ANIMAL CONTROL

Under contract, Animal Friends of the Valleys provides animal control services for the cities of Canyon Lake, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Murrieta, Temecula and Wildomar.

Animal control officers are authorized to investigate possible animal related law violations and take appropriate enforcement action. Every year animal control officers conduct hundreds of investigations, ranging from minor offenses to felony animal cruelty cases. In some cases our officers gain voluntary compliance by educating pet guardians about their responsibilities and proper pet care; in other situations it may warrant administrative action and/or an arrest and criminal prosecution. Our officers rescue stray, sick or injured animals. They are trained for emergencies.

Please report any suspicion of animal abuse, cruelty or neglect to Animal Friends of the Valleys during business hours at (951) 674-0618 Ext. 222 or 223 and after hours at (951) 506-5069.

Animal Friends of the Valleys responds to emergency calls 24 hours per day, seven days a week. For emergencies call (951) 506-5069 after regular business hours.

  • Vicious animals
  • Quarantine (biting animal) if the animal is not confined.
  • Rattlesnakes ONLY
  • Injured or sick stray animals
  • Confined strays in Murrieta and Menifee only
  • Confined strays if causing a safety issue (bite or fight)
  • Dead on Arrival (DOA) in traffic (public safety)
  • Wild animal causing a public safety concern
  • Police/Fire/City assist

Animal Control responds to stray animal calls. Stray animals will be impounded. Impound, boarding and licensing fees will be required before the animal is released back to the guardian. The impound, boarding and licensing fees are set by each city. AFV does not set these fees; we merely collect the fees for the city. State fines also apply to unaltered animals that are running at large.

Pet guardians need to check their fences regularly and secure loose boards, holes under the fence, broken gate latches. They also need to remove debris and items against fences that allow dogs to jump the fence.

Stray animals are a public safety concern. All dogs must be on a leash when they have access to a public area (including unfenced front yards). Please help keep your pets safe by keeping them confined in a secure place.

It is a state law and city ordinance that all dogs 4 months of age and older be vaccinated against rabies and licensed in the city in which the animal lives (within 30 days).

The Cities of Canyon Lake, Lake Elsinore, Menifee and Wildomar also require that your pet be Microchipped and Sterilized before licensing can be completed.

Riverside County is a declared rabies area. Rabies vaccination of dogs (a prerequisite for licensing) has been highly effective as an animal and public health measure, and is especially important in areas like ours where the potential threat of exposure to rabies from wildlife is a significant concern.

AFV offers $6 rabies vaccines at our Low Cost Spay/Neuter- Vaccination Clinic. Please call to schedule. There is a tremendous discount for “altered”pet licenses. You can make an appointment to have your pet altered at our clinic. Dog guardians who fail to comply with rabies vaccination or licensing requirements are subject to costly penalties. Call (951) 674-7729 for vaccination and spay/neuter questions.

In accordance with state law and city ordinance animal control officers conduct license/vaccination canvassing programs to ensure compliance.

It is a public nuisance for any person to own or harbor an animal in such a manner that the animal barks, whines, cries, or makes other noises that would bother any person of ordinary sensitivity in the vicinity.

AFV responds to complaints of barking dogs, screeching birds, etc., that are received by the public. The officers make contact with the pet guardian and notify them of the complaint. The officer gives suggestions to prevent the public nuisance from continuing. AFV will respond to public nuisances on three occasions and attempt to abate the problem. If complaints continue, a petition will be sent to the complaining party. Once the petition is received a public nuisance hearing will be set. An “After Hearing Order” will be mailed to all parties with the determination on the case and the guidelines set forth. If subsequent complaints are received after an animal has been deemed a public nuisance, further steps will be taken up to and including removal of the pet from the property. Please be a good neighbor and keep your pets from disturbing your neighbors.

Humane treatment of an animal includes providing it with adequate food, water, exercise, necessary veterinary care and adequate shelter. Adequate shelter is defined as shelter that provides shelter from the sun, rain, water, wind.

Under Penal Code 599b, “cruelty” includes every act, omission, or neglect whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted.

Dog owners are responsible for ensuring that their animals do not harm or endanger the health or safety of the public or other animals. Since most biting or attacking incidents occur on or near the owner’s premises, they are normally preventable if reasonable and common sense precautions are taken.

Dogs usually do not act predictable when they are not in their usual environment or are with unfamiliar people.

“Potentially dangerous dog” is defined in Food and Agriculture Code 31602 as:

  • Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior 36-month period, engages in any behavior that requires a defensive action by any person to prevent bodily injury when the person and the dog are off the property of the owner or keeper of the dog.
  • Any dog which, when unprovoked, bites a person causing a less severe injury that as defined in Section 31604.
  • Any dog which, when unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior 36-month period, has killed, seriously bitten, inflicted injury, or otherwise caused injury attacking a domestic animal off the property of the owner or keep of the dog.

Food and Agriculture code 31604:
“Severe Injury” means any physical injury to a human being that results in muscle tears or disfiguring lacerations or requires multiple sutures or corrective or cosmetic surgery.

“Vicious Dog” is defined in Food and Agriculture Code 31603 as:

  • Any dog seized under Section 599aa of the Penal Code and upon the sustaining of a conviction of the owner or keeper under subdivision (a) of Section 597.5 of the Penal Code.
  • Any dog which, when unprovoked, in an aggressive manner, inflicts severe injury on or kills a human being.
  • Any dog previously determined to be and currently listed as a potentially dangerous dog which, after its owner or keeper has been notified of this determination, continues the behavior described in Section 31602 or is maintained in violation of Sections 31641, 31642, or 31643.

On a warm day, vehicle interior temperatures can reach extreme levels and endanger the health and life of your pet in a matter of minutes, even with the windows down and/or parked in a shaded area. It is illegal for a person to leave an animal in an unattended vehicle without adequate ventilation or in a manner as to subject the animal to extreme temperatures that adversely affect the animal’s health or welfare.

If you transport an animal in a motor vehicle you must safely enclose or protect the animal by a harness, tether, cage or other device that will prevent the animal from falling, being thrown, or jumping from the vehicle.

Pet guardians are required to keep their animal premises sanitary and free from feces, urine odors, fly breeding reservoirs and offensive odors of any kind.

Persons having control of a dog are required to restrain the animal by leash when it is being walked and to immediately remove any feces and dispose of in a proper manner.

All persons bitten or the parents or guardians of minor children bitten, as well as any person owning or having custody or control of a dog, cat (or any animal of a species subject to rabies) that bites a person, must promptly report the incident to AFV. This is necessary so that such animal can be temporarily isolated (as required by state law) in an approved place and manner (often at the owner’s residence) and observed for at least a 10 day quarantine period for any symptoms of rabies. This requirement applies whether or not the biting animal has been vaccinated against rabies.

In each of the cities that AFV services there are 4 dogs and 4 cats allowed per household. You must have a current kennel or cattery license to have more animals than what the ordinance allows. AFV animal control officers respond to complaints of kennel/cattery violations.

If you suspect hoarding, please report it to animal control. You can remain anonymous. All of the hoarding cases reported by the public have been valid complaints. The person is usually an animal lover that starts out caring and the numbers get out of control. The animals are in very poor condition physically and emotionally, the sanitation is horrendous, and the animals are usually in need to veterinary care. Please be their voice!

AFV works very closely with Project Wildlife. Project Wildlife rehabilitates and releases many species of wildlife when they are ready to go back to nature. They have the expertise in repairing broken wings, illness and injuries to all wildlife. They also raise abandoned babies of all species.

If you see a baby bird of any species on the ground, please do not remove them the area. You can place them in an area (such as on the ground in bushes) protected from other animals. The mother (and father) will hear the baby’s cry and will continue feeding them.

AFV accepts all wildlife and will transfer the animal to Project Wildlife if deemed necessary.