Animal Services Division

The mission of Forsyth County Animal Services is for Animal Services to work in partnership with the community to create a safe, healthy and caring environment for both our citizens and animals. Animal services maintains this through the education and enforcement of county ordinances as they pertain to animals in Forsyth County.

Common Animal Ordinance Violations

(a) It shall be the duty of the owner of any animal or anyone having an animal in his possession to keep the animal under control at all times while the animal is off the real property limits of the owner, possessor or custodian. For the purposes of this section, an animal is deemed under control when it is confined within a vehicle; is secured by a leash or other device held by a competent person; is under voice control; or is properly confined within an enclosure with permission of the owner of the property where the enclosure is located.

(b) No person shall tie, stake or fasten any animal within any street, alley, sidewalk or other public place or in such manner that the animal has access to any portion of any street, alley, sidewalk or other public place.

(c) Every female dog or cat in heat shall be confined in a building or other enclosure in such manner that such female dog or cat cannot come into contact with another male animal except for planned breeding.

(d) Every animal shall be restrained or controlled so as to prevent it from chasing vehicles or attacking persons or other domestic animals.

(e) The owner or custodian of any animal that is proven to be at large shall be in violation of this section, regardless of the precautions taken to prevent the escape of the animal and regardless of lack of knowledge of the offense at the time it occurs.

(f) Any such animal at large may be impounded by the animal control officer or an authorized representative thereof.

(Ord. No. 11, § 11-3, 3-11-2002; Ord. No. 11-H, § 1(Exh. A), 9-6-2018)

(a) It shall be the duty of every owner of any animal to ensure that it is confined by way of a fence, restraint, or other enclosure including activated invisible fence or in some other physical manner under the control of a competent person so that it cannot wander off the real property limits of the owner, it being the intent of this article that all animals be prevented from leaving, while unattended, the real property limits of their owners.

(b) The above requirement notwithstanding, it shall be unlawful for the owner of any dog to utilize a tether, chain, cable, rope, or cord as the primary method of restraining a dog, it being the intent of this section that tethering a dog shall be used only as a temporary restraint mechanism. In no event shall a dog be restrained by a tether, chain, cable, rope, or cord when the dog is not in the physical presence of and attended by the owner or adult custodian. The prohibition in this subparagraph shall have no application if the dog is in a park or recreational area where the rules of said park or recreational area require the tethering or physical restraint of dogs. Any tether used to temporarily confine a dog while attended by its owner or custodian must be attached to a properly fitted collar or harness and shall not be wrapped directly around the dog's neck, except that veterinarians, employees of the county's animal shelter, and professional dog handlers, trainers, and groomers may temporarily restrain a dog by a collar affixed around the neck if required as part of the commercial service being provided. Any such tether shall not be excessively heavy or weighted so as to inhibit the dog's movement. It shall be prima facie evidence that a tether is impermissibly heavy if the weight of a dog's tether exceeds ten percent of its body weight.

(c) For purposes of this section 14-32, a dog handler shall be considered a person who, for compensation, trains, conditions, and shows dogs in competition.

(Ord. No. 11, § 11-4, 3-11-2002; Ord. No. 11-A, § 2, 8-6-2009; Ord. No. 11-G, § 1(Exh. A), 2-1-2018)

(a) It shall be unlawful for a person to abandon any domestic animal owned by him. No person shall put out or abandon any dog, cat or other domestic animal on public or private property. It shall be unlawful for anyone to abandon any domesticated animal within the county. Each person who does abandon, or permits such abandonment, or aids in the abandonment of any domesticated animal shall be in violation of the law and shall be punished as provided in this article.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon or to turn out at large any sick, diseased or disabled animal, but such animal shall, when rendered worthless by reason of sickness or other disability, be disposed of by the owner thereof in accordance with the rules and regulations of the state.

(c) It shall be unlawful for the owner of any animal or fowl that die or are killed within the limits of the county to fail to remove or bury the carcass of such animal within a reasonable time, and in no event more than 24 hours after its death; provided that, except in property zoned agricultural under the county's unified development code, no horse, cow, ox, pig, sheep, goat, ostrich, llama, emu, or wildlife shall be buried within the limits of the county. All animals buried within the county shall be buried in accordance with regulations of the county board of health, if applicable.

(d) If the owner, possessor or custodian of an animal is not known, and the animal is upon the public streets, alleys, sidewalks, school grounds or other public places or premises, or property of another, without the property owner's permission, as prohibited by this section, any law enforcement officer or agent or employee duly authorized by the county shall be authorized to immediately take possession of such animal and impound it in accordance with the rules and regulations provided by law or by ordinance of the county for the detention, control and disposition of animals.

(e) Once impounded, an animal shall be kept for a period of time as outlined in this article, and, thereafter, if the animal is not claimed by anyone after a reasonable effort has been made to locate the owner, possessor or custodian of the animal as provided in this article, the animal may be disposed of in a humane fashion or in accordance with the rules and regulations of the state.

(Ord. No. 11, § 11-5, 3-11-2002)

No person shall, by act, omission or neglect, cause unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death to any animal. This section shall not apply to the killing of animals raised for the purpose of providing food, nor does it apply to any person who shall hunt wild animals in compliance with the game and fish laws of the State of Georgia. Furthermore, this section shall not apply to the killing or injuring of animals for humane purposes or in the furtherance of medical or scientific research or in the necessary defense of one's person or personal property.

(a) Whoever willfully or purposefully kills, abuses, maims or disfigures any animal or willfully or maliciously administers poison to an animal or exposes any poisonous substance with intent that the substance shall be taken and swallowed by an animal shall be in violation of this article. Cropping, docking, and dew claw removal performed by a veterinarian shall not be considered maiming or disfiguring.

(b) Whoever overloads, overdrives, tortures, torments or deprives an animal of adequate food or beats, mutilates, hobbles or kills any animal or causes such acts to be done, or carries in or upon a vehicle or otherwise any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, shall be deemed in violation of this article. This section shall not prohibit the hobbling of an animal for legitimate training or approved medical care purposes.

(c) Whoever confines an animal and fails to supply adequate food, adequate water, or fails to provide the animal with access to adequate space or adequate shelter, or abandons any animal to die, or otherwise confines the animal in inhumane conditions shall be deemed in violation of this article.

(d) No person shall:

(1) Own, possess, keep or train any animal with the intent that such animal shall be engaged in an exhibition of unlawful fighting.

(2) Build, make, maintain or keep a pit on premises owned by him or occupied by him, or allow a pit to be built, made, maintained or kept on such premises, for the purpose of an exhibition of animal fighting.

(3) In any manner encourage, instigate, promote or assist in an exhibition of animal fighting.

(4) Charge admission to, be an assistant, umpire or participant at, or be present as a spectator to any exhibition of animal fighting.

(e) No owner of any dog contracting distemper or parvo shall allow such dog to remain untreated or fail to take prompt steps to have the dog euthanized.

(f) Any animal control officer may impound any animal that has been treated in a cruel manner.

(g) A person who is convicted of animal cruelty as provided in this article may not own, possess, or have on his premises in the county any animal for one year from the date of conviction. A nolo contendere plea is considered a conviction for the purpose of this section. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the court from imposing a time in excess of one year, should circumstances warrant.

(Ord. No. 11, § 11-6, 3-11-2002; Ord. No. 11-A, § 3, 8-6-2009; Ord. No. 11-G, § 1(Exh. A), 2-1-2018; Ord. No. 11-H, § 1(Exh. A), 9-6-2018)

(a) No owner or keeper of an animal shall allow an animal to annoy or disturb any person not on the premises of the owner or keeper of the animal by unreasonable barking or other noises. For the purpose of this section, unreasonable barking or other noises shall mean barks, bays, cries, howls or other noises that are continuous or incessant for a period of 30 minutes, or are intermittent for a period of one hour or more. Barking or noises shall not be considered unreasonable if the animal is responding to a trespass or attempted trespass on private property. This section shall have no application to noises or disturbances made by livestock, poultry, or other animals emanating from a legitimate farming operation on property zoned for agricultural use.

(b) Any person that knowingly keeps, owns, harbors, has custody or control of, or acts as custodian of an animal that constitutes a nuisance shall be guilty of an unlawful act and shall be punished as provided in this chapter.

Contact Us

 Address:               4057 County Way
Cumming, GA 30028
 Phone: 678-513-5893
 Fax: 770-781-4290
 Email: Contact Us

Our Mission

The mission of Forsyth County Animal Services is for Animal Services to work in partnership with the community to create a safe, healthy and caring environment for both our citizens and animals. Animal services maintains this through the education and enforcement of county ordinances as they pertain to animals in Forsyth County.