Chicago Animal Care & Control receives over 35,000 calls a year to the 311 center from the general public regarding animal related issues. Multiple shifts (between the hours of 7a-10p) of Animal Control Officers are available to respond and resolve the issues at hand for the caller.
All public requests for service are taken through 311. If you put in a request, the more information the better, including your contact information which will help us better service the call.
About the calls we service:
- Report an Injured Animal: Any animal on the public way, in a public place including city parks, that is injured or sick.
- Vicious Animals: Any animal that is actively exhibiting signs of being vicious, including chasing people, attacking or attempting to bite. (Note: A Vicious Animal Report should not be placed if a bite has occurred. See below regarding what to do when a bite occurs).
- Animal Bites: CACC handles follow up investigations to animal bites that happen within the city. The first step when a bite happens is to make a report by calling 311 Non-Emergency or stopping into your police district to make a report. The information collected goes to Cook County Animal & Rabies Control as well as CACC.
- Neglect, Abuse, and Well-Being Concerns (Pet Wellness): Concerns for a pet such as no food, no water, unsanitary living conditions, the need of a wellness check, or an animal being abused or mistreated, etc.
- Wildlife: Requests for service involving wildlife must be handled in accordance with Illinois Law and in line with best practices. Generally speaking, CACC does not remove or relocate wildlife unless it is either injured, sick, or a threat to humans (such as within living quarters).
- For more information on specific species of wildlife, please read our Wildlife Management and Co-Existence Plan which outlines feasible strategies and tactics to prevent potential wildlife encounters in the City of Chicago. Species specific information can also be found on the Flint Creek Wildlife website. CACC partners with Flint Creek Wildlife to provide assistance when taking in and/or relocating wildlife.
- Nuisance Complaints: Issues regarding excessive noise, excrement issues on the public way, or unlicensed/unvaccinated animals. This does not pertain to wildlife that are commonly protected by state laws. If the owner of the animal is reached, Animal Control Officers often try to provide information and education on how to prevent the issue from happening again.
- Stray Animals: Often, domestic animals without an owner in their presence may be a lost pet with someone looking for them. If you find a stray animal, check around to see if anyone knows who cares for the animal.
- Cats: Removing a cat that from its environment with no sign of illness or injury puts that cat and every other cat in the shelter at risk, reduces the chances of owner reunification, and redirects resources away from cats that truly need our help. For more information, please check out our Outdoor Cat Flyer
- Dogs: If you find a stray dog, please help keep pets out of the shelter by trying to locate the owner or taking the dog to a local vet or police station to scan for a microchip. If you cannot locate the owner, the next step would be to contact VISITCACC@cityofchicago.org to bring in the stray animal. Lastly, would be the option to put in a service request through 311 for an officer to try and locate the dog.
- Abandoned Animals: Animals that have been left behind in such a way that permits them to be in a circumstance which might cause harm to the animal.
- Animal Business Complaint: Concerns regarding regulations on animal industries such as dog kennels, pet shops, groomers, veterinary hospitals, and other enterprises.
- Animals in Traps: 311 will take calls for picking up a City of Chicago issued empty trap when it is no longer needed or the time is up.
- If the animal is in a private trap CACC will not pick it up. Callers without a valid state issued permit will have the trap confiscated/not returned & may be referred to the state for illegal trapping for possible fines.
- Animal Fighting Suspicion: If you witness an animal fighting incident in progress you should call 911 immediately.
Information about wildlife
Wildlife in the living quarters: For assistance to city residents dealing with nuisance wildlife located within their residence/living quarters. Attics, garages, and businesses, and non profit agencies are not serviced by CACC, we strongly encourage you to contact your preferred pest control agency. Please keep in mind many times critters get in through open spaces that may need home repair to ensure no other animals make their way inside the home.
Bats: Bats in and around Chicago have been found to carry rabies. Rabies is a rare but fatal disease caused by the bite of an infected (rabid) animal. Not all bats carry rabies; however, it is important to be aware of this risk and to take precautions to protect yourself and your family from possible exposure. CACC will assist when bats are inside the home or are in an area where public safety/exposure is a concern. Please read about Bat Safety and what to do if you have been exposed.
Coyotes: Coyotes are becoming increasingly common in cities. Even in densely populated areas, coyotes maintain an avoidance of humans and potential for human-coyote interaction is low. To maintain a safe distance, the public should limit availability of food on their property and haze individual coyotes in the case of direct encounters. These techniques are outlined below. If followed by residents, the likelihood of coyote-human interactions or pet attacks is low and coexistence is possible. Sightings from a distance should not be reported as coyotes are state-protected wildlife. Please see our Coyote Tip Sheet for additional information.
For requests concerning the following:
- Deceased Animals: If you see a deceased animal on the public way, please call 311. The Department of Streets and Sanitation will pick up the deceased animal. If your own pet is deceased, you can email email@example.com to arrange for a time for you to drop off your pet for disposal services.
- Pigeons: Concerns about pigeons such as feeding are handled by The Department of Streets and Sanitation. CACC gets involved when people are keeping or harboring pigeons, including coops or other sheltering.
- Bees: The Department of Streets and Sanitation handles beehives on the public way, please call 311 to report the hive. If there is a beehive on your property, you may have to call a private exterminator. Beekeepers must register with the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
To make a service request, please call 311 or go to their website
When requesting service, please be sure to include the following when making a report through 311:
- Verify the address is correct
- Provide as much information as possible, including names, descriptions, etc.
- If the service is no longer needed, please call 311 to cancel the request
- If additional information is needed regarding your request for service, you may receive a call from a restricted/blocked/ or unknown number