish for wildlife. We are also called to scenes by law enforcement when there is a human death involved to safely remove any animals from the scene and provide protective custody for them at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter until arrangements can be made by family or friends to care for them. In addition, we assist other agencies for search warrants and crime scenes where animals are involved, which might impede the other agency’s duties and performance.

If you conduct a welfare check based on possible neglect or abuse, can you take the animal?

A: If we suspect the animal is suffering from neglect and/or abuse, based upon the condition of the animal and environmental evidence, we can legally confiscate the animal from a yard or from a structure that is not a livable dwelling. If the animal is inside the house, we must summon the owner to contact us or get a search warrant through law enforcement. If we take the animal based on probable cause with supporting evidence, the animal is impounded and remains at the Shelter until the defendant appears in court and the case is finally adjudicated.

Is overpopulation a problem? If so, what happens to the animals that go unclaimed and do not get adopted and why?

A: We are not seeing the numbers of puppies that we used to, but we are still overwhelmed with kittens and cats. We try to save every animal we can, but we struggle with the feral cat and neonatal populations during kitten season. Because of this, we are constantly looking for more foster homes to help save the under-aged kittens, as well as funding to expand programs such as our Feral Cat Program, TNR, Barn Cat Program, and other community resources as funding allows.

Is overpopulation a problem? If so, what happens to the animals that go unclaimed and do not get adopted and why?

A: The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is an OPEN INTAKE facility which means we take in EVERY animal presented to us. However, for dogs we are categorically and descriptively considered as a no-kill shelter with some exceptions due to public humane issues and public safety. All animal shelters are faced with the sad demise of euthanasia.

The Cheyenne Animal Shelter does not euthanize dogs for time or space, however we do sometimes have to euthanize the ones who are not safe for placement, who are too sick and cannot be treated by our dedicated vet staff, or who are too young and do not have foster placement. We actively continue to strive towards increasing our life-saving efforts. For dogs, our live release rate is over 90 percent! We have seen our live-release rate for cats steadily increase over the years and will continue working to achieve ever-higher live release numbers.

What is considered unreasonable animal noise? Are there certain hours in the day it is enforced?

A: Excessive barking day or night is considered disturbance of the peace in the City of Cheyenne.

The County does not have an ordinance restricting barking dogs. Excessive and unnecessary barking (without intervention to stop the barking) becomes the substance of the offense.

Are dogs allowed to be tethered/chained?

A: If a shelter with a chain is used as a primary enclosure for a dog kept outdoors, the chain must be placed or attached to avoid entanglement with chains of other dogs or any other object.

A chain should be at least three times the length of the dog as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, and the dog must be allowed convenient and safe access to food, water and shelter.

Are dogs allowed to ride in the back of pickup trucks?

A: Dogs in the City of Cheyenne are allowed to ride in the back of trucks only if they are tethered. ACOs cannot conduct traffic stops for this however, and it would need to handled by the police. Although, if the truck is stopped in a parking lot, an animal can be taken by an ACO if the driver does not cooperate in accordance with the City ordinance.

How do you decide to rescue a dog left in the car in hot or freezing temperatures?

A: Factors are taken into account: the ambient temperature, length of time the vehicle has been unattended, ventilation, condition and behavior of the animal(s), and the location of the vehicle. ACOs must determine the severity of each circumstance and also work to educate the public on what is reasonable for an animal’s safety and proper care.

What fine is imposed for a dog running-at-large and being taken into the Shelter to be reclaimed? First offense, second, third?

A: Dog-at-large fines vary between the City and the County:

In the City, the fine for first offense for an altered dog is $60/for an unaltered dog it’s $75, and no rabies tag displayed is $60. Second offense is $85/$100. Third offense is $100 for altered dogs, and for unaltered dogs, it is a mandatory appearance in court.

In the County, first offense is $50, no rabies tag displayed is $50. Second offense is $100 or must appear in court. For a third offense, there is not a graduated increasing fine, but the ACO can mark the citation as a “must appear” which removes the option to simply post bond and not appear in court.

Are licenses required for dogs and cats in the City/County? What is the fine?

A: Pet licenses are NOT required at this time in either the City or County, or any township within the County. However, a rabies tag must be displayed on the animal’s collar at all times in the City.

The fine for no rabies tag displayed in the City is $60. The fine for no rabies tag displayed on an animal when it is off its property in the County is $50. Second offense is $100.  However, the owner must produce rabies vaccination of any animal in the County upon request.

How many animals are people allowed to have in the City/County?

A: In the City, you may have four domestic animals. “Animal” is defined as a live, vertebrate creature, domestic or wild. Any dwelling unit or other property maintaining more than four dogs is considered a kennel and the property must meet zoning requirements. In the County, there is no set limit on the number of animals you may have.
To request a welfare check on an animal, report a loose or injured animal, report an animal bite or file a complaint about an animal, please contact Animal Control Dispatch at 307-635-1453 or after hours 307-286-5089. For Lost & Found after hours, please call: 307-214-5779.