Stray, Lost, Sick
Animal Control Officers pick up stray, roaming, sick or injured animals. They are impounded at the Shelter located at 2100 S Military Highway. Stray animals are held for a minimum of five days, not including the date of pick up.
Animals with collars or other identification are held an additional five days. After the holding period, any animal not claimed by the owner may be offered for adoption, transferred to another shelter/rescue, or euthanized.
Animals are held and cared for as long as possible based on age, health, condition, temperament, and space at the shelter. A critically ill or injured animal may be euthanized at any time to prevent its suffering.
If you have found a stray and need an Animal Control Officer to respond to pick up the animal, please call the Chesapeake Police Department's Non-Emergency line at 757-382-6161 and a dispatcher will put a call on for an ACO to respond.
- No fee for first 24 hours, fees assessed after listed below.
- $25 for the first day for any dog or cat that is over 6 months old that is not bearing valid Id and is not sterilized. Burden of proof that females are sterilized shall be on the owner redeeming.
- $25 for the first day for any dog or cat under 6 months old that is not bearing valid Id.
- $15 for the first day for any other companion animal, or for any unsterilized dog or cat under 6 months old that IS bearing valid Id.
- $15 for the first day for any sterilized dog or cat over 6 months old that IS bearing valid Id.
- $11 per day each additional day or part thereof.
- Payment for necessary medical expenses incurred during the pet's stay
Note: Owners of a dog or cat impounded for a second time within a 12 month period will be charged an additional fee of $50. Owners of a dog or cat impounded for a third or greater time in a 12 month period will be charged an additional fee of $100. The 24 hour fee waiver only applies for a pet's first offence.
Valid ID Definition From the Code
A collar or harness and a legible city license tag for the current year registered to the current owner at the current address; a valid, legible rabies tag registered to the current owner at the current address; a legible personal identification tag, which bears valid and current owner information including address and/or telephone number. Any such dog or cat on which the owner or custodian is unable to maintain a collar or harness and valid Identification within thirty days from the date that such dog or cat was acquired and/or thirty days from the date that the owner or custodian establishes residency in the City of Chesapeake, Virginia, shall have caused the animal to be implanted with permanent microchip identification, the registration for which shall include valid and current owner information and address.
- Animals are held for a minimum of five days, not including the date of pick up, in order to give owners time to find them. Animals with collars or other identification are held an additional five days.
- After the holding period, any animal not claimed by the owner becomes the property of the City. It may then be offered for adoption, transferred to another shelter or euthanized (put to sleep).
- The Chesapeake Animal Services takes every precaution to ensure that impounded or lost pets are returned to their rightful owner. For this reason, owners claiming and redeeming their pets should bring proof of ownership such as photographs, veterinary records, or rabies and license receipts.
For further information call the Chesapeake Animal Services Unit at 757-382-8080.
- Can Animal Control Officers pick up my dog or cat if it is wearing a license or rabies tag?
Yes, they can.
All dogs and cats are required by law to be licensed. Dogs are required to wear their license. Dogs and cats that are outside, and whose owner is not present, are required to bear valid identification. No animal may roam off of the owner's property. Officers trace tags to determine where the pet belongs. Learn more about obtaining a pet license.
Under the "Free Ride Home Program" Animal Control Officers pledge that if any dog or cat is picked up for simple straying, and that animal is wearing a tag the officer can trace, or has a registered microchip, the officer will take the pet home rather than impounding it at the shelter located at 2100 S Military Highway.
This pledge is made providing there is no serious violation of law involved, such as a bite or mauling, and there is an adult owner home to receive the animal.
If there is no owner at home, the officer will leave the owner a notice advising them that their pet has been taken to the shelter. In that way owners will know where to find their pet and know that it is safe.
- How do I report my pet as missing or lost?
If you lose your pet, visit the Shelter first. The Shelter is located at 2100 S Military Highway. A photo of your pet is required to file a lost report. Please do not call. The Shelter is open for lost and found from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday, and Friday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday; noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday. The Shelter is closed on Holidays. Get tips on how to find your pet.
- How do I report a stray or animal I have found?
Call the Chesapeake Police Department's Non-Emergency line at 757-382-6161 day or night. If you have taken the animal in and would like to bring it directly to the shelter, you are encouraged to call the shelter at 757-382-8080 prior to doing so. The shelter is located at 2100 S Military Highway. It is open for lost and found from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday, and Friday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday; noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday. The Shelter is closed on Holidays. Find more tips on how to help a lost animal.