How We Respond

Our Humane Animal Law Enforcement Officers are available 7 days per week (excluding holidays) to respond to calls and file complaints.  All complaints are prioritized depending on the nature of the call.

How we handle complains

Failure to leash a pet (cats and pigeons excluded)

  1. Communicate with the pet owner
    Often, neighborly discussions can be very helpful. Let the pet owners know that the animal was loose. Sometimes pet owners are not aware of the problem or the impacts on other residents. Try to work out a mutually agreeable and reasonable solution in a neighborly manner.
  2. Submit a complaint
    Call the Seattle Animal Shelter at (206) 386-7387 or submit a comment or non-emergency request for service. With a first complaint, a letter will be sent to the pet owner notifying them that a leash law violation complaint has been filed and that they must take appropriate steps to prevent a second incident.
  3. If the violation continues
    If the violation occurs again, please call the Shelter and speak to a representative.  A declaration form will be sent to you for you to fill out.  At the same time, an Officer will be sent to the residence to investigate.  No further enforcement action will be taken without a completed declaration.  It is important that you document the nature and the extent of the problem in the declaration.  Be thorough and honest in your documentation as you are signing this document under penalty of perjury.

    If there is a six month period between complaints regarding leash law issues, the process will return to step two and start over again. 

Unreasonable animal noise

Citizens living within the City of Seattle should expect to live with some level of noise.  Traffic, lawn mowers, construction, barking dogs or other animal noises are just a few examples. As a resident of any community we endure most of these noises. However, pet noises that are unreasonable can be reported.  First you should:

  1. Communicate with the pet owner
    Often, neighborly discussions can be very helpful. Let the pet owners know that you are disturbed by the noise. Sometimes pet owners are not aware of the problem or the impacts on other residents. Try to work out a mutually agreeable and reasonable solution in a neighborly manner.

    Strategies that may help include manners training, changing the animals' routines, maintaining the animals inside, creating visual barriers from passers-by or providing the animals with more exercise.  Allow a reasonable amount of time for a remedy by the pet owner.
  2. Submit a complaint
    Call the Seattle Animal Shelter at (206) 386-7387 or fill out the Service Request Form. On a first complaint, a letter will be sent to the pet owner notifying them that a noise complaint has been filed and that they must take appropriate steps to abate the noise created by their animal(s).
  3. If the violation continues
    If the violation occurs again, please call the Shelter and speak to a representative.  A declaration form will be sent to you for you to fill out.  At the same time, an Officer will be sent to the residence to investigate.  No further enforcement action will be taken without a completed declaration.  It is important that you document the nature and the extent of the problem in the declaration. Be thorough and honest in your documentation as you are signing this document under penalty of perjury.

    If there is a six month period between complaints regarding noise issues, the process will return to step two and start over again. 

    For more information, view the city's Noise Ordinance

Property damage caused by pets

If you are experiencing property damage caused by a neighbor's pets, first you should:

  1. Communicate with the pet owner about the damage
    Often, neighborly discussions can be very helpful. Let the pet owners know that you are experiencing property damage. Sometimes pet owners are not aware of the problem or the impacts on other residents. Try to work out a mutually agreeable and reasonable solution in a neighborly manner.
  2. Submit a complaint
    Call the Seattle Animal Shelter at (206) 386-7387 or fill out the Service Request Form. Please provide as much information as possible including where the animal resides.  An officer will investigate.
  3. Preventing future property damage.
    If you are experiencing property damage by cats, review our Outdoor Cats page.