Chapter 6 of the Forsyth County Code establishes both criminal and civil penalties for violations of animal ordinances. Pursuant to NC General Statutes certain acts of cruelty to animals may be charged as felonies. Forsyth County's Animal Control Officers are deputy sheriffs and, as such, are commissioned and may use civil, criminal and impoundment authority to address violations of the County Code.

View Criminal Citations & Outcomes

Approximately a dozen cases, usually cruelty to animals, are charged criminally by Animal Control each year. Over the course of a year about 1,400 civil citations are issued and 3,400 animals seized and impounded. Civil citations may be used in cases of first-time offenders, victimless offenses, and oftentimes for the regulation of dangerous dogs. A summary of civil citation issuance is presented below. +

Civil Citation issuance by Violation +
Licensing/Rabies Vaccination 1,034
At Large/Leash Law 402
Cruelty/General Duties 160
Potentially Dangerous Dog Declarations 143
Vicious Behavior/Biting 48
Dangerous Dog Declarations 30

+ Source: Animal Control Advisory Board 2013 Five Year Plan for Animal Services

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