Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control has a new resource available to help citizens rehome their pets that keeps them from entering the shelter. Through Adopt a citizens will be able to keep their pets in their homes while working with professionals to create an online adoption profile for their pets and select new adopters.

This initiative is putting Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control one step closer to reaching its goal of keeping more pets out of the shelter. Not only does it help keep fewer animals from entering the shelter – it’s better for the health of the animals. Shelters are extremely stressful for pets coming through and sometimes that stress can change their behavior. Extreme behaviors can prevent an animal from going into the adoption program. This rehoming program prevents that from happening by keeping the pets in their homes. People looking to rehome their pet can indicate how long they are able to keep the pet in their home whether it be a few weeks or a few months. Potential adopters are able to learn valuable information about the pet from its previous owners which results in better matches and animals staying in their new homes.

The program is completely free to use and can be accessed at

Pet overpopulation is the main reason there are so many homeless animals in our community. It’s our goal at Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control to educate the public about ways to be a responsible pet owner and reduce the number of animals that come through our doors. The best way to make this happen is through a simple spay or neuter surgery to prevent your pet from reproducing.

There are many myths about altering pets. Spaying or neutering your pet does not make them gain weight – lack of exercise causes that. Some claim it can cause pets to be lazy, but that falls back on the owners too. You may have heard that spaying or neutering your pet is unhealthy. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Spaying or neutering your pet helps them live a longer, healthier life by eliminating the possibility of certain cancers and greatly reducing the possibility of some infections.

A change in behavior is also among the list of “negatives” when it comes to altering your pets. In fact, the simple surgery can help spark positive changes in behavior. Neutered dogs and cats are less likely to mark their territory and are less likely to run away. Neutering can also help with aggression issues due to lower levels of testosterone.

Please consider having your pet spayed or neutered to help reduce the number of homeless pets.  H.O.P.E. for Animals is a low-cost spay/neuter clinic in our community that also offers affordable wellness care.

While you are out enjoying the city’s parks and trails with your pets it’s important to keep them on a leash at all times. Fort Wayne City ordinance states that all pets must be on a leash and under your control at all times. This includes fenced in areas found in parks like tennis courts and baseball diamonds. Even if your pet is friendly, not all pets are and many people don’t appreciate being greeted by strange dogs. Failing to comply with city ordinances can result in costly fines.

Keeping your pet on a leash at all times is just one way to keep them safe. It’s important to make sure they are up to date on all vaccines too. All dogs, cats and ferrets three months and older are required to get a rabies vaccine in the state of Indiana. Your dog should also be vaccinated for distemper. Ensuring your pet is wearing proper identification and their city registration tag is an important. Microchipping your pet is another important part of keeping them safe. Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control offers microchipping to the public for just $15 during normal business hours.

In 2017, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control was able to return more than 2,000 pets to their owners thanks to proper pet identification and microchips. A microchip is a form of permanent identification implanted under the animal’s skin. The device is about the size of a grain of rice. All Animal Control Officers carry microchip scanners and are able to immediately return pets with microchips to their owners without having to bring them to the shelter.

In a recent event, FWACC along with H.O.P.E. for Animals and the Allen County SPCA offered $4 microchips to help keep pets in our community safe. In a span of one day, more than 500 pets were microchipped between the three locations. We are hopeful that this event will help decrease the number of stray animals we intake at the shelter and increase the number of animals we are able to reunite with their owners.

It’s never too late to microchip your pets! You can stop by the shelter any time during regular business hours to microchip your pet for just $15.

Postal workers in Fort Wayne see a spike in the number of dog bites during the summer months. It’s likely because the weather is nice, our dogs are outside more and more kids are getting out of school – so they might let the dog out during the time the postal worker stops by their home.

First – it’s important to think from your dog’s point of view. Do they bark every time they see a postal worker come to their house? Most of the time the postal worker probably leaves the mail and leaves, but your dog probably continues to bark. In their mind – the postal worker is leaving because they are barking, telling them to get away from their home! Even if they are friendly, this daily activity of them “chasing off” the postal worker from inside their home is their “duty”. Well, if that postal worker needs to speak directly to you and doesn’t turn and leave after dropping off the mail – your dog may see that as a major threat and it’s possible they could bite while trying to “protect” you and their home.

Here are some simple steps to help protect postal workers and help your pet feel safe and secure.

  1. Be aware of the time your postal worker stops by your home. If you know it’s about the same time every day remember to put your dog inside and remind your children to do the same thing. Again, even if your dog is friendly – they may view the postal worker as a threat. Any dog can bite!
  2. Put your dog in another room before opening the door to greet anyone delivering a package.
  3. Avoid taking something directly from a postal worker. Dogs can view this as a threat.
  4. Put yourself in their shoes! Would you want to go to work every day worrying about what might happen if a dog is outside and isn’t too excited to see them? Be courteous and proactive

Here at Animal Care & Control we have developed new programs that allow kids to do their part in helping care for the pets in our care. We believe that compassion and respect for animals starts at a young age and we help foster that human-animal bond through our Humane Education Department.  Many of our programs are free of charge and let the kids make the difference in the life of an animal.

Read to the Animals

This program is designed for kids six to 12 years old. This program connects two of our favorite things – reading and animals! The animals welcome all readers – no matter their reading level. This also helps our adoptable pets feel more comfortable around people. On the surface this might just seem like a fun opportunity (and it is), but it’s also helping strengthen that human-animal bond and these readers are helping socialize our adoptable pets – a crucial part in helping them find a home! This program is free.

Day Camps

For the first time ever, kids will be able to spend a week at the shelter helping the animals! This hands-on camp focuses on promoting responsible pet ownership, fostering empathy and compassion for all living things and lets campers explore a variety of animals and animal-related careers. At the end of the week-long camps, kids will understand what vital role animal shelters play in the community and how they can have an impact on the lives of shelter pets.

Teen Service Learning Nights

During this program teens spend three hours at the shelter creating enrichment treats and toys for the animals and socializing the adoptable pets. Teens also help create personalized adoption profiles for an animal of their choice. This is a great program for busy teens looking to help for a few hours! This program is free.

Animal Care Teens

Animal Care Teens our longest running program for kids at the shelter. Teens meet twice a month throughout the school year at the shelter to learn about animal-related careers from professionals in our area. ACTs also spend time socializing with the adoption animals. They wrap up the year with a canned food drive and open house!

More information about opportunities for kids at the shelter can be found at

Many foods we eat and products we use in our homes can be dangerous for our four-legged family members. According to the national ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center the most common pet toxin reported in 2017 was human prescription medications. More than 35,000 cases of pets ingesting human prescription medications were reported to the APCC last year.

According to Northeast Indiana Veterinary Emergency Specialty Hospital (NIVES) in Fort Wayne – the national trend is also a local trend. Emergency and critical care veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Stresemann told Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control prescription medications are commonly treated at the hospital which is open 24/7.

Other common pet toxins reported to the APCC are over-the-counter medications, human foods, medications prescribed by a veterinarian, chocolate, household items, insecticides, rodenticides, plants and garden supplies.

About 10 percent of calls to the APCC are about human foods that are not safe for pets. Here is a list of foods you should never give your pets.

  • Chocolate
  • Uncooked Yeast Dough
  • Grapes, raisins
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Avocados
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Xylitol (found in sugar-free gum, baked goods and some peanut butters)

You can help prevent your pet from coming into contact with a toxin by keeping all food, household products, house plants and other harmful items secured in an area of your help that your pet can not access them. If you carry medication in a book bag or purse be sure to lock your bag in a closet or drawer.

If you believe your pet has ingested a toxin it’s important to call your veterinarian immediately. You can also contact the Animal Poison Control Center hotline at 888-426-4435.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Almost 1 out of 5 bites becomes infected. Don't be a victim. 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites each year; half of which are children. The rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest – nationally - for children ages five to nine years, and men are more likely than women to be bitten by a dog.

It may surprise you to know that 77 percent of dog-bite injuries occur from the family dog or friends’ dogs. Adults with two or more dogs in the household are five times more likely to be bitten than those living without dogs at home.

It’s important to understand that dogs may bite for many different reasons. The best way to prevent a bite is educating yourself and your children to understand when an animal is feeling uncomfortable and needs to be left alone.

Animal Care & Control strongly advocates bite prevention to keep kids safe by providing bite free materials to schools, tour groups and community events. Children are taught what to do when they see a stray animal, how to approach a dog accompanied by an owner and to understand their own pet’s behavior to prevent bites.


  • Be cautious around dogs you don’t know.
  • Treat your own pets with respect and gentle handling.
  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
  • Avoid unfamiliar dogs. If a dog approaches to sniff you, stand still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat.
  • Don’t pet a dog by reaching through a fence.
  • Always ask permission before petting someone’s dog.
  • Don’t run past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things.
  • Never disturb a dog that’s caring for puppies, sleeping or eating.
  • If you are threatened by a dog, remain calm. Don’t scream or yell. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Avoid eye contact. Try to stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Don’t turn and run.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.


  • Socialize your dog or young puppy, so it feels at ease around people and other animals. Gradually expose your dog to a variety of situations under controlled circumstances; continue that exposure on a regular basis.
  • Don’t allow your dog to be in places where it might feel threatened or be teased.
  • Attend a dog training class. The basic commands “sit,” “stay,” “off,” and “come” can be incorporated into fun activities that build a bond of obedience and trustbetween pets and people.
  • Avoid highly excitable games like wrestling or tug-of-war.
  • Use a leash in public to ensure you are able to control your dog.
  • Keep your dog healthy with yearly vaccinations. How your dog feels directly affects how it behaves.
  • Spay or neuter your pet. Altered dogs are less likely to bite.
  • Don’t chain your dog. Chaining increases aggression in dogs.

What Should I Do If My Dog Bites Someone?

Even if the bite can be explained (e.g., someone stepped on your dog’s tail), it’s important to take responsibility for your dog’s actions.

Did you know that Indiana law requires a biting animal (dog, cat or ferret) be placed in ten (10) day rabies quarantine even if it’s vaccinated?

Many people are hesitant to report bites because they are afraid of the outcome. Once a report is filed, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control must determine the severity of the bite, where the bite occurred (at home or off property) and how many times the animal has bitten. Those factors will determine whether or not the animal will be placed in the home for the quarantine period or housed at Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control for the ten (10) days required by state law. Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control does not automatically put biting animals to sleep. Owners that report bites are doing the responsible thing for the safety of other animals and the bite victim(s), human or animal. Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control wants nothing more than for the people and animals to be safe and healthy.

Our goal, whenever possible, is to keep your animal at home where it belongs.

After a bite occurs, the following steps should be taken:

  • Confine your dog away from the scene of the bite.
  • Check on the victim’s condition. Wash wounds with soap and water. Professional medical advice should be sought.
  • Report the bite. Call Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control inside the city and the sheriffs department in the county.
  • Consult your veterinarian for advice about dog behavior that will help prevent similar problems in the future.
  • If someone else’s dog bites you, seek medical treatment, and then call authorities with everything you know about the dog to help animal control officers locate the dog.

Dogs are wonderful companions. By acting responsibly, owners not only reduce dog bite injuries, but also enhance the relationship they have with their dogs.

For more information on how to prevent dog bites or to schedule an educational program - visit


Pet owners should exercise caution and be aware of an illegal trend called Pet Flipping.

In a typical pet-flipping situation, a criminal will get hold of a dog or cat either by finding it or by stealing it, and then turning around and selling it for a quick profit.

Another aspect of the crime is when someone claims to be the owner of a dog or cat that someone has found and publicly advertised. By falsely claiming the found pet, the criminal can then sell it for profit.

Pet Flipping is a serious cause for concern for all pet owners, but also for anyone looking to buy a dog or cat. It could end up being someone else’s stolen pet.

Pet owners in Allen County are cautioned to supervise pets carefully whenever they are outside and invest in a microchip for permanent identification. You can currently get a microchip implanted at Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control for $15.00. You do not need an appointment; you simply need to bring your dog or cat to 3020 Hillegas Road during regular business hours along with proof of rabies and your legal I.D.

Have your pet’s spayed or neutered so that can’t be stolen and used for breeding. Keep your cats inside and your dog on a leash when walking through neighborhoods and city parks. Never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle or tied outside of a business.

If your pet is lost, be sure to fill out a lost report in person at FWACC or over the phone. You can also notify Lost Dogs/Lost Cats of Fort Wayne.

Don’t let your dog or cat become a victim of Pet Flipping.

When you make your New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget about your pets! Resolutions are a great way to stay connected to your pet and make sure that they are receiving the care they need. Here are few resolutions to consider for your furry friends:

Meal-time: Measure your pet’s food every time! By taking the time to give them the exact amount of food appropriate for their size you will help them to stay trim and healthy. Companion pets can often find themselves with a few more pounds than they need which can be hard on their joints and could lead to other health problems. Don’t know how much to feed them? All pet foods have guides on the packages to help you determine the correct amount!

More playtime: Just like humans – animals benefit from being more active. If you are making a New Year’s resolution to get moving more include your pet. Take your dog on more walks, play with your cat indoors or let your small animal roam around outside of their cage more. Keeping your pet’s mind stimulated helps their cognitive health!

Visit the vet: Visiting your veterinarian at least once a year for an annual check-up and vaccines is crucial to keep your pet healthy. Animals can’t tell us when something is wrong, so visiting your vet is a vital part of being a responsible pet owner.

Update information: Take the time at the beginning of the year to make sure your pet’s registration is up to date if you live within city limits. You can visit to register your pet online or stop by the shelter during normal business hours. If your pet is microchipped, check to make sure all the information on file is current in case your pet were to go missing.

Give back: Consider volunteering or fostering at FWACC this year. We are always in need of people passionate about helping animals and getting involved is an excellent way to make a difference in an animal’s life. There are many opportunities available at the shelter. We are always in need of donations as well. Check out website to see what we are in need of the most. 

Most importantly – shower your pets with love every day! Pets are truly a part of the family and crave attention from us. Taking step to ensure they are healthy and happy will strengthen your bond. If you are considering adding a new pet to your family remember - adoption is always the best option.

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