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 sworn officers of the City of Bristol, Va Police Department that have been additionally trained in animal control safety and protection on local, state, and national levels.

 IF YOU HAVE AN ANIMAL RELATED EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL 911 OR 276-645-7400


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 animal.control@bristolva.org .  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 - Dogs, cats, and other animals are not allowed in city parks or school facilities. 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, hog, 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 must not be allowed to run-at-large even if they have their rabies vaccination and city tags. Cats do not have to be kept under restraint; however, pet owners are responsible for their pet's actions.

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 are required to be vaccinated against rabies by a veterinarian licensed by the state.

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 Streets and General Maintenance Department. Call 276-645-3519 to report such an animal, giving a location for pickup and proper disposal.