City of College Park, Maryland

Public Services

Animal Control

The City of College Park Animal Control Officer (ACO) enforces both City and County animal laws. The ACO’s goal is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the City’s residents and animals. The ACO is on duty and patrols the City to meet variable seasonal and weekly needs.

If you need animal control assistance, please call 240-487-3570 or 240-375-3165 or email If you have an animal-related emergency and cannot reach the City’s ACO, please call Prince George’s County Animal Management Division at 301-780-7200.

Microchipping Service Now Avaliable

As a service to our citizens and to encourage reunification of lost pets and their families, College Park Animal Control is now offering microchipping for cats and dogs. The cost for this service is a one-time fee of $30.00 which includes travel to the home, implantation of the chip, and online registration with lifetime updates. If you are interested in having your pet microchipped, please contact our Animal Control Officer.  Be on the lookout for special events with FREE microchips for residents!

College Park Animal Adoption Program
In addition to routine enforcement, the city ACO also runs the City’s Adoption Program. All of our animals available for adoption can be found on:

Don’t think you’re quite ready to adopt? Think about fostering. Foster homes are a great asset to this program as it gives us an insight to the animals’ habits, manners, likes, and dislikes, and allows for placement into the best possible family.

Licensing your Pet 

Each dog, cat, or ferret over four (4) months of age needs to be licensed by Prince George’s County. This license must be renewed annually. This ordnance applies to any pet residing within the County for more than 30 days, even if the animal is licensed in another county or state. The animal must wear the license tag on its collar at all times. 

There are two ways you may purchase a license for your pet(s): 

  1. Come in and purchase the license directly from College Park City Hall at 4500 Knox Road, College Park, MD. City Hall is open 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday.  Or in person at College Park Public Works "Davis Hall" at 9217 51st Avenue,College Park, Maryland 20740.  The cashier window at Davis Hall is open Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
  2. Mail an application with payment to Animal Management Group, License Section, 3750 Brown Station Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772. 

**Be sure to provide proof of spay or neuter (if applicable) and proof of current rabies vaccination. Licenses are only $5 for spayed/neutered pets and $25 for intact pets. If your pet is not already spayed or neutered, there are several low cost programs in the area that can assist you.

Restraining your Pet

Regular exercise is essential for your pet’s good health, but it is important to uphold the City and County’s “leash law.” For health and safety reasons, both dogs and cats must be leashed when they are not on their owner’s property. Dogs and cats found unrestrained and off their property can be impounded for running at large and their owners must pay considerable redemption fees and fines.

Animals that are allowed to run at large are often a nuisance to the community. Animal control services spend time catching these wandering pets, transporting them, adopting out or euthanizing them, and removing their bodies from roadways. Health departments spend time and money locating and inoculating people who have come in contact with these “strays” for rabies and other diseases. “Outside” cats and “inside/outside” cats that are allowed to run at large are particularly problematic because they rarely have their rabies vaccination, a county license, or a collar with identification. Not only do these cats pose health risks to their humans by carrying diseases, bacteria, and fungi, but they are also harmful to local wildlife populations.

Almost every day the ACO receives calls from distressed citizens who have lost their beloved pet. Some of these cases have happy endings, but many end in pet owners never seeing their animal again. In 2012, 12% of all calls received were regarding a misssing pet.

Cleaning up after your Pet

Animal waste is not allowed to endure on any property.  Pet owners are responsible for immediately removing their animal’s waste on other’s private property and on public property, and disposing of it appropriately.  Pet owners must also clean up waste on their own property.  Excessive waste on one’s property is not only a health hazard, but can attract rats and produce an unpleasant odor (particularly in the summer time).  

Proper care for your Pet

There are a variety of standards by which all pets must be kept in order to keep them safe and healthy.  If dogs or cats are kept outside unattended they must have clean water available at all times, proper shelter to protect them, and proper space in which to move.  Pets are also entitled to appropriate veterinary care when needed.  Not providing these things for your pet is considered animal cruelty and neglect.  For a list of these standards read the Prince George’s County“Proper Care Standards for Enforcement of Anti-Cruelty Laws”


An abundance of wildlife can be found in the City of College Park. deer, groundhog, raccoon, squirrel, opossum, fox, geese, and bats, among others.  These creatures often seek refuge in local neighborhoods because of habitat loss due to increasing development.  Living near humans provides wild animals with a wealth of unnatural food sources (trash, pet food, gardens, etc.) and artificial living quarters (sheds, attics, chimneys, etc.) While some people have never had any problems with wildlife, others have had negative experiences with wild animals disturbing their house or yard. 

Trapping most wildlife requires a permit from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR). The ACO currently holds a Wildlife Damage Control Operator’s Permit through the MD DNR.  The ACO will trap wildlife at his/her own discretion.  The ACO will not trap wildlife outside unless the animal is posing a direct threat to public safety. 

Trapping is often a source of controversy because trapped animals must be either euthanized or relocated with landowner permission.  Moving an animal to a more “wild” area may sound like a good idea, but relocated animals typically have a lower rate of survival due to an inability to find new food sources and den sites.  For more information on trapping read “Think Before You Trap”

Many wildlife problems can be dealt with by taking simple measures, usually involving the removal of the wildlife “attractant” such as securing accessible trash cans or doing away with pet food left outside.  Other wildlife problem-solving tactics require trial and error and occasionally must result in the removal of the animal.  The Animal Control Officer can provide citizens with information and/or literature on how to solve a variety of wildlife problems.

Rats in our community?

Information Regarding Animal Control Laws

Pet Care

Medical Care and Information

Adoption/Lost & Found Information

Wildlife Information

Additional Resources