Chapter 6 of the Forsyth County Code establishes both criminal and civil penalties for violations of animal ordinances. Pursuant to NC State Statutes certain acts of cruelty to animals can be a felony. Forsyth County’s Animal Control Officers are deputy sheriffs and as such are commissioned to user their civil, criminal and impoundment authority to address violations found in the County.

Approximately a dozen cases, usually cruelty to animals, are charged criminally by the Animal Control Department each year. In a year's time about 1,400 civil citations are issued and 3,400 animals seized and impounded. Civil citations are generally used for first, and/or victimless offenses, but are also used for the regulation of dangerous dogs. A breakdown of civil citation issuance for the period ____________________ is 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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