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WCSO Animal Control

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Animal control service is provided by the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office and is a statutory responsibility of all Michigan counties. The Sheriff's Office employs Animal Control Officers who respond to requests for service throughout Washtenaw County. These officers are supported with expert assistance from the Humane Society of Huron Valley with investigations of suspected animal cruelty. The first available animal control officer will respond to each concern. In urgent cases involving vicious stray dogs that pose an immediate threat, a Sheriff's Deputy may also be dispatched to help control the situation. Ypsilanti Township has adopted a comprehensive animal control law for the protection of residents and animals alike.


Dogs at Large

It is unlawful to be the owner of a dog which runs at large.


Nuisance Animals

An animal shall be considered a nuisance if any of the following occurs:

(1) By the frequent barking, howling, yelping, growling or making other noises shall unreasonably interfere with the quiet enjoyment of persons in the vicinity.

(2) Chases or snaps at a pedestrian, bicyclist or vehicle.

(3) Defecates on private or public property, other than its owner's, and the animal owner fails to remove the feces deposited by the animal.

(4) Attacks or bites a person. The person must be lawfully on the property where the attack or bite occurs. This subsection does not apply to an animal tormented or provoked by the person.

(5) Attacks or bites a domesticated animal while the domesticated animal is on its owner's property or under the lawful control of its owner.

(6) Charges a person in a manner that restricts the person's freedom of movement by placing the person in reasonable fear of an imminent attack. The person must be lawfully on the property where the charge occurs. This subsection does not apply to an animal tormented by the person.

(7) Molests passers-by or persons on adjoining property by viciously, continuously, and aggressively barking or growling unless the dog is securely confined in a manner which ensures that the dog cannot escape the premises.

(8) Causes an offensive stench, odor or smell which extends into the property of another. This provision shall not apply to farm animals (horses, cattle, sheep and chickens).


Stray nuisance animals and dogs are prohibited and may be seized and impounded to the Humane Society of Huron Valley.


Dog Tethering to Stationary Objects

It shall be unlawful for a person to tether, fasten, chain, tie or restrain a dog or cause such restraining of a dog, to a tree, fence, post, dog house or other stationary object on a tethering device which is less than three times the length of the dog. The length of the dog shall be measured from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. The weight of the collar shall not exceed more than one-eighth of the dog's body weight and shall not, due to weight, inhibit the free movement of the dog. The tethering shall not cause injury to the dog or entanglement with fixed objects such as fences, trees, or other manmade or natural obstacles. Violation of the animal control law is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a $500 fine.


Mandatory Pit Bull Spay/Neuter

All Pit Bull type dogs are required to be spayed or neutered.

Pit Bull Ordinance 2012-427

Spay/neuter services may be obtained from a private veterinarian or from the Humane Society of Huron Valley. Pit bull means a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier or any mixed breed dog displaying five out of the following eight distinguishing characteristics:

(1) Head is medium length, with a broad skull and very pronounced cheek muscles, a wide, deep muzzle, a well-defined, moderately deep stop, and strong under jaw. Viewed from the front the head is shaped like a broad, blunt wedge.

(2) Eyes are round to almond shaped, are low in the skull and set far apart.

(3) Ears are set high. Un-cropped ears are short and usually held rose or half prick, though some hold them at full prick.

(4) Neck is heavy and muscular, attached to strong, muscular shoulders.

(5) Body is muscular, with a deep, broad chest, a wide front, deep brisket, well-sprung ribs, and slightly tucked loins.

(6) Tail is medium length and set low, thick at the base, tapering to a point.

(7) Hindquarters are well muscled, with hocks, set low on the legs.

(8) Coat is a singled coat, smooth, short and close to the skin.


No person may own, keep, reside with or harbor a pit bull within the Township that is not spayed or not neutered. The following exceptions apply:

(1) Pit bull puppies 16 weeks or younger;

(2) Any dog examined by a licensed Humane Society of Huron Valley veterinarian, which is certified as having less than five of the characteristics set forth.

(3) A pit bull which is registered with the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club and participates at least once a year in a dog show sponsored by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club. A dog owner who presents proof of AKC or UKC registration and participation on an annual basis in an AKC or UKC dog show is exempt from the neutering and spaying requirements of this section.

(4) A pit bull with a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition whose health will be seriously, permanently and detrimentally affected if it is spayed or neutered. 

Contact Animal Control



Contact Treasurer's Office
All dogs older than four months of age must be licensed by the Treasurer's Office and vaccinated to protect against rabies.

734-544-4000 #3

Contact Humane Society of Huron Valley
All dogs picked up by Washtenaw County Animal Control are turned over to Humane Society of Huron Valley.
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Charter Township of Ypsilanti  •  7200 S. Huron River Dr. Ypsilanti, Mi 48197  •  (734) 544 - 4000

Mon. - Fri., 8:30am - 4:30pm  •  Closed 12:00pm - 1:00pm daily