Reporting Animal Issues

The City of Bristol, Va Animal Shelter has the privilege of sharing our facility with the Animal Control officers that serve our community. They are civilian employees of the City of Bristol, VA Police Department who are sworn to uphold and enforce animal control ordinance and protection laws at local and state levels.



Overview of Regulations Concerning Animals in City of Bristol, Va

Please see the City Code for complete Animal Control Regulations for City of Bristol, Va, Virginia. You are also welcome to call Animal Control at 276-645-3714, or email at .  You can also view the City Code's Animal section here:  City of Bristol, Va, Code of Ordinances.

ANIMAL LICENSING FEES: Effective July 1, 2019

Licenses - All dogs and cats are to be licensed in City of Bristol, Va by January 31 of each year, and you are required to produce a current rabies certificate to obtain the license. Licenses can be obtained at the City of Bristol, Va Treasurer's Office located at the Bristol Virginia Courthouse.

License fees for dogs are as follows:

  • Male Dog - $4
  • Female Dog - $4
  • Unsexed Dog - $2 (spayed or neutered)


License fees for cats are as follows:

  • Male Cat - $4
  • Female Cat - $4
  • Unsexed Cat (spayed or neutered) - $2

Parks and School Facilities - Each city park and school facilities have policies in place for visiting pets. There is a public dog park located next to the animal shelter on Indiana Street where all dogs that are current on their rabies shots are welcome to play and socialize with their owners. Please click here for more information on the City of Bristol’s Sugar Hollow Dog Park.

Running-at-Large - The boundary line of each lot of tract of land is the lawful fence for any horse, mule, cattle, sheep or goat. It is unlawful for the owner or manager of any such animal to permit it to run-at-large beyond the boundaries where the animal is confined. All dogs and cats must not be allowed to run-at-large even if they have their rabies vaccination and city tags.  

Stray Dogs - A stray dog is one that is not known to you that you know does not belong in your neighborhood. Call the City of Bristol Police Department to report the dog; don't wait until it chases you or your children or bites one of them.

Vaccinations- All dogs and cats four months of age or older shall be required to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian.

Bites from Animals - Every year people in the City of Bristol are bitten by animals and most are children. In most cases, medical treatment is required. In all cases, the possibility of rabies transmission is seriously considered. All animal bites of human beings must be reported to City of Bristol, Va Animal Control (276-645-3714) or the City of Bristol, Va Police Department (276-645-7400) immediately.

Cruelty to Animals - The Code of Virginia prohibits cruelty to animals and provides that anyone violating this section shall be guilty of a felony or Class I Misdemeanor. Don't hesitate to report any violation--the animal deserves your help!

Dead Animals - The owner of any animal or grown fowl that has died from disease should properly cremate or bury the animal forthwith. If an animal is unclaimed by the owner (as in the case of pets hit by cars), these dead animals are the responsibility of the City of Bristol, Va Solid Waste  Department. Call 276-645-7380 to report such an animal, giving a location for pickup and proper disposal.