Animal Protection & Services Unit

Found and Lost Pets

Found Pets: If you find a stray dog or cat, you can take it to the Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection at 1510 Baldwin Ave, NE during business hours, or call an Animal Warden for assistance at 853-2411.

Lost Pets: If you are missing your pet, please contact the Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection at 344-4922 or in person at 1510 Baldwin AVE NE and make a lost pet report. If you believe that wardens have impounded your pet, please call the RCACP or search their website for a photo of your pet:


Sick, injured or orphaned wildlife: The Animal Wardens do not handle wild animals. We partner with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) to provide humane options for sick, injured or orphaned wild animals. If you find a wild animal you believe is sick or injured, you can contact a licensed wildlife rehabber in your area. Virginia DWR has a complete and current listing of all licensed wildlife rehabilitators in the State by location:

For further information on orphaned or injured wildlife, visit:

Animal Bites

Exposure Reports: Per the Virginia Department of Health, any bite or scratch from an animal that breaks a person’s skin requires a rabies exposure report. If the injury was caused by a wild animal, Animal Wardens will attempt to locate the animal and send it to VDH for testing. If the injury was caused by a dog or cat, Animal Wardens will attempt to locate the animal and place it on a 10 day quarantine period to observe for signs of illness. VDH’s Environmental Health Department handles these incidents. For information about Rabies please visit the Virginia Department of Health website. 

If the bite was from a dog, Animal Wardens will investigate the incident to determine if any charges need to be filed. If your pet was injured by a dog, contact Animal Wardens at 853-2411 or 911. 

Rabies Vaccinations and Dog Licenses

Rabies Vaccine Requirements and Dog Licensing: The Commonwealth of Virginia requires that all dogs and cats over the age of 4 months have a rabies vaccination. All dogs over 4 months old must be licensed in the jurisdiction where they live. The City Treasurer’s Office handles dog licensing. Learn more about Dog Licenses

Applicable Laws

For further information, all of the City of Roanoke Code can be viewed and searched at:

  • 6-23cc Running  at large prohibited
  • 6-26cc Barking or howling dogs
  • 6-11cc Public nuisance animals
  • 6-13cc Cleaning up after animals
  • 6-40cc Unlicensed dogs
  • 6-62cc Rabies vaccinations required for dogs and cats over 4 months old
  • 6-27cc Limitations on keeping dogs
  • 6-116cc Limitations on keeping cats
  • 6-117cc Rabies vaccinations required for cats over 4 months old

For further information, all of the Code of Virginia can be viewed and searched at:

  • 3.2-6503 Care of animal by owner
  • 3.2-6504 Abandoned animals
  • 3.2-6540 Dangerous dogs
  • 3.2-6570 Cruelty to animals
The Roanoke Police Department's Animal Protection and Services Unit is made up of seven full-time animal wardens who strive to work together with citizens of the city of Roanoke to make a difference in the animal community.  Led by Senior Warden, Theresa Jenkins, the animal wardens are fully trained to help you in all of your animal protection and services needs.  

Education and prevention are two of the main objectives of the unit.  Wardens are always here to ensure that you receive the correct information when it comes to animal welfare and pet laws.  The animal wardens are not trained to handle wildlife calls and partner with Virginia Conservation Police to make sure those incidents have an adequate response.  To reach an animal warden, call 540-853-2211.  For emergencies involving pets and other animals please call 911.