What to do if you find a stray animal in Durham County
According to the Durham County NC, Code of Ordinances Chapter 4 – Animals Sec 4-166: “Any person who gives away, sells or allows an otherwise stray or abandoned animal to be adopted without first surrendering said animal to the animal shelter shall have no authority over the animal, and ownership shall remain with the previous owner to the extent the previous owner is able to be identified”.
- This means that legally a stray animal cannot be adopted out or given away without it first coming to the Durham County Animal Shelter (The shelter, run by the Animal Protection Society of Durham, is the only shelter serving Durham County.)
- Giving a “found” animal to a rescue group does not absolve you from your legal obligation not to give away, sell or abandon the animal.
- In Durham County, rescue organizations can only legally accept surrendered, owned animals.
- Having a central location for stray animals works well because it helps owners most easily find their lost pets.
- If you fall in love with an animal you find, let the shelter staff know this when you bring the animal in and they will allow you to place a deposit. If the owner returns, we will return the deposit. If not, we begin the adoption process immediately.
- You will receive a significant discount on medical costs for your new pet because everything is included in the adoption fee: exam, spay or neuter surgery, vaccines, heart worm test for dogs, FIV/FeLV test for cats.