Animal Control

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The mission of Oconee County Animal Control is to protect animals by providing a safe, compassionate shelter for lost, stray, and unwanted animals; to re-home adoptable animals through a vigorous adoption/foster program; to educate the public about humane care and responsible pet ownership, and the importance of pet sterilization; to serve citizens through the fair and impartial enforcement of state and county regulations pertaining to animal welfare and ownership; and to work closely with other county departments, agencies, and volunteers to benefit and improve animal welfare in the county; and when unavoidable, to provide humane euthanasia.


To enforce Oconee County Animal Control Ordinances and issue citations accordingly; pick up stray and abandoned animals; promote animal adoption programs in the community and on the internet; work closely with rescue and other agencies; trap stray dogs and cats; investigate reports of animal cruelty and neglect; visit schools and teach responsible pet ownership; bite prevention and recognition of Rabies and animal behavior; rescue sick and injured animals; assist the Rabies Control Officer.

Animal Control does not respond to wildlife calls.  
Please see FAQs - #2.


Catlyn A. Vickers, Director
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Nancy Bennett, Assistant Director
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Cherilyn Williams, Road Officer
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Sherry Aycock, Road Officer
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1171 Branch Road
Bishop, Georgia 30621

Phone: 706-769-3956
Fax: 706-769-2958

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
In order to efficiently serve the public, all paperwork should be turned in by 4:30 p.m.

Saturdays, 11 am to 1 pm, beginning March 29, 2014

Closed on Sundays and Holidays
Emergency calls will be answered 7 days a week 

Click here for the Friends of Oconee County Animal Control FACEBOOK page! 

Click here for Animal Control's Upcoming Events!  


1)  What do the pet adoption fees include?

2)  What is the best way to contact Animal Control in the case of an animal problem?

3)  How do I register an animal nuisance complaint such as barking or other vocalizing?

4)  How can I help to support the Animal Shelter?

5)  What do I do if I find an injured pet animal?

6) What do I do if I see a sick or injured wild animal?

7)  How do I report a lost or found animal?

8)  How can I report animal cruelty or neglect?

9)  How can I protect my family and pets from rabies?

10) My pet was impounded.  How do I reclaim it?

11) I am no longer able to care for my pet. How do I surrender it to the Animal Shelter?

12) Do you accept volunteers at the Animal Shelter?

separator fancyFAQs

1) What do the pet adoption fees include?

The fee for dogs or cats is $125. The price includes sterilization, Rabies and distemper vaccinations, micro-chipping, wormer, and a light veterinary exam.  All animals are sterilized prior to release for adoption and will be picked up from the veterinarian's office unless prior arrangements are made with the shelter. 
Oconee County Animal Control does not guarantee the health or behavior of an adopted animal. If problems are evident, the shelter will disclose the information to the adopter.
Oconee County Animal Control now accepts cash, check MASTERCARD, VISA AND DISCOVER cards. A convenience fee of 3% is added when using cards. 

2)  What is the best way to contact Animal Control in the case of an animal problem?

If it is an emergency, please dial 911.  For your convenience, this is a listing of animal problems that may arise and the appropriate agency or department for you to contact.

During regular business hours:
Nuisance, running at large, or welfare    706-769-3956
Adoption Inquiry  706-769-2953 
Surrender or Reclaims 706-769-3956
Animal - injured or critically ill (owner unknown), any animal bite, or trapped 706-769-3956   After hours, please dial 911
Stray livestock or injured wildlife 706-796-5665 (Sheriff's Office)
Dead animal removal 

706-769-3912 (county only, must be by the road)
706-769-5161 (city limits only)

Wildlife Removal and Relocation

706-202-6696 (White's Wildlife Removal, Richard White)
770-918-6408 (Department of Natural Resources)


3)  How do I register an animal nuisance complaint such as barking or other vocalizing?

On the left sidebar of the Animal Control Home Page, under "On Line Forms," please click "Complaint Form/Written Statement."
The Animal Control Department handles Animal Nuisance Complaints during regular business hours only.  A warning, to the owner, will be issued on the first complaint. If a second complaint is reported within 30 days, a citation may be issued to the owner. Since the complaint is a witness only complaint, if the owner pleads Not Guilty, the complainant will be subpoenaed to appear in Magistrate Court as a witness and testify about the Animal Nuisance.

Please review the County Ordinance's requirement for barking, vocalizing, and other Animal Nuisance complaints.

Section 1-5-4: Animal Nuisance

An Owner of an animal shall at all times control such animal so as to prevent it from creating a nuisance; however, no person may be charged with a violation of this Ordinance as a result of excessive barking or other vocalizing unless a warning has previously been issued by an Animal Control Officer within thirty (30) days of the charge of a violation, and unless a complainant has signed a written statement giving the address of the Owner, a description of the animal, a description of the offense, and the date, time, and location of the offense.

Nuisance means an Animal is considered to be a nuisance if it:
  • damages the property of another;
  • disturbs trash or other refuse;
  • runs at large frequently or while in heat or in a county recreational park;
  • defecates or urinates on the property of another unless same is promptly removed;
  • chases vehicles or threatens, attacks, or interferes with person, other Domestic animal, or livestock on public or private property; or
  • disturbs the peace of any person by loud, persistent, or habitual vocalization.


4)  How can I help to support the Animal Control Shelter?

Shelter Wish List

If you would like to donate, whether by volunteering or items, please contact the shelter at 706-769-3956.  Any help is gratly appreciated.  Animal Control will accept:

  • Canned dog food
  • Catnip
  • Dog eyewash
  • Any type of treats
  • Esiblac milk replacement
  • Blankets and sheets
  • Adams Flee spray
  • Knotted rawhides
  • Any other item you may wish to donate to the shelter


5)  What do I do if I find an injured pet animal?

To report an injured animal, during business hours (8 am to 5pm), call the shelter at 706-769-3956.  If it is after 5 pm, call 911. Keep away from the animal.  If the animal is in pain, it may bite.  Animal Control Officers have special training and equipment to help an injured animal without further injuring the animal and without the Animal Control Officer getting injured.  The best way you can help is to call the professionals.


6)  What do I do if I see a sick or injured wild animal?

Animal Control does not remove wildlife. If you see sick or injured wildlife, contact Oconee County Sheriff’s Dispatch to have the animal dispatched at 706-769-5665.


If you see a snake, do not attempt to kill it, leave it alone, and stay away.   Venomous snakes may strike, and it is illegal to kill a non-venomous snake in Georgia.


To view the snakes of Georgia, please visit:   


If you are having a problems with wildlife; skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, snakes, squirrels, etc., contact an animal removal company or the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  See the phone list above 


7)  How do I report a lost or found animal?

On the left sidebar of the Animal Control home page under “On Line Forms,” please click on “Lost and Found Report.”  If you wish to upload a photo of your pet, a jpeg format is recommended.  If you have trouble uploading the photo(s), please send by e-mail to the Animal Control Director at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Make sure to include your name and phone number.  Please let the Director know you filled out the “Lost and Found Report,” but could not attach the picture.

To aid in helping you find your pet, you may wish to do the following:

Look under “Quick Links” and click on “Adoptable Pets/Applications.”  The shelter places all healthy animals on the page.

If, after reviewing the page and your pet is not at the shelter, you have completed the form and your pet has not returned after 24 hours, please feel free to contact the Animal Shelter daily between 4 and 5 pm when Road Officers are returning, to the shelter, with impounded animals.

Contact the area newspapers.  If available, the paper will donate space for lost animal reports at no charge.


8)  How can I report animal cruelty or neglect?

All allegations of animal neglect or welfare concerns are investigated.  If you have an Animal Neglect or Welfare concern, go to “On Line Forms” and click “Complaint Form/Written Statement,” or contact the shelter at 706-769-3956.  Please feel free to contact the shelter for any Neglect or Welfare concern.  Let’s err on the safe side.

If an animal is experiencing the following problems:

  • No food and/or water
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • No shelter
  • Poor physical condition
  • Inside vehicle, showing signs of stress, immediately contact the shelter or call 911
  • In the back of a vehicle (Animal Control continues to observe residents driving around the county with unconfined animals in their pickup beds.   Do not let your dog ride in an open truck bed unless it is properly confined as defined in the Animal Control Ordinance)

For more information on Incorrect Tethering as defined in the Ordinance, go to “Quick Links” and click on “Ordinance:

Section 1-5-3: Tethering

An Owner shall not:
Tether an animal within ten (10) feet of public roads, public property, access, easements, common grounds, or the property of another without the express consent of said property owner;
It shall be unlawful to tether an animal outdoors, except when all of the following conditions are met:
Only one (1) animal may be attached to each tethering system.
Tethers must be made of a substance which cannot be chewed by the animal and shall be of an appropriate size and weight for the animal.
Any tethering device used to tether an animal must be at least ten (10) feet in length and mounted not more than seven (7) feet above the ground level and shall not allow the animal to come within ten (10) feet of the edge of the property line of the property upon which such animal is tethered.
The animal must be attached to the tether by a properly fitted harness or collar with enough room between the collar and the animal’s throat to prohibit the choking or injury of the animal.
The tether must have a swivel installed at each end and be attached to a stationary object that cannot be moved by the animal.
The tethering system must be a sufficient distance from any other object and to prevent the animal from tangling of the cable, to prohibit the cable from extending over, around or through an object or an edge that could result in injury or strangulation of the animal.
The animal must be cared for in a humane manner.


9)  How can I protect my family and pets from rabies?

Protect your family and your pets from the rabies virus:

Keep your pet current on its vaccination.

Keep your pet under control

Sterilizing your pet will help reduce unwanted pregnancies causing pets not to be properly cared for or vaccinated regularly.

Call Animal Control at 706-769-3956 to remove all stray or seriously ill animals from your neighborhood; keep potentially unvaccinated animals from your family and pet.

Daytime activity of otherwise nocturnal animal is occasionally a sign of sickness.  However, during spring and early summer, while offspring are being born and raised, it is not rare to find wildlife active during the day, especially on overcast days or on wooded lots.  Remove bird feeders, pet food, and access to other types of food or water to decrease the chances of wildlife interaction with people and pets.

If you see wildlife, contact dispatch, 706-769-5665, or an animal removal company.


10)  My pet was impounded.  How do I reclaim it and what will it cost?

Prior to reclaiming your pet, you must provide proof your pet is current on its rabies vaccination.  Contact your veterinarian and request a faxed copy of your pet’s rabies certificate.  The shelter’s fax number is 706-769-2933.

Owners are responsible for all boarding and impound fees and fees are due at the time of reclaim.

If your pet is not current, you are required to purchase a pre-paid rabies voucher from a veterinarian.  The cost will vary by each clinic.

You will have 3 business days to vaccinate your pet.  If you elect not to comply, a citation may be issued.

For reclaim fees, please refer to “Quick Links” and click on “AC Departmental Fees”.  If you have trouble, please contact the shelter.

Fees start on the first day the animal is impounded.

All animals, without a rabies tag on the collar, will receive the following:

  • Distemper vaccination
  • Wormer
  • Bordetella – kennel cough vaccination (dogs only)

If your animal isn’t microchipped, it will receive one upon reclaim.


11)  I am no longer able to care for my pet.  How do I surrender it to the Animal Shelter?

For a fee, Oconee County citizens may surrender their animal.  In most cases, healthy surrendered animals are offered for adoption. However, space is limited and the County cannot guarantee any surrendered animal will be held for adoption.  For more information, contact Animal Control at 706-769-3956.

If you are surrendering your pet to be euthanized, the fee includes cremation and returning your pet’s ashes.


If your pet weighs:

Your fee is:





















12)  Do you accept volunteers at the Animal Shelter?

The shelter encourages individuals and groups to volunteer at the shelter.  After a brief orientation, volunteers may play with the cats and kittens, walk puppies and dogs or play in the interaction pens, and even bathe the animals to make them more adoptable.  For groups of 5 or more, please call ahead and schedule an appointment.  Volunteers 16 and younger must be accompanied by a supervising adult.

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