Pet Tails: Meet your Animal Control team

Do you know what to do if you see a dog running loose? What about a cat you suspect is being abused?

The Brown County Animal Control officers want you to know they are here to help you and your pets.

“We respond to concerns or complaints from members of the community,” said Amanda Sisson, one of the two Brown County Animal Control officers, along with Justin Irvine.

If you suspect that a pet is being neglected or abused, you should call Animal Control right away.

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Some signs of abuse or neglect include poor body condition, lack of food and water or evidence of physical trauma. If you see a pet exhibiting these signs, call Animal Control and they will have an officer inspect the pet and its living situation.

It is important to know that Animal Control cannot take possession of a pet based on a phone call.

“We have to contact the owner and see for ourselves if neglect has occurred,” Sisson said. “We’ll check up on the animal to see if the condition improves or see if we can find definite proof of abuse.”

Animal Control often gets calls about dogs “running at large.” Brown County does not have a leash law requiring dogs be kept on leashes, but the law does state that dogs need to remain on their owner’s property.

“Again, if we get a call about a dog running loose, we have to see the dog is off of the property ourselves before we can do something,” Sisson said.

One misconception about Brown County Animal Control is that they take care of situations involving wild animals.

“We only deal with domestic animals, no wildlife,” Sisson said. “If someone calls in about a deer, we have to pass that along to a conservation officer because we do not have a license to handle wildlife.”

There are some occasions when you may want to contact both Animal Control and the Brown County Humane Society. If you have lost a pet, it is best to inform both organizations.

“The shelter and Animal Control work hand in hand on lots of issues,” Sisson said. “For example, if I get a call about a pet that needs to be spayed, I always provide the number for S.P.O.T. The shelter will also contact us if there are issues we need to handle.”

If you need to contact Animal Control, you should call the sheriff’s department. For a non-urgent situation, you can leave Animal Control a voicemail and the officers will respond by the next day.

For urgent matters, dispatch can put you directly in touch with an officer. The number for the sheriff’s department is 812-988-6655.

— Brown County Humane Society

Lost pet?

Call us 812-988-7362 to report, and read our tips online at

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