Most of the local Animal Control Departments in towns all across the U.S. have the ability, necessary tools, personnel and 'know-how' to handle a wide array of animal related problems and/or concerns. The dedicated people that make up an Animal Control Department are far more than just 'dogcatchers'. They are all around problem solvers.
Some of the most common reasons to call your local Animal Control Dept. include:
1) When a pet or other animal has bitten someone
2) When a pet or other animal has bitten another pet or animal
3) When rabies or other disease/sickness is suspected of an animal or pet
4) When problems arise between neighbors concerning pets/animals
5) When animals/pets are loose or 'at large'
Other reasons to call your local Animal Control department can include calls for help from owners in need of food or other services to ensure their pet or animal is properly cared for, calls for more information and education on how to best care for a pet/animal and information about local area veternarians. Many Animal Control Departments hold a wealth of information on all topics related to pets and animals.
Some Animal Control Departments have been known to:
1) Offer a humane trap rental service which allows residents a better, more humane way of catching wild or feral cats on the person's property
2) Offer free or discounted flea dips or other flea preventions
3) Offer discounted Spay and Neuter certificates to people who already have pets
4) Offer free or affordable pet food distribution programs for lower income families
5) Offer adoptions of pets or other animals including reptiles, birds and livestock
6) Offer educational programs for children and adults on animal saftey, dog bite prevention and more
7) Offer dog or puppy training programs
8) Offer rehabilitation for pets and other animals following injuries
9) Offer fun community based events/festivals for people and their pets
10)Offer information on local animal ordinances and laws
Any of these examples or variations of are good reasons to contact your local Animal Control Department. Even if they can't help you firsthand they can direct you to another department or organization, such as the Department of Fish and Game, local Veternarians or even Pest Control companies, who can help.
Contact with your Animal Control Department can be made through your County Courthouse or City Hall. There are also some well known websites, such as petfinder.org that can put you in touch with local Animal Control or Humane Society Departments by way of a simple zip code search option.