Harris County Animal Shelter


About Harris County Animal Shelter/Veterinary Public Health:

The Harris County Animal Shelter, a division of Harris County Public Health, is the official municipal animal shelter in unincorporated Harris County required by law to accept every animal that comes through our doors regardless of breed, temperament, health conditions and circumstances. As the nation’s third most populous county, we provide services for more than two million unincorporated Harris County residents and impact approximately 20,000 animals per year. It is our mission to work in partnership with the community to create a safe, healthy and caring environment for animals and people.

Harris County Animal Shelter is committed to pet adoption and growing our leave alive initiative to 90% by 2020. We shelter and provide quality veterinary care to all animals brought through our doors. We also work diligently to place the animals in our custody in new homes through our adoption and foster programs, social media networking as well as through our vast association with in-state and out-of-state rescue and adoption placement partners. 

We are steadfast with our passion to promote responsible pet ownership through education, community outreach, surrender prevention programs, spay and neuter initiatives. We are able to offer low-cost veterinary services to pet owners who may not have the resources to provide essential veterinary care for their pet through our Pet Wellness Clinic.

Harris County encompasses 1700 square miles, which is equivalent to the size of Road Island; the expansiveness of the county and other unique attributes pose challenging circumstances in regards to animal population and control. A year-long breeding season contributes to the area’s animal population and a semi-tropical climate serves as an incubator for fleas, ticks and other parasites harmful to animals. Harris County is also home to various species of wild animals including bats, coyotes, foxes, skunks and raccoons. Because wildlife are often in close contact with both people and domestic pets, such as cats and dogs, rabies outbreaks and other diseases transmissible from animals to humans are a common concern. A rabies vaccination is required to license your pet, and a pet license is mandatory in Harris County and can be obtained through Harris County Animal Shelter. We work hard to educate the public about rabies prevention and about co-existing with our extensive wildlife population. Our Harris County Veterinary Public Health zoonosis veterinary staff provide surveillance for the region and carefully monitor for rabies and other threatening disease outbreaks to keep our community safe and healthy.

Our Animal Control Officers (ACOS) are on the ground and in unincorporated Harris County neighborhoods seven days a week to protect people and pets. On average, our ACOs receive more than 90 requests per day. Our officers respond to exigent dangers, law enforcement requests for assistance, aggressive animals on school grounds, individual bite cases and stray animals. We work in the community to safeguard human-animal interactions and prevent animal suffering in and out of the shelter. As part of the Harris County Animal Cruelty Task Force, our ACOs also work with the Animal Crimes Unit with Harris County Precinct 5 to investigate and bring justice for animal neglect and cruelty cases in unincorporated Harris County. Our call center operates the cruelty reporting phone line for and our veterinary medical staff conducts medical exams for cruelty case. 

To learn more about Harris County Animal Shelter, visit CountyPets.com. Connect with us on Facebook.com/HarrisCountyAnimalShelter and follow Harris County Animal Shelter on Instagram @harriscountypets.