Animal Control

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 March 2015 15:14

Animal Control is handled by Code Enforcement Officers who respond to complaints and perform routine patrols of the city to ensure that animal regulations are being followed.  If you live in Pullman and have pets, or are moving to Pullman with pets, check out the information below.  Abiding by the rules keeps people and pets safe! 

Rabies Vaccine

All dogs or cats older than six months of age must have a current rabies vaccination.  Proof of vaccination shall be in the form of a veterinarian’s certificate and is required for city licensing.  Dog owners shall make sure their dog(s) and/or cat(s) receive(s) routine rabies vaccinations.


Dog licenses are required for all dogs over six months of age that have also resided in the city limits for more than 30 days.  For licensing details and instructions, click here.  Cats are not required to be licensed, but can be licensed if the owner wishes to do so.

Leash Law

All dogs are required to be securely leashed while off of the owner’s private property.  Leashing pets helps protect the safety of your dog as well as others. 

Dog Park

The Whitman County Humane Society opened an off leash "Pooch Park" in 2013, providing a safe atmosphere to allow dogs to run and play.  There are no other areas within the city limits where dogs can be exercised off-leash.


Penalities for common animal control violations:

What to do if you find a stray dog

If an animal is wearing identification, you m ay attempt to contact the owner or contact non-emergency dispatch at 332-2521 to file a report.  If an Animal Control Officer is on duty, we will take custody of the animal and try to find the owner.  If the animal cannot be returned to the owner, it will be transported to the Whitman County Humane Society where it is held for the owner for seven days.  If no one claims the animal, it will be available for adoption.     

What to do if your dog is missing

Contact the Whitman County Humane Society to see if the dog was taken there as a stray.  If not, contact the Pullman Police Department to see if your dog was encountered during the day, and to leave the dog’s description and your contact information so that you can be updated/contacted if your pet is spotted or taken into custody.  

Steps to take if your dog was impounded at the Whitman County Humane Society

Once your dog has been taken to the Whitman County Humane Society by a citizen, or by animal control, your dog will need to be in compliance with city rabies and licensing requirements before it is released.  In all cases where dogs residing within Pullman city limits are taken to the shelter, an Authorization to Release Impounded Animal form must be obtained from the Pullman Police Department.

  1. If your dog is currently vaccinated and licensed, you will need to obtain an Authorization to Release Impounded Animal form from the Pullman Police Department to show to the Whitman County Humane Society staff.
  2. If your dog is currently vaccinated but not licensed, you will need to bring proof of a current vaccine to the Pullman Police Department and purchase your city dog license.  You will be given an Authorization to Release Impounded Animal form to give to Whitman County Humane Society staff.   
  3. If your dog is neither vaccinated nor licensed, you will need to come to the Pullman Police Department and purchase a $5 temporary tag.  You will receive an Authorization to Release Impounded Animal form, which is also an agreement that you will bring your dog into compliance within 30 days from the date on the authorization form.

As always, additional fines may be assessed depending on the circumstances surrounding impound.  The Whitman County Humane Society also applies fees according to their own private polices.  Purposeful compliance with animal control regulations is the best way to avoid this sometimes inconvenient and expensive process or reclaiming your pet.            

Places where Dogs are Prohibited

Dogs are prohibited in Fairmount Cemetery, Lawson Gardens, the ponds at Sunnyside Park, and the Harrison Street Tot Lot.

Cleaning Up After Pets

Dog owners are responsible for cleaning up after pets in public places and are required to carry with them the materials needed for doing so.  Pullman’s Nuisance Ordinance also prohibits the buildup of animal waste on private property.  Thank you in advance for taking pride in our city, and cleaning up after your pet!   

Animal noise

Pullman’s animal noise ordinance is enforced 24 hours a day.  As with any other audible nuisance, animal noise can be seriously disturbing to those within hearing range of a barking dog.  Dog owners should be mindful that not all people have the same level of tolerance for animal noise and should take measures to prevent their animal(s) from disturbing the public.  

Dog Bites

Dog bites are an unpleasant experience indeed.  Any time a dog bites a person, there is a chance of contracting diseases.  To minimize this risk, be sure to treat all dog bites seriously.  There are a number of steps to follow if you are the victim of a dog bite, or the owner of a dog that has bitten someone.

If you are bitten; seek medical attention, and report the bite to Animal Control.  If your dog bites someone; stay calm.  Be sure the victim seeks medical attention, and report the bite to Animal Control.  Animals that have bitten and broken the skin will need to be quarantined to make certain that they are not exhibiting any signs of ill health.

Dangerous/Vicious Animals

Generally, any animal (dog, cat, etc.) that has bitten or attacked a person or another animal unprovoked can be considered a dangerous animal.  The City of Pullman does not discriminate against any particular breeds and all vicious animal complaints are handled in the same manner.  Animals that have been declared dangerous are required to be muzzled and securely leashed when away from the owner’s property.  
Vicious behavior includes, but is not limited to:  

Cat Regulations

Cats are not regulated by city code, except that they are required to be vaccinated against rabies.  Cats are permitted to roam freely, and stray cats will not be taken in by animal control or the Whitman County Humane Society, unless the animal has a serious injury and the owner is unknown.  

Zoning limitations on type/number of animals & fowl

Household pets include: dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils, caged birds, or other pets normally housed within a home.  The number of pets allowed inside a home is limited to 3 dogs, 3 cats, a combination of 4 dogs and cats, or 4 rabbits.

Large domestic animals include: horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and other grazing or foraging animals.  Fowl includes chickens, geese and ducks.  Keeping large domestic animals or fowl within the city limits require an application be submitted to the Planning Department for approval.  The decision to allow large domestic animals or fowl is determined by lot size, location of pens within the lot, and compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood.  For more details on this subject see PCC 17.35.050, or contact the planning department at 338-3213.          

Animal welfare and prevention of cruelty

Washington State has strict laws regarding the prevention of cruelty to animals.  Acts which fall under cruelty to animals include, but are not limited to:

If you witness any of these acts or a suspicious circumstance, do not hesitate to report them to Pullman Police Department Animal Control for review.  For more specific information, visit RCW 16.52

Potentially dangerous wild animals

In most cases, it is illegal to possess, propagate or provide entertainment with deleterious exotic wildlife.  Examples of potentially dangerous wildlife include; bears, “big cats,” nonhuman primates, most poisonous snakes and vipers, all species of the order crocodilia.  For more information and an exhaustive list of potentially dangerous wildlife, visit RCW 16.30