Animal Control

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services is comprised of one full time Animal Control Deputy (ACD) whose mission is to care for the community’s concerns about domestic animals.  The primary duties of the Animal Control Deputy are to enforce the local and state laws regarding domestic animals and their ownership within unincorporated Jefferson County.  Domestic animal issues within the city limits of Port Townsend are currently handled by the Port Townsend Police Department.  Wild animals are considered the property of the state of Washington and any issue involving wild animals falls upon the jurisdiction of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The Animal Control Deputy is typically on duty during weekday business hours.  After hours and on weekends Deputy Sheriffs, when available, are tasked with the ACD’s duties in a limited capacity.  The Sheriff’s Office does not operate a shelter or kennel, instead they work together with the Jefferson County Humane Societywhich operates the animal shelter in Port Townsend.  The following check list will help assist you in contacting the appropriate agency.

  • For issues/questions regarding any WILD animals please contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) (360)249-4628
  • For issues/questions regarding DOMESTIC animals in unincorporated Jefferson County please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (360)385-3831
    or use the self reporting function located on our homepage
  • For all EMERGENCYS please call 911

How can I be a responsible pet owner?

♦ Have your pet vaccinated by a licensed vet annually. Rabies vaccinations are required by law. Other vaccines are recommended for the health of your pet.

♦ Purchase your pets license and have your pet wear the license so that you may be notified
if he is lost.

♦ When out in public keep your pets on a leash and clean up after them.

♦ Do NOT allow your pet to become a nuisance to your neighbors. Correct behavior problems immediately.

♦ Do NOT allow your pets to run at large. You could be liable if you pet injuries someone or something.

♦ Do NOT allow your pets to bark continuously.

♦ Consider your pet’s safety first. On HOT days, leave your pet at home.

What is a Potentially Dangerous or Dangerous Dogs?

Animal Control can declare as potentially dangerous or dangerous any dog that:

A. When unprovoked inflicts a bite which which causes significant injury on a human or kills a domestic animal.

B. Has a propensity to chase or threatens a person upon the streets, sidewalks and any public or private property other than the owner.

C. Has been declared by any other governmental agency for similar violation

My dog is obedient when out in public. Why do I have to have it on a leash?

ALL dogs walked must be under control while off of the owner’s property. Even though your dog is obedient, it is required under ordinance that you keep your dog on a leash. Even obedient dogs in an unfamiliar location can come into situations that put their welfare in jeopardy. Also, others don’t know your dog and may feel threatened in a place they should enjoy without fear. If you are observed without a leash on your animal, you can be cited with a civil infraction.

My neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking, Can anything be done?

Yes, uncontrolled barking of dogs is considered to be a nuisance. The following examples constitute disturbances:

• Barking, howling or whining for more than one hour

• Prolonged barking between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am

I’m Concerned About an Animal Being Abused or Neglected – Should I Call?

YES! If you have concerns about an animal’s well being, call The Sheriff’s Office, 385-3831 and the Animal Control Officer will check the welfare of the animal. Minimum standards must be met to ensure the health and safety of the animal.

What if my pet gets out and is lost?

Pets do on occasion escape the safe area of their yards and homes. When this occurs, immediately contact the Humane Society Shelter at 385-3292 and let them know your animal may be lost. Give as much detail as possible as to where the pet got loose, what they look like, tag information, etc. The more information we have the better chance the animal will be returned safely.

If your pet is lost or has run away, always check with the local animal shelter to see if he/she has been picked up. Many animals are found with no tags or identification, when this occurs they are taken to the Humane Society. To contact the Humane Society, call 385-3292. Be ready to give pertinent information about your pet or the animal you have found.

Important information about licensing your pets

♦ All dogs over the age of 6 months are required to be licensed within Port Townsend and Jefferson County.

♦ The City and County have joined together offering a Universal license that covers your pet whether you live inside the City limits or in the County.

♦ Cat owners are encouraged to have their cat licensed, but it is not required at this time.

♦ Rabies certificates are required when licensing your pet.

Licenses are vital for your dog’s safe return should he or she wander off. All license fees go to the Humane Society to care for the cats and dogs in need.
Your licensed dog can be reunited with you quickly. The cost of your dog being our guest or receiving a Notice of Infraction is much steeper than the small license fee. Proof of rabies vaccination is required by both the county and the city., a small hassle but worthwhile.

Licenses good for two (2) years:

  • $20.00 – Sterilized (Spayed/Neutered) dog with proof of spaying or neutering.
  • $48.00 – Unsterilized dog

Lifetime Licenses:

  • $112.00 – Sterilized (Spayed/Neutered) dog with proof of spaying or neutering.
  • $266.00 – Unsterilized dog

Yearly Kennel Licenses:

  • $96.00

Three ways for you to license your dog:

  1. Come to the shelter at 112 Critter Lane, Port Townsend, WA, during our normal operating hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 5pm. No need to bring your dog.
  2. Download, print and complete our paper licensing form: LICENSE FORM (PDF)
    Mail the form with payment to our mailing address. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope. We will mail your license to you.MAILING ADDRESS:
    Humane Society of Jefferson County
    P.O. Box 845
    Port Hadlock, WA  98339
  3. Online at https://www.hsjcwa.org/license-your-dog/

Important Numbers to Remember

Domestic & Livestock Animal Issues
Sheriff’s Office Dispatch 385 3831
Port Townsend Police Dep’t 385-2322
Fish & Wildlife : 360-902-2936
(Wild Animal Concerns—Non Emergency)
Raptor Center (Birds): 681-2283