Animal Control

Forest City Police Department will respond to animal control issues as they occur. The response will be by an animal control officer Monday through Friday during regular business hours. After-hours and weekend responses to animal control issues will be by FCPD patrol officers. The Watch Commander will make determinations as to the after-hours response by our animal control officer. Those needing a response from our animal control officer should call Rutherford County Central Communications at 828.286.2911.

General Rules About Pets:

  • Pets must be vaccinated against rabies and dogs are required to wear vaccination tags at all times.
  • Animals must be secured on the owner's property unless on a leash and under the control of said person.
  • Animals declared to be vicious, dangerous or potentially dangerous are not permitted in the city.

Animal Ordinance Changes:

The following changes to the animal control ordinance is in effect as of July 1, 2019.

General Care:

Animals must be provided sufficient wholesome food, clean water, proper shelter and protection from the weather. The shelter must be free of accumulated waste and debris.


Tethering of pets is restricted to 2 hours within a 12-hour period of animals over 6 months of age and who are of good health.

The tether must be connected to the animal with a buckle-type collar or a body harness made of nylon or leather not less than one (1) inch in width and one (1) inch greater than the animal's neck or torso.

The tether may not be made of chain and made of material that prevents tangles.

The tether must be a minimum of 12 feet in length and contain a swivel-type termination at both ends.

Only a cable and trolley system may be used. Pulley, running line or trolley system must be a minimum of 15 feet and no more than 7 feet off of the ground.

No tethering to trees, posts or stakes.

Secure Enclosures:

Pens or secure enclosures must be 100 square feet in size and made out of chain link fence or similar material, tall enough to prevent the escape of the animal. Electric fence is allowed if there is permanent signage stating there is an invisible/electric fence.

For secured enclosures for domesticated animals weighing over 80 pounds, an additional 50 square feet must be provided. An additional 50 square feet must be added to the secure enclosure for each additional animal.


Adequate shelter must be provided: Portable pet carriers, wire crates, pet taxis and metal barrels do not count as outdoor shelter for domesticated animals.

During the winter months, shelters must have three walls, a roof, an entrance covered by flexible windproof material and dry straw deep enough for a domesticated animal to burrow. uring the rest of the year, the domesticated animals must have access to shelter shaded by trees, a roof or a tarp-like material for cover and shade.

Temperature Regulations:

Domesticated animals are not to be housed outside during extreme weather conditions including, but not limited to: extreme heat, temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, hail, tornadoes, tropical storms or hurricanes.