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Animal Control

The Tri-Lakes Humane Society provides shelter to animals and also employs a Dog/Animal Control Officer. We are under contract for Dog/Animal Control Services and Shelter Services with local towns and villages in the Saranac Lake and Northern NY area.

If you have a question about animal/dog control laws, need assistance with a found or lost animal, or would like to file a complaint, you may call our office at 518-891-0017 to speak with our DCO/ACO. If you reach our answering machine and have an emergency or a situation that can not wait, please leave a message and then call the following:

  • Saranac Lake Police Department (518) 891-4422
  • New York State Police (Ray Brook) (518) 897-2000
  • Dial 911 to reach your county's emergency dispatch

If you have an Animal Cruelty Complaint, contact your local Police, State Police or County Sherriff's office. We do not have the authority to investigate animal cruelty complaints and all cruelty reports must be handled by the Police or Sheriff's department. The TLHS does assist the Police or Sheriff as they investigate animal cruelty cases upon request.

We provide dual Dog Control and Shelter Services within the following townships:

  • Village of Saranac Lake
  • Town of Harrietstown
  • Town of Brighton
  • Town of St. Armand
  • Town of Franklin
  • Town of Santa Clara             

Shelter Services are provided for the following Towns/Villages:

  • Village of Lake Placid
  • Town of North Elba, 
  • Town of Saranac 
  • Town of Long Lake
  • Town of Tupper Lake

Other Helpful Information

  • Every town in New York State must have a Dog Control Officer (DCO) and have a municipal dog shelter where seized dogs are brought for impoundment, or they must contract with another dog facility for shelter. The DCO enforces both NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Laws under Article 7, and any local Dog Control laws and ordinances. It is the DCO's responsibility to respond to calls in regards to stray, lost, injured, abandoned, and/or dangerous dogs that pose a public threat. All seized animals must receive humane care, shelter and emergency medical attention as required. 
  • If you find an animal, immediately contact your local DCO/ACO, local Police, Humane Society/SPCA, or animal shelter. Failure to report a found dog (or other companion/domestic animal) is illegal, and may lead to charges related to harboring stolen property. Dogs, and other animals, are considered personal property in NYS. Even if an animal is not wearing a collar or tags it may still belong to someone else, and could possibly be microchipped and registered to an owner. 
  • Be safe. Animals can be unpredictable and may bite out of fear, aggression or stress. There is no way of knowing if a stray has been vaccinated against rabies or other diseases. If you have an animal running loose in your neighborhood and it is acting aggressive or fearful, call your local Dog/Animal Control Officer, animal shelter or Police right away. DO NOT attempt to chase, grab or approach this type of animal. Call for help and give an accurate location and description of the animal.
  • Friendly animals may also pose risks to the public. Dogs may be eager to jump into a vehicle, or enter a home, and lick your hands and face. That may seem okay, however, that dog may not be vaccinated against viruses/diseases or treated for parasites like fleas, ticks or worms. If you have found an unknown dog or cat, you should not allow it to come in contact with your other animals or children. The best strategy is to keep the dog or cat in a separate room or area of your home, or outdoors on a leash or in a garage. It is a high risk to take allowing a strange dog or cat to have access to yourself, your family or your pets.
  • Owners missing their dog, or other pet, should immediately contact their local Police, Dog/Animal Control Officer, or local animal shelter to file a lost pet report. Listing lost pets in the newspapers ads, and posting flyers around the area and on social media websites, will also help to spread the word fast when a pet is missing.
  • Animal Shelters have a 5-7 day animal redemption/holding period for unidentified animals as required by New York State Law. If you fail to report your pet missing, or do not claim it within the 5-7 day period, you will relinquish ownership. This is why it is so important to call and report a lost pet, so you can be reunited as soon as possible.