Palm Beach County Public Safety Department
Animal Care and Control Division
To File a Complaint, Call 561-233-1200, ext. 0
Animal Care and Control will accept anonymous complaints involving animal cruelty or animal neglect; However, our phone lines are recorded which may result in our agency being forced to release the recording of the actual phone call, pursuant to a Public Records Request.
If you are afraid of retaliation from someone who is treating an animal cruelly, you can remain completely anonymous by filing your complaint thru Crime Stoppers of PBC, please click on the link below for additional information:
January 2013: PBC Animal Care & Control Asks Public to Help Solve Crime
Horrific Act of Animal Cruelty
The Field Services section within Animal Care and Control is the enforcement branch of our agency and covers all of Palm Beach County. Our service area includes all 38 municipalities and all of unincorporated Palm Beach County, which is a land area of almost 2,000 square miles and contains a human population of approximately 1.3 million residents. We respond to routine complaints and animal related emergencies Monday through Saturday, however on Sundays and afterhours we are staffed to only respond to emergencies. Each year, our agency processes approximately 33,000 requests for service County wide. Some are resolved with a simple warning letter, but most require multiple responses for resolution.
The Field Services section consists of four separate units:
Communications unit currently has a total of eight Communicators, spread out over two shifts. They answer phones from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, seven days a week, as well as handling all radio communication with our officers in the field. This unit handles approximately 10,000 calls monthly. Once a call is received it is prioritized. Response times for service vary and depend on the circumstances and urgency of the call. Those calls involving animals currently threatening humans or domestic animals, loose livestock on roadways, injured stray animals in traffic, animals reported to currently be in distress, and law enforcement agencies requesting immediate response are among those where the highest priority is given.
Road Patrol unit is comprised of seventeen Animal Control Officers, one Stray Shuttle Driver, and one Compliance Coordinator. This unit is generally the first responders to most complaints. All of our officers are trained and certified through the Florida Animal Control Association. They are in the field from 7:00am to 10:30pm daily and rotate on-call duty after hours for emergencies. When not rescuing injured stray animals, they work to resolve complaints through a combination of education and enforcement. They issue civil citations for over 3,000 offenses annually as they try to resolve complaints and improve the lives of animals. The most commonly cited offenses include leash law violations, minor neglect violations, failure to sterilize violations, and failure to obtain rabies vaccine and/or County license tags. Citations range up to $500.00 per offense, with many 1st offense citations being dismissed upon proof of compliance within 15 days.
Special Investigation Unit consists of five Sergeants and one Animal Control Officer/Animal Bite Coordinator. Three of the five Sergeants are directly assigned to Animal Cruelty and investigate the more severe animal cruelty and neglect cases that occur County wide. These cases typically involve emaciated animals, cruel living conditions, dog fighting, cock fighting, hoarding, and physical abuse. Members of this unit will obtain search warrants when necessary and will file criminal charges with the State Attorney’s Office when appropriate. The remaining two Sergeants are assigned to investigate Dangerous Dog cases, and review all severe animal to human bites as well as all severe animal to animal attacks that happen within Palm Beach County, to make appropriate “Dangerous Dog” classifications pursuant to Florida State Statute. The one Animal Control Officer assigned to this unit acts as the agency’s “Animal Bite Coordinator” and reviews approximately 2,500 animal bites annually. The Bite Coordinator is tasked with verifying current rabies vaccination status for the animal involved and coordinates the appropriate rabies quarantine for the animal.
Licensing & Enforcement Unit is comprised of two Sergeants and one Animal Control Officer/Nuisance Investigator. Both Sergeants respond to complaints, conduct inspections, and issue permits to all animal related commercial operations within Palm Beach County. These operations include pet shops, boarding stables, boarding kennels, guard dogs, groomers, and dog/cat breeders. The one Animal Control Officer assigned to this unit acts as the agency’s “Nuisance Coordinator” and reviews nuisance animal complaints, generally involving excessive barking and animals causing regular damage to someone else’s property. This officer receives affidavits and processes the complaints accordingly, taking enforcement action where appropriate.
All of our employees are dedicated to our mission… ensuring the safety of the public and protecting animals from cruelty and neglect.