About the Animal Shelter

Get in touch with us


Monday- Wednesday: 9-12 PM, 2-4 PM

Thursday-Saturday: 2-4 PM

463 Airport Road
Sylva, NC 28779

After Hours Number (Emergencies Only): 828-586-1911

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    Laws & Procedures

    The Jackson County Animal Ordinance and procedures for adopting or relinquishing an animal was adopted on January 22, 2008 and amended in June 2008.  Notable features of the Ordinance include:

    Vaccination of all dogs and cats

    The owner of every dog and cat over four months of age shall have the animal vaccinated against rabies. The time or times of vaccination shall be established by the Commission. Rabies vaccine shall be administered only by a licensed veterinarian or by a certified rabies vaccinator.

    Relinquishing an animal

    Before you surrender your pet, you should browse our site to learn about low-cost options for obedience training, behavior modification, and spay/ neuter. Most animal behavior problems can be fixed with a little work. Call us. We can refer you to dog obedience trainers, or just give some helpful hints over the phone that may allow you to continue living with your pet. 

    If you must relinquish your animal, please call ahead to see if we have room. Do not tie animals to our gate or abandon them.

    Animal abandonment is a criminal offense

    GS 14-361.1.1 - Abandonment of animals.

    Any person being the owner or possessor, or having charge or custody of an animal, who willfully and without justifiable excuse abandons the animal is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

    Please be prepared to spend some time with a staff member when you come in to surrender your pet. Please bring your pet to the shelter yourself. Owner information will be very helpful in placing your animal in a home that matches your pet's needs. You will be asked to fill out a personality profile about your pet.

    And remember...

    • Don't sell or give your animals away at Walmart or any public place. Unless you are a licensed pet store, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or a licensed shelter, it's illegal! (see section 15).
    • You can now file nuisance complaints with the magistrate (See section 16).
    • All animals adopted from the shelter MUST be spayed or neutered within 30 days. If not, they will be seized. Make sure you're compliant! (Section 9A).
    • The shelter's mandatory animal hold for strays is now 3 days. After that, your pet will be either made available for adoption or euthanized (see section 6).