Animal Control

Besides a large human population, North Texas is also home to a variety of domesticated and wild animal species. Lots of residents have pets. Parts of Tarrant County include farms and ranches that maintain livestock. Portions of the county that remain undeveloped contain wildlife native to this region of the United States.

Some of this wildlife can pose a threat to humans and our pets. Here's a flier that notes the danger of rabies.

Promoting a healthy animal population and protecting domestic animal health is a part of safeguarding the health of our community. This is typically done through efforts referred to as animal control.

Due to large areas of rural property, animal control for unincorporated areas of Tarrant County is handled by the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office. The City of Fort Worth covers its city and, through an interlocal agreement, assists in the unincorporated areas of Tarrant County at the request of the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office. All other municipalities are responsible for and conduct their own animal control.


In situations involving ANY animal that poses a danger or safety hazard,

call 9-1-1 immediately.


Loose livestock (including cattle, horses, donkeys, large flightless birds, goats, sheep, hogs and pigs) can represent a significant traffic or safety hazard. Because the potential hazard is so high -- call 9-1-1 immediately.

For non-emergencies involving stray dogs and cats, and domestic or feral animals, residents are encouraged to contact their municipality's Animal Control or Code Compliance office. In unincorporated Tarrant County, call the Sheriff’s Dispatch line at 817-884-1213.

Nuisance pests (skunks, rabbits, squirrels, opossums, snakes, etc.) that do not pose a threat should be dealt with by a pest removal/control company.

Wildlife at large is the jurisdiction of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at 817-831-3128.


Regarding potentially dangerous animals

  • Rabid animals tend to behave aggressively and sometimes contrary to their nature. Do not attempt to engage with a wild or aggressive animal.
  • If an animal that normally avoids human contact, such as a skunk or raccoon, appears to act strangely and aggressively, stay away from the animal, keep your pets away from the animal, and call 9-1-1.

In instances where a dog is declared to be a "dangerous animal" by a judge, the Sherriff’s Office and Tarrant County Public Health work together to enforce state law regarding such animals.

Dangerous dogs:

  • must be registered,
  • must be maintained in a secure enclosure,
  • must be vaccinated, and
  • the owner must have insurance regarding the animal. 

To register a dog that has been declared dangerous, please call the Tarrant County Public Health Environmental Health Division at 817-321-4960.