• When should I call Animal Control?
    • For any wildlife displaying signs and symptoms of rabies (inability to walk correctly “appearing intoxicated” is the main sign you will see).
    • Sick or injured wildlife
    • Physical contact with humans or domestic animals (due to potential rabies exposures which is transmitted through blood and saliva).
    • If they are posing a threat to humans or domestic animals.
  • I’ve found a baby animal that appears to have been left by its mother! What should I do?
    • Many mother animals will leave their babies “hidden” while they go out and forage for food. Please leave all baby animals where you found them so that their mothers can find them and care for them.
    • The only time you should call Animal Control for a baby wild animal is if the baby appears injured or sick in some way. We will come and evaluate the situation and collect the animal if needed. DO NOT TOUCH OR MOVE the baby animal in any way unless they are in a life-threatening situation.
  • Does Animal Control pick up dead wildlife?
    • There are a couple factors in picking up wildlife in the city limits which are as follows:
      • If the animal is in the roadway AND causing a road hazard then we Will come remove it for public safety reasons.
      • If the animal is on the sidewalk we Will come and remove it.
      • If the animal is on your personal property we will leave that to the owner of the property to clean up
      • If the animal does not fall into one of the 3 situations above we will leave the animal to be disposed of by the carrion (vultures, crows, bugs, etc.). The reasoning for that is due to the fact that we support our ecosystem and should we remove the food source for these carrion animals they could suffer.
  • What should I do if there’s a wild animal in my home??
    • The first question for you to answer is: Is the wild animal inside the living quarters of my residence (where people are)? If the answer is YES:
      • Try and separate the animal from any humans and animals inside your residence by locking it in a room, making a barrier between you and the animal, and/or removing everyone from the residence! DO NOT attempt to capture the animal yourself!
      • *** If the animal is a BAT do not release it into the wild! Bats are high carriers of rabies and should you find one in the part of your home where you or your animals live we need to capture it for testing because their bites are so small that you may not even know you’ve been bitten!**
      • Call the non-emergency police dispatch (703-257-8000). The Animal Control officer or Police officer will be dispatched to capture the animal and remove it from your residence no matter the hour.
    • If the answer is NO due to the fact that the animal is in the attic/crawl space:
      • You would need to contact a pest control/removal service. Also, locate the entrance/exit that the animal uses so you can patch it up after the animal is out of the space.


  • My neighbors dogs are barking constantly!!! What can I do?
    • There is an ordinance (city law) concerning Barking Dogs which is available to the public for perusal if you look up Manassas City Ordinances. All animal ordinances are located under Chapter 18.
      • For Animal Control to be able to enforce the ordinance we would need to have one of the following factors occur:
      • The Animal Control officer would need to hear the offense occurring themselves and have it fall within the guidelines of the ordinance.
      • The Caller would need to have video evidence that fall within the guidelines of the ordinance to show the Animal Control officer AND be willing to testify in court to the video being a true account of what occurred. As officers of the law we are unable to take your personal video and testify to a Judge or Magistrate that it is true and accurate due to the fact that we don’t have personal knowledge or your presence in court for questions concerning the video.
    • No matter if the caller wants to move forward with prosecution, contact will be made with the offending party in person or via notice. Animal Control officers are mandated to educate the public on animal laws and allow for the offending party to fix the issue and comply. This is the case with ALL ordinance violations of this nature.
  • I complain about my neighbors abusing their animals but nothing ever happens, Why?
    • Any report of animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect will be investigated by an Animal Control officer. We contact the subject and evaluate several items during the investigation to include, living conditions, food/water, behavior of the animal to strangers and with their family unit, overall environment, and more.
    • The main reason Animal Control officers can’t charge for the offenses witnessed is due to the fact that:
      • The Caller/Witness refuses to testify in court to what they have witnessed. If the Animal Control officer didn’t see the offense occur or have evidence from their investigation to corroborate the offenses we can not legally make the charges.
  • What will happen to an animal (dog, cat, ferret) if they bite a person???
    • An Officer/Animal Control Officer will contact both the victim and owner of the animal to gather information about what occurred. A rabies exposure report will be filled out and submitted to the Health Department. The animal will be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days, mainly in their homes unless the owner can’t accommodate it. Then the incident is followed by the Health Department in the animal’s jurisdiction. Animal Control Officers will follow up for vaccination compliance if the animal didn’t have a rabies vaccination prior to the bite.
      • Most people are worried that Animal Control will euthanize the animal or take them from their owner but that is not the case in 99% of bite cases! The small 1% are due to the fact that the animal has a high chance they have rabies and owners want them put down, the owner surrenders the animals to us knowing/wanting it will be euthanized, or the most likely is the officers have come on scene of the animal attacking humans/animals with no other non-lethal methods working to stop it.
  • If you ever have any questions and would like to speak with an Animal Control Officer, Please call our non-emergency line at 703-257-8009.
  • For EMERGENCIES or ACTIVE situation call, 703-257-8000.

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