Frequently Asked Questions

What are the procedures for an animal bite?

Colorado Revised Statue 25-4-603 requires all animal bites be reported within twelve (12) hours. If you have been bitten by an animal or your pet has bitten someone Call Douglas County Animal Services IMMEDIATELY at (303) 660-7529.  If the bite occurs after normal hours of operation contact Douglas County Sheriff Office at (303) 660-7500.

An animal welfare officer will contact the owner and victim to complete a bite report and to quarantine the animal.

Domestic pets are quarantined for 10 days from the date of the bite or exposure, including the day of the bite or exposure. Quarantines generally require confinement at the owner’s home to prevent the animal from wandering or from coming into contact with people or pets that do not live in the same household.  Home quarantines are normally permitted unless the owner is unwilling or unable to securely confine the animal during the quarantine period or when there are Dangerous Animal charges filed or pending.  If animals are not quarantined at home, they are confined at a veterinary hospital or the animal shelter.  Officers determine quarantine sites based on the circumstances of each incident on a case-by-case basis. Home quarantines are not an owner’s right, but a courtesy extended to responsible owners. Quarantines at locations other than the owner’s home will be at the owner’s expenses.

After the 10-Quarantine period has ended, DCAS will follow-up to ensure the animal does not exhibit any signs or symptoms that are consistent with the rabies virus and release the animal from quarantine.

This is a matter of public safety and health and must be taken seriously.

What can I do about my pet's behavior problems?

Patience and consistency are the keys to successful training and behavior modification, but you must start with good information.  We strongly recommend dog obedience lessons for all canines, beginning from puppy- hood.  Many fine trainers work in this area.  Consult local dog obedience clubs in the telephone directory, or contact breed or dog clubs for recommendations.  Consult local cat clubs or your veterinarian about behavior modification for cats.

Most pets turned in to shelters are relinquished because of behavior problems, most of which are minor in nature and easily corrected.  If you are going to be a responsible, good owner, you must be prepared to take the time to train your pet and maintain that training. Training makes your pet easier to live with, happier, better adjusted and a welcome community member.

Who do I call for dead animal removal?

Douglas County Animal Services does not pick up dead animals, unless they are a pet animal that is wearing identification.

Dead animals that are on public streets are picked up by a dead animal removal service that is administered by the Douglas County Sheriff Office. To request a dead animal to be picked up call DCSO Dispatch at (303) 660-7500.

Dead animals on Highways or Interstates are the responsibility of the Colorado Department of Transportation. For these services call (303) 757-9514.

What do I do with my deceased animal?

A deceased animal can be taken to your local veterinarian or to the Buddy Center located at 4556 Castleton Ct. Castle Rock, Colorado 80104.  We recommend that you contact your veterinarian or the Buddy Center before transporting the animals so that they may answer any questions you may have.

The Loss of an animal companion?

The Loss of an animal companion whether due to death, being lost or stolen, or placement in a new home may be one of the most devastating and painful experiences we ever face. For many such a loss is as traumatic as losing a family member or a dear friend and can trigger an intense grieving process.

Grieving for a loved animal is a natural and normal reaction and will vary from person to person.  Shock, denial, and feeling of anger and guilt are frequently felt upon learning our pet is terminally ill, injured, or dead; these feelings may last minutes to weeks or even years later as we work through our feelings and begin to rediscover and reconnect with life. As time passes, we can focus more on fond memories and less on the pain of the separation.

We may experience all, some, or none of the above reactions and the timing and intensity of these feelings vary among individuals. It is important to acknowledge our feelings, whatever they may be, and give ourselves permission to grieve.

Self Care Measures for the Bereaved

  • Attend a support group
  • Do not be afraid of your feelings; be open to sharing them
  • Exercise, eat right and get plenty of rest
  • Involve yourself in activities that are comforting or enjoyable
  • Avoid alcohol and other drugs that can intensify feelings of depression
  • Manage one day at a time

How to Support a Friend in Grief

  • As soon as you learn of the loss, get in touch; it is never too late to offer concern and support
  • Silence is OK. There is comfort in quiet company
  • Instead of clichés that might minimize the loss, simply say “I’m Sorry” or “How can I help”
  • Be accepting of your friend’s feelings whatever they may be
  • Try not to be upset or uncomfortable if your friend cries. Tears can be healing.
  • Do not be afraid to offer a hug.
  • Try to plan activities you can do together. If one offer is declined, do not be hurt and do not give up
  • Be patient; grief is an individual process and resolution come at different times for different people

Pet Loss Support

Hotline Numbers

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Stephanie LaFarge, Ph.D
(800) 946-4646 pin# 140-7211 and leave your number

Iams Pet Loss Support Resource Center
(888) 332-7738

Iowa State University Veterinarian Students
(888) 478-7574

Helpful Reading On Pet Loss

Anderson, M., Coping With Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet, Peregrine Press, 1987

Fitzgeral, H., The Grieving Child: A Parents Guide, Fireside, (1992)

Kay, T., To Dance with the White Dog, Washington Square Press, 1990
McElroy, S., Animals as Teachers and Healers, New Sage Press, 1993

Montgomery, M. and Montgomery, H., A Final Act of Caring: Ending the Life of an Animal Friend, Montgomery Press, 1993

Neiburg, H., et al, Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children, Harper and Row, 1992

How many dogs can I legally own?

You are allowed to have four (4) adult dogs at one residence. An adult dog is defined as a dog that is 4 months of age or older.

Resolution R-998-100 1.05 (4)

No person shall keep or harbor more than four dogs of four months of age or older on any premises, unless such dogs are kept or harbored in a kennel approved pursuant to the Douglas County Zoning Resolution.

How long do you hold animals after impounding them?

In accordance with Douglas County Resolutions an impounded animal must be held for five (5) days after the date it is impounded unless the dog is critically ill or injured.

DCAS vigorously purses reuniting pets with their owners and if the owner cannot be located we will exhaust every effort to adopt animals into new loving and caring homes.  These efforts combined with the hard work of The Buddy Center’s staff have been very successful.

Douglas County Resolution R-998-100 Section 1.04

  1. No dog shall be disposed of prior to five (5) days after the date it is impounded unless the dog is critically ill or injured and the dog’s owner is unknown or cannot be located.
  2. If the owner of an impounded dog is not known, and if the dog is not claimed by its owner within five days after the date it is impounded, a Contractor may, at its sole discretion, sell, donate, or destroy the dog.
  3. If the owner of an impounded dog is known, a Contractor shall take reasonable steps to notify the dog’s owner of the impound.  If the dog is not claimed by its owner within five days after receipt of such notification, a Contractor may, at its sole discretion, sell, donate, or destroy the dog.  A dog owner shall be deemed to have received notification if an animal control officer contacts him or her by telephone or in person, or if the officer  posts a notice on the owner’s premises.

Where do I go to pay a fine for an animal violation?

How do I tell what type of ticket I was issued, how to pay it or where to go to court?For tickets issued by the Douglas County Animal Services the agency name will appear along the right hand side edge of the ticket, and the ticket number will contain an alpha letter as the third character in the ticket number.  For example 06D 00100.05 D 12345—This is a Uniform Summons and Complaint or Penalty Assessment.

If you signed in the Penalty Assessment box you may pay the fine per the instructions on the back of your ticket, payment can be made to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. You must pay within 20 days from the date you received the ticket. After that the tickets are sent to the Douglas County Combined Courts and you must appear on the court date written on your ticket. You can not change your court date with the Sheriff’s Office, you must contact the courts. The violations on these tickets fall under the Control and Licensing of Pet Animal code that was adopted by Douglas County. The location of the court to appear in is typed on the front of the ticket about half way down.

If you signed in the SUMMONS box you must appear at the Douglas County Court located at 4000 Justice Wy. Castle Rock, Colorado 80109 on the date and time indicated.

Where are impounded animals housed?

The Dumb Friends League’s Buddy Center is the designated Douglas County Animal Shelter. Animals impounded by DCAS are transported to this facility where they will be cared for until reclaimed by their owner. In the event that the owner cannot be located the Buddy Center will then adopt the animal into a new loving and caring home.

The Buddy Center is located at 4556 Castleton Court in Castle Rock, CO 80104. If you pet has been lost or impounded contact DCAS at 303.660.7529 or call The Buddy Center at 303.751.5772.

What do I need to bring with me in order to pick up my pet?

If your pet is impounded by Douglas County Animal Services you will need to go to 4556 Castleton Court, Castle Rock, CO 80104, during business hours which are Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Weekends 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed Holiday’s. You can also call us at 303.660.7529 or the Buddy Center at  303.751.5772 during business hours for more information.

You will need to bring:

  • A Drivers license or ID with your current address listed on it.
  • If your address is not current you will need to bring something with your name and address on it like; public service bill or phone bill
  • An acceptable method of payment for the impound fees cash, visa or master card.
  • Acceptable proof of ownership. Veterinarians records, photograph, registration information, adoption paperwork, or some other accepted proof that your are the legal owner of the animal.

What are the fees?

The fees are as follows:

  • $45.00 for the Impoundment and $5 for each day for boarding, including the day it is picked up and the day it goes home.
  • If your pet is in violation of the law you may also be issued a citation for that violation at the time you pick up your pet.
  • Example – If your dog is running loose you will pay the Impound Fee ($45) plus the ($5 boarding fee per day) and be issued a ticked for Leash law violation at the time you pick up your pet.
  • Total for one (1) day $50 plus the fine listed on the citation.

** If you are issued a ticked for any animal violation you will not be able to pay the citation at the Animal Shelter, you will need to mail or appear in person to pay the fine at the address listed on the Violation.

Where are the off leash parks?

There are numerous off leash parks located within Douglas County. These parks are operated by several different organizations within Douglas County.

Please visit: Dog Off Leash for a complete listing.

For more information or questions regarding Douglas County dog parks, call 303.660.7495

Contact Information:

To report an animal control issue


Emergency - 911


Justice Center
4000 Justice Way
Castle Rock, CO 80109
Phone: 303.660.7529

Hours of Operation

Douglas County Animal Services is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 day per year.

Most business will be conducted during normal business hours, but emergency services are available at all times.


8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Holiday schedules will vary.

Douglas County Sheriff

Justice Center

4000 Justice Way
Castle Rock, CO 80109
Phone: 303.660.7505

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Highlands Ranch Substation

9250 Zotos Drive
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
Phone: 303.784.7800

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

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