Sheriff's Office

Warren County, Virginia

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Animal Control

In 2001, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office assumed responsibility of Animal Control. Prior to this date, Animal Control was under the dominion of the Warren County Administration. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office provides enforcement of all animal control issues within the County of Warren and the Town of Front Royal. Animal law enforcement, including the methods of capture, confinement, and disposition of nuisance animals, both domestic and feral, requires that the animals be treated in the most humane manner possible.

Photo of Animal Control

County or Town residents who require the assistance of Warren County Animal Control are to contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 540-635-4128 or in the case of an emergency, 911. This includes any questions dealing with wildlife matters.


Listed below are a few of the frequently requested informational topics that Animal Control Officers answer on a daily basis. Many of the requested information is similar in both the Town of Front Royal and Warren County. Additional information may be obtained through the town and county web sites.

Warren County  

Town of Front Royal

66.4 (County) Removal of Animal Waste - 66-3 (Town) Maintenance of Pens and Kennels

Solid and liquid waste matter shall be removed as frequently as may be necessary to prevent offensive odors to prevent accumulations constituting a hazard to health or safety of any person

66-6 (County) Cruelty to Animals - 66-4 (Town) Cruelty to Animals

Any person who overrides, overdrives, overloads, tortures, ill-treats, abandons, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation or cruelty or unnecessarily beats, maims, mutilates, or kills any animal, whether belonging to himself or another; or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, food, drink, or shelter.  Class 1 misdemeanor

66-28 (County) Running at Large – 66-6 (Town) Dogs Running at Large

It shall be unlawful for any person to permit his dog to run at large as hereinafter defined. A dog shall be deemed to run at large while roaming, running or self-hunting off the property of its owner or custodian and not under its owner’s or custodian’s immediate control.

66-14.1 (County) Dangerous Dogs and Vicious Dogs

Dangerous Dog- A canine or canine crossbreed that has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person or companion animal that is a dog or cat, or killed a companion animal that is a dog or cat. However, when a dog attacks or bites a companion animal that is a dog or cat, the attacking or biting dog shall not be deemed dangerous:

[1]  If not serious physical injury as determined by a licensed veterinarian has occurred to the dog or cat as a result of the attack or bite,

[2]  If both animals are owned by the same person,

[3]  If such attack occurs on the property of the attacking or biting dog’s owner or custodian, or

[4]  For other good cause as determined by the court.

(b)  No dog shall be found to be a dangerous dog as a result of biting, attacking or inflicting injury on a dog or cat while engaged with an owner or custodian as part of lawful hunting or participating in an organized dog handling event.

Vicious Dog

A canine or canine crossbreed that has:

(a)  Killed a person,

(b)  Inflicted serious injury to a person, including multiple bites, serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health or serious impairment of a bodily function; or

(c)  Continued to exhibit the behavior that results in a previous finding by the court or on or before July 1, 2006, by an animal control officer as authorized by local ordinances, that is a dangerous dog, provided that its owner has been given notice of that finding.

66-17 When License Tax is Due

The license tax on dogs shall be due and payable as follows:

A.  On or before January 1 and not later than January 31 of each year, the owner of any dog four months old or older shall pay a license tax as prescribed in this chapter.

66-19 Amount of License Tax

(1)  Male - unneutered $8 each

(2)  Female-- unspayed $8 each

(3)  Neutered males and spayed females $5 each

B.  No license shall be issued for the fee listed A(3) above unless the application is accompanied by a certificate from a licensed veterinarian.

66-20 (County) Rabies Inoculation Prerequisite.  66-11 (Town)

A.  No license tag shall be issued for any dog unless there is presented to the Treasurer, at the time application for license is made, evidence satisfactory to the Treasurer showing that such dog has been inoculated or vaccinated against rabies by a currently licensed veterinarian.

66-11 (County) 66-11  Dogs Killing Livestock or Poultry

A.  It shall be the duty of any animal control officer or other person who may find a dog in the act of killing, injuring, worrying, or chasing any livestock or poultry to kill such forthwith.

B.  Any person who has any livestock or poultry killed or injured by any dog not his own shall be entitled to receive as compensation the fair market value of such livestock or poultry, not to exceed $400.



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Warren County Sheriff's Office © 2016. All Rights Reserved.


200 Skyline Vista Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630

24 hour Non-Emergency Phone: 540.635.4128