Animal Care Services

Responsible Pet Ownership

Poop Fairy

Our pets are an important part of our families. Taking care of your pets is part of being a responsible pet owner and a good neighbor.

  • All dogs, cats, and ferrets that live in the county must be vaccinated against rabies every year.
  • County pet license fees are the following: neutered or spayed dog, cat, or ferret -  $10 for one year or $22 for three years. Neutered or spayed dog, cat, or ferret owned by person 62 years or older - $2 for one year or $5 for three years. Unneutered or unspayed dog, cat, or ferret:  $20 for one year or $50 for three years. Unneutered or unspayed dog, cat, ferret owned by a person 62 years or older – $4 for one year or $10 for three years. Pet license applications are available online, at some veterinarians and at Bernalillo County Animal Care office located at 1136 Gatewood SW. 
  • All dogs and cats are required by law to be on a leash or confined to the owner's property at all times. Animals running loose will be picked up and taken to the shelter.
  • Overpopulation of pets is a serious problem in Bernalillo County. There are too many animals and not enough good homes. Have your dog or cat spayed or neutered. Financial assistance is available to qualifying residents to help with the cost of spaying or neutering your pet via the Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) call 314-0280 for more information.
  • The Bernalillo County Animal Control and Protection can pick up unwanted cats and dogs for a $25 owner surrender fee.

If you have additional questions about responsible pet ownership please call the Bernalillo County Animal Care Services at 468-PETS (7387).

Weather Tips

For more information about hot weather tips click here. 

Weather Tips

Cold Weather Tips

The weather is changing! 

It is that time of year when we bundle up before heading outside. 

It can get cold outside here in New Mexico during the fall and winter, and the best place for your family pet is right inside bundled up next to you. 

If your pet has to be outside, be sure to monitor them constantly and provide them with an insulated, warm shelter to get out of the cold. Remember - if it is cold for you, it is cold for your pet! 

For a downloadable and printable brochure with cold-weather pet tips, please click here.

Emergency Preparedness

For more information about emergency preparedness click here.

Animal Bites

Dogs and cats can be great companions for kids, but it is important to teach children to be safe around animals. Bites and scratches by dogs or cats can be caused by the family pet or by stray animals. The results of an animal attack can be serious and traumatic. Disfiguring injury, infection, the threat of rabies, and a fear of animals are all possible when a child is bitten or scratched by an animal. Below you will find tips that can help you or your child avoid animal bites.

Animal Bites
  • Teach kids never to hurt or frighten an animal, this includes: ear, lip and tail pulling, and rough-housing.
  • Never restrain an animal against its will or trap it where it can't escape.
  • Leave an animal alone if it seems afraid.
  • Pet dogs and cats on the sides and back, not on the face or head. Cats should not be rubbed on the belly.

Animal Bites
  • Leave animals alone when they are eating, sleeping, chewing on a toy, or taking care of young puppies or kittens.
  • Teach children to put the food down and not touch it again, if they must feed the dog.
  • Children should never attempt to touch or move an injured animal, but should call an adult for help.
  • Avoid animals that are outside the home, even friend's pets. Many children are bitten because they don't realize that a friend's pet doesn't remember them. Never go into a friend's yard without a member of the family present.
  • Stay back from animals on chains, or animals inside cars or trucks.
  • Never approach an animal loose on the street.
  • Always avoid wild animals.

Animal Bites

Teach the child to stand or sit very still and quiet if a dog comes near. Running away may cause the dog to chase and attack.

  • "Stand like a tree". If standing, stay still and stare straight ahead, until the dog goes away.
  • "Curl up like a rock". If sitting or if knocked down, curl up on one side with a fist over each ear. Be as still as possible until the dog leaves.
  • Throw something as "bait" if the dog attacks, like a coat or backpack.

Animal Bites

Children can be bitten by the family pet.

  • Train your dog in basic obedience. Contact a training specialist or get a book about dog training at the library or bookstore.
  • A pet that has been spayed or neutered is three times less likely to bite than one that has not. Contact a veterinarian to have your pet spayed or neutered.
  • Dogs that are permanently chained up are notoriously aggressive and prone to bite.

Animal Bites
  • Seek medical care as soon as possible.
  • Wash all bites with soap and water immediately. Animal bites can become badly infected.
  • Report any animal bite to the appropriate animal control authority, including bites from the family pet.

Animal Bites

Teaching safety tips to children should not be scary or threatening to them. Have your child practice the "stand like a tree" and "curl up like a rock" safety tips. Quiz children about the safety tips, for example, should they pick up the dog's food bowl while he is eating? Animals can be great fun and make wonderful pets, but they should always be treated with caution and kindness.

If you have questions about animal safety please contact

Bernalillo County Animal Care Services and Protection at 314-0280.

Animal Restraint

Effective: 8/26/13 Sec. 6-43.

 Restraint of animals.

(a) A person owning or having charge, custody, care, or control over a companion animal, shall keep the animal upon his or her own premises within a secure enclosed pen, or in an area containing a fence or wall of sufficient height surrounding the perimeter of the property. It shall be unlawful to tether a companion animal as a form of confinement.

(1) Fixed point tethering of any companion animal to stationary objects is permitted in limited circumstances such as picnics or gatherings in a park or open space, for emergency purposes to permit an individual to render aid to a human or another animal and only when the owner is immediately present.

(2) A dog is permitted on the street and in other public places only if on a secure leash not exceeding six feet in length. Longer retractable leashes may be used, provided the person with the dog is capable of controlling the dog. All other animals must be secured in a fashion acceptable for the species of animal. A person physically capable of controlling and restraining the animal must exercise immediate custody. This section does not apply when an animal is participating in a bona fide animal show authorized by the county or appropriate authorities, nor when a dog is in an off-leash park or other designated off-leash area.

(Ord. of 2-26-13) State law reference— Authority to prohibit the running at large of animals, NMSA 1978, §§ 4-37-1, 3-18-3(A)(2), 77-1-12; Dangerous Dog Act, NMSA 1978, §§ 77-1A-1 to 77-1A-6.

Animal Care Odinance Fee Structure

For information on the Animal Care Ordinance Fee Structure click here.

Aimal Care Ordinance Informational Brochure

In January, 2013 the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners approved significant changes to Chapter 6, Animals, of the Bernalillo County Code of Ordinances. 

It is important that our citizens have a clear understanding of the ordinance as it pertains to animal care and control, as well as their responsibilities as an animal owner.

The changes to the Bernalillo County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 6, will be effective August 13, 2013.

This brochure is intended only to cover some of the more significant changes to the ordinance and provide information on where pet owners can educate themselves about their responsibilities. The ordinance in its entirety can be found at

If you have any additional questions, please contact Bernalillo County Animal Care Services at (505) 468-PETS (7387).

Animal Care Ordinance Informational Brochure

Services in Spanish

Para obtener más información acerca de los servicios españoles clic aquí.

Pet Identification

For more information about pet identification please click here.

Wildlife Issues

Do you have questions about found or injured wildlife? A baby bird that fell out of a tree or a wild animal in your yard? Click on the link below for more information on wildlife issues.

View All Events
County Meetings
  • It's our favorite time!  It’s time for Pet of the Week and Gemma is waiting to meet you. Gemma is our leading lady and looking for her FURR-ever home. Although she is shy at first but once she get...

  • Bernalillo County Animal Care Services officers recently took possession of 169 rabbits that were surrendered by the owners. Some of the rabbits have been placed with outside animal care groups an...

  • It's Tuesday and our Pet of the Week is here! Ladies and gentleman - meet Leo! (He wants to be your valentine.) He may not want flowers and chocolate this Valentine’s Day, but snuggling with you ...

    Powered by Real Time Solutions - Website Design & Document Management