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Animal Control 

The Thornton Animal Control unit currently consists of four full-time officers who are available between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., seven days a week, including all holidays. They handle primarily companion animal complaints and problems, but are available to assist with any animal-related call.

Below you will find some basic information on City ordinances pertaining to animals, and also a large section on wildlife that addresses some common issues. If you are having wildlife issues, we request that you read the information first and see if you can solve the problem with the information given. There is also contact information on other agencies and services relating to animals in the Denver Metro area.

If you have any further questions, you can contact Animal Control through the Thornton Police Dispatch at 720-977-5150.


Wildlife in Thornton

This page deals with control of domestic animals and pets. If you are having issues with wild animals, or need information about them, then please visit our...

Wildlife in Thornton webpage


Important Information

Dogs Running At Large (Sec. 6-8)

Your dog must be confined to your property and not be allowed to wander off. When off your property the dog must be on a leash where you have effective and immediate control over the dog. Never leave your dog in a public place unattended.

Cats Running At Large (Sec. 6-9)

Your cat cannot wander onto private property or into common areas without the permission of the property owner. Cats found to be at large may be impounded and held at Adams County Animal Shelter for reclaim. If you are experiencing a problem with stray cats on your property, you may humanely trap the cat for impoundment.

Note: Animals found running at large will be taken to the Adams County Animal Shelter, where they may be reclaimed by the owner.

Vaccination Required (Sec. 6-2)

Every dog and cat over six months is required to be vaccinated for rabies and the tag must be attached to the pet’s collar or harness.

Quarantine Of Animals (Sec. 6-12)

Any animal that bites a person must be reported to the police or animal control and be placed on quarantine for a period of 10 days. This can be done at the owners’ residence or at a suitable shelter depending on the circumstances and at the discretion of the animal control officer.

Animals In Heat (Sec. 6-16)

Female dogs and cats in heat must be securely confined to prevent unplanned breeding, and in such manner that the animal does not create a nuisance by attracting other dogs and cats.

Care And Control (Sec. 6-17)

Noise (Barking)

Animals must not be allowed to bark or make untimely or excessive noise. Don’t allow your pet to become a nuisance by disturbing the neighborhood. If you are experiencing an animal that may be in violation of this ordinance, it is suggested that you attempt to communicate your concerns with the animal owner. If unsuccessful, suggestions and mediation are available through your Animal Control Officers.


Whether in public areas or at home, animal feces must be cleaned up and properly disposed so as not to be a nuisance to others and to keep our city clean and sanitary.


All animals must have sufficient food, water and shelter. Proper veterinary care is also required. Every animal is to be allowed humane care and is never to be cruelly treated.

Overheating in Summer

Animals can quickly become overheated when left in parked cars on hot— or even warm – sunny days. Even with the windows slightly open, it takes just a short time before this type of heat can cause brain damage or death in an animal.

Animals Permitted

Each household may have no more than four adult animals, which may include dogs, cats and one Vietnamese potbellied pig. (Animals under three months old are not included. Domestic birds, fish, snakes (under six feet) and reptiles that are nonpoisonous and not a health hazard are welcome.)

Livestock, fowl (except for two domestic ducks), exotic animals, wildlife, endangered animals, and poisonous species are not allowed. Wolves and wolf hybrids are also not allowed.


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Thornton Connected: Animal Issues

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City of Thornton
9500 Civic Center Drive, Thornton, CO 80229
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