Gaston County Animal Control

Phone:(704) 922-8677


The Animal Control Section of the Gaston County Police Department was established to protect the citizens of Gaston County from animals appearing to be stray, unvaccinated, injured, a public nuisance or posing health and safety risks.


With the primary responsibility of enforcing both state and county animal-related laws, Animal Control also investigates reported cases of animal cruelty, abuse or neglect, supervises the quarantine and/or testing of biting animals for presence of the rabies virus and conducts educational seminars to various school and civic organizations.

Animal Control personnel provide 24-hour service for emergency calls.

Animal Control provides a variety of services for Gaston County and its municipalities, working in close cooperation with area law enforcement agencies, Gaston County veterinarians, the Gaston Humane Society, the Gaston County Health Department, the Division of Epidemiology and the North Carolina Wildlife Commission.

Pet Requirements

Owners of any dog or cat 4 months old or older must have the pet immunized against rabies in accordance with North Carolina law and with an approved anti-rabic vaccine administered by a veterinarian.

All owners who obtain a rabies vaccination for a dog or cat are also required to purchase from the animal shelter, within three days, a license for each dog or cat. The license shall represent the animal having a current rabies vaccination and county license and may only be purchased with a valid rabies vaccination certificate from a licensed veterinarian. The license fee per dog or per cat shall be $5 for annual license or $12 for three years, if compatible with the rabies vaccination period.

The Shelter

The Animal Shelter houses animals impounded by personnel and those surrendered by the public. Staff members feed and water the animals, observing each for signs of illness or injury, administer first-aid, carry out veterinarian instructions, enforce isolation procedures and prepare animals for disposition as required.


The Administrative Section of Animal Control assists citizens with pet adoptions, reclaims, tag purchases, lost and found information and collects applicable fees or charges.

Pet adoption

Some animals are available for purchase through an adoption-medical contract, which provides for a variety of pet services, including mandatory spay or neuter, from a participating veterinarian clinic. Prices are $75 for dogs and $60 for cats.


Off the Dallas-Cherryville Highway, behind the Gaston County Resource Center, 220 Leisure Lane.


10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

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Spaying and neutering

Not only does spaying and neutering check the growing population of unwanted cats and dogs, it actually improves the health and happiness of your pet.

Spay/Neuter Improves Your Pet by:

Lowering a femaleís risk of uterine and mammary cancer

Lowering a maleís risk of certain tumors, hernias and prostate problems

Lowering the risk of socially transmitted disease

Making males less aggressive and females more social

Making life easier for females and their owners

Reducing the number of cats and dogs who die each year because they have no homes

Summer Pet Protection


Never leave an animal unattended in a car. A slightly open window only provides ample ventilation when the car is moving. A parked car, even with the windows open, can quickly become a furnace for a cat or dog.

Never give your pet forced exercise after deeding, especially in very hot, humid weather. Always exercise your pet in the cool of the day ó early morning or evening.

Never tie an animal outside on a choke collar. This applies during any season. He can choke himself to death. Use a buckle instead.

Never leave your dog standing on the street, and keep walks on the sidewalk to a minimum. Since he is much closer to the hot asphalt, and concrete than you, and is not protected by shoes, his feet burn and he heats up very quickly.

Never let your dog or cat run loose. This is a good way for an animal to be injured, stolen or killed. In particular, make sure there are no open windows or doors for your cat jump through when youíre not looking.

Never walk your pet in area that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals. Dog poisoning, in particular, always increase during the summer, when gardens, lawns and trees are usually sprayed for control of weeds, insects, and pests. Many of these chemicals can sicken or even kill animals. So keep pets away from these areas, observe them closely, and call your veterinarian if an animal begins to exhibit unusual behavior.

Never take your pet to the beach unless you can provide him with a shaded spot to lie and plenty if fresh water to drink. Remember to hose him down after he has been swimming in salt water.


Always provide plenty of cool water for your pet staying outside the house. A properly constructed doghouse serves best. Whenever possible, bring your pet inside during the heat of the day and let him rest in a cool part of your house. Never leave him without water.

Always keep your pet well-groomed. If he is a large, heavy dog with long thick hair, shaving his coat down to a 1-inch length will help prevent him from overheating and make it easier for you to treat him for fleas. A clean coat also helps prevent summer skin problems. Donít shave a dogís hair down to the skin. This robs him of protection from the sun.

Always check for fleas and ticks that may infest your pet. Bring him to your veterinarian for a thorough summer check-up (including a test for heartworm), and use a good, safe, flea and tick repellent that your veterinarian, which is best for your pet.

Always be extra sensitive to old and overweight animals in hot weather. Those with heart or lung diseases and brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs (especially bulldogs, Pekingnese, Boston terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus) are more susceptible to the heat and should be kept indoors and air-conditioned as much as possible.

Always be alert for coolant leaking from your car or truck engine. During the summer cars are more likely to overheat and overflow. Both antifreeze and coolants attract your pet, and ingesting just a small amount of either can cause an animalís death.

Spotting trouble

If, in spite of your care, the "dog days" of summer can bring on twitching, rapid panting, barking or wild "staring" expression, call your veterinarian. Donít immerse your pet in water or use ice packs to counteract heatstroke. Pour water on every three to five minutes and then place him in a draft under a fan.

Winter Pet Protection

When the temperature drops, pets need special attention. Here are some tips:

Donít leave your pet outdoors when the temperature drops sharply. Shorthaired, very young, or old dogs and cats should never be left outside. Dogs and cats are safer indoors.

No matter what the temperature, wind chill can threaten a petís life. An outdoor dog must be protected by a dry draft-free doghouse that is large enough to allow the animal to sit and lie down comfortably but to hold its body heat, with a floor raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings. The house should also face away from the wind and have a doorway covered with burlap or a rug.

Outdoor dogs need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Check your dogís water dishes to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen.

All pets and livestock need a clean, steady source of water. They are like humans without water, they will die.

Donít forget these other winter hazards. The warm engines of cars attract cats. Salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can burn the pads of petsí feet. And antifreeze tastes sweet but is poison to pets.

Birds are desperate for food in the weather when the ground and trees are frozen. Spreading bread crumbs, corn bread and sunflower seeds across the yard will help them survive. Stock up on birdseed. If you donít have feeders to fill, clean a place in the snow and put seed out. Make sure they have some water.

How to reach are Humane Societies:

Gaston County Humane Society, 824-8990
Humane Society of Lincoln County, 732-9022

How to reach are Animal Control agencies

Gaston County: 922-8677
Lincoln County: 736-8734

Animal Control/Animal Shelter hours:

Gaston County: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Lincoln County: 10 a.m.-noon; 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Saturday; 2-5 p.m. Sunday


Animal Control/Animal Shelter addresses:

Gaston County: 220 Leisure Lane. Directions ó Located off the Dallas-Cherryville Highway, behind the Gaston County Resource Center, 220 Leisure Lane.

Lincoln County: Boy Scout Road. Directions ó Take Highway 150 W. Bypass toward Cherryville, turn left onto Riverview Road, turn back right to Boy Scout Road. The Shelter is on the left. Follow the signs.


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The Gaston Chamber of Commerce
601 W. Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, North Carolina 28052

Phone: 704-864-2621
Toll Free: 1-800-348-8461
Fax: 704-854-8723


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