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Rescue

In 2018, Humane Law & Rescue responded to over 8,000 calls about animals in need, and rescued over 1,100 abused and neglected animals.

Frequently Asked Questions - Humane Law & Rescue

Below are questions frequently asked about New Orleans Humane Law & Rescue. 

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What do I do if I see an animal in distress?

What do I do if I see a stray in my neighborhood?

What do I do if I see an animal trapped in a hot car?

What do I do if I need to dispose of animal remains?

What do I do if I have a wildlife issue?

How do I get a feral cat(s) removed from my property?

What pets are legal and illegal to own in Orleans Parish?

How often should I vaccinate my pet against rabies?

Is it against the law for me to have my dog off-leash when walking my dog?

What happens to the stray animals that are picked up and taken to the shelter?

What happens if I lose my pet and it ends up at the shelter; how do I reclaim my pet?

Can I keep my dog in my yard on a chain?

What is considered adequate shelter for my dog that lives outside? 

Is it legal to have chickens within Orleans Parish? 

What are the requirements for keeping a horse or mule within Orleans Parish?

Are feral cats (community cats) allowed to roam freely?

What does the law say about mule carriages? 

 

What do I do if I see an animal in distress? 

If you live in Orleans Parish, call New Orleans Humane Law & Rescue at 504.368.5191 ext. 100. We have a dispatch officer on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls will be responded to in the appropriate manner. Animals in distress are responded to immediately. If your pet is in need of emergency care outside of annual vaccinations please visit a veterinary clinic. The Louisiana SPCA is not equipped to provide care to your pet beyond basic wellness services.

If you live outside of Orleans Parish here are some nearby animal control agencies that you can call:

Jefferson Parish Animal Control: West Bank 504.349.5111 / East Bank 504.736.6111
Kenner Animal Control: 504.468.7503
St. Bernard Parish - 504.278.1534
Plaquemines Parish - 504.392.1601
St. Tammany Parish - 985.809.0183


What do I do if I see a stray in my neighborhood?

If you live in Orleans Parish call New Orleans Humane Law & Rescue at 504.368.5191 ext. 100. We have a dispatcher on staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls will be responded to in the appropriate manner. Animals in distress are responded to immediately.

We take animals in 24 hours a day. Please note that since Orleans Parish ordinances permit cats to roam freely, we are only able to pick up stray cats if they are ill or injured. If you have a friendly stray dog or cat that you would like to personally bring to the shelter, we will have a staff member on-site to assist you.
If you live outside of Orleans Parish here are some nearby animal control agencies that you might call:

Jefferson Parish Animal Control: West Bank 504.349.5111/East Bank 504.736.6111
Kenner Animal Control: 504.468.7503
St. Bernard Parish - 504.278.1534
Plaquemines Parish - 504.392.1601
St. Tammany Parish - 985.809.0183

 

What do I do if I see an animal trapped in a hot car?

If you find an animal trapped in a hot car, there are several steps you need to take to ensure the animal's safety.

  • First, call out for the animal's owner. Explore in a 30-foot radius around the car to search for the owner. 
  • If you cannot find the owner, next you should call 911 or Humane Law & Rescue at 504.368.5191 to alert emergency services of the situation. If you live outside Orleans Parish, please contact your local animal control services.
  • Enter the vehicle to remove the animal from danger.
  • Once the animal is safe in your care, write a note to leave for the vehicle owner letting them know that appropriate authorities have been contacted. Leave your contact information, your reason for entry into the vehicle, and the location of your animal.
  • Once you have completed these steps, remain in a safe location with the animal while you wait for emergency personnel to arrive.

Louisiana's Good Samaritan Law, also known as Act No. 360, went into effect on August 1, 2018, and protects you from civil liability in the event of a necessary rescue of an animal or minor left alone in a car. It provides immunity from liability for property damage or trespass to a motor vehicle if the damage was caused while rescuing a minor or animal in distress. We encourage you the read the entirety of the law here.

 

What do I do if I need to dispose of animal remains? 

The sanitation contractor in your neighborhood(with the exception of Waste Management) can dispose of your pet’s remains. If you see a deceased animal on Orleans Parish public roads, notify the Orleans Parish Sanitation Department at 504.658.3800. Richard’s Disposal also services a portion of Orleans Parish. For a map of their route please click here.  Richard’s instructions for animal removal are: “Dogs, cats and other small animals will only be collected from households and small businesses if the animal is put in a bag and brought to the curb for collection with solid waste. Richard’s Disposal will not go on private property for collection of dead animals. If you notify Richard’s Disposal of your need before noon they will remove the animal the same day.” Another option is Metro Disposal. Their instructions are: “Dogs, cats and other small animals weighing less than 25 pounds will only be collected from households and small businesses if the animal is put in a plastic bag and brought to the curb for collection. In the event that such animals are discovered on City streets, contact 311 to have the animal removed.” Click here to view their service area.

If you live in Jefferson Parish, the sanitation department handles the pick-up of deceased animals. Please call 504.736.6440 to schedule a pick-up.

 

What do I do if I have a wildlife issue?

We recommend first calling Wildlife & Fisheries at 800.442.2511 for dispatch or 504.284.2023 for their local office.

New Orleans Humane Law & Rescue can remove wildlife for a fee. Wildlife is considered to be any species that has not been domesticated; this includes raccoons, opossums, birds, snakes, foxes or coyotes. For safety reasons, we will not remove wildlife from attics, regardless if it is trapped or confined. The fee to remove or surrender wildlife is $100 for each animal.

 

How do I get a feral cat(s) removed from my property? 

Orleans Parish ordinances permit cats to roam freely, so New Orleans Humane Law & Rescue only picks up sick or injured cats. Please visit our Feral Cat FAQs page for more information on Feral Cat management.

You can fill out an NOHLR Animal Complaint Form here or call us at 504.368.5191 ext. 100 to alert us to the location of sick or injured cats. You can submit a Feral Cat Assistance Form here to determine eligibility for removal of feral cats from your neighborhood.

 

What pets are legal and illegal to own in Orleans Parish?

Domestic dogs (canis lupis familiaris) and domestic cats (felis catus) are legal to own in Orleans Parish, in addition to ferrets, rabbits, box or aquatic turtles, laboratory rats and skunks which have been bred and raised in captivity which have never known the wild, and pocket pets or rodents including, but not limited to, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, chinchillas, sugar gliders or hedgehogs. Certain snakes, reptiles and other herps are also permissible to own in Orleans Parish. You may not own any venomous or constricting snake, or any snake that will grow to an adult size of greater than 3 feet.

Wild or exotic animals are illegal to own in Orleans Parish. Wild or exotic animals includes any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, coyote, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx, serval cat, or any other warm-blooded mammal not otherwise defined; any venomous or constricting snake, any snake that will grow to an adult size of greater than 3 feet; any tarantula which can normally be found in the wild state; any member of crocodilian, including, but not limited to, alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gharials; any exotic animal hybrid; or any rooster, cockerel, cock or chanticleer.

 

How often should I vaccinate my pet against rabies?

Your pet must visit a licensed veterinarian annually to receive all vaccines determined necessary by the veterinarian, including the rabies vaccine. If your veterinarian administers a three-year rabies vaccine, it is the responsibility of the owners to keep the license and tag updated annually and have the current tag attached to the pet’s collar at all times.

 

Is it against the law for me to have my dog off-leash when walking my dog?

Yes. Dogs which are properly licensed and vaccinated as stipulated in the ordinances may be allowed outside of an enclosure if under a secure leash and accompanied by their owner or keeper, but are not allowed to trespass upon any public or private property. If you are walking your dog, your dog must be secured by leash. Designated dog parks or “off-leash” areas are exempt from the provisions of this section.

The area of City Park known as NOLA City Bark generally bounded by Zachary Taylor Drive, Diagonal Drive, and Magnolia Drive is such an exempted area.

 

What happens to the stray animals that are picked up and taken to the shelter?

Seized animals will be held at the shelter for a period of three days to allow the owner to claim them. If the animal is wearing an identification collar and a tag with the owner’s name and address, the shelter will extend the hold to seven days.

If after this period of time the animal has not been claimed, the animal becomes the property of the shelter.

 

What happens if I lose my pet and it ends up at the shelter; how do I reclaim my pet?

Once your pet arrives at the shelter, it will be fed and taken care of during its stray hold. As such, in order to reclaim your pet, you will have to pay a fee to cover the costs of our care of the pet during its time in stray hold. You will also need to provide proof of vaccination in order to reclaim your pet. Your veterinarian can provide this information to us. If your pet is not fixed, you will need to get your pet spayed/neutered, which can be done at our Community Clinic. If you do not wish to get your pet fixed, you will need to apply and register for an Intact Permit, which must be renewed annually. The cost to reclaim your pet varies based on length of time spent in the shelter, intact status, and vaccination status. Pet owners reclaiming their pets can expect to pay $25 dollars per day their pet spent at the shelter to cover boarding and food costs, plus any costs associated with vaccinations, medical treatments, microchipping, or surgeries.

 

Can I keep my dog in my yard on a chain?

No. It is illegal to tether (tie up/chain) a dog. A dog may be restrained to an overhead running line, pulley, or trolley system under specific conditions as outlined in the Orleans Parish Animal Ordinances. The length of the tether must be at least 4 times the length of the dog, plus provide 12 inches of slack when the dog lays flat on the ground with their head down. An intact (unfixed/unaltered) dog may NOT be tethered at any time. All dogs must be removed from tethers between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

 

What is considered adequate shelter for my dog that lives outside?

Dogs that reside outdoors must have a shelter composed of 5 solid sides (4 walls and a roof) to provide protection against heat, cold and rain. The shelter should be placed in an area free of debris, feces (waste/poop), and standing water. The shelter must be elevated so that no standing water enters.

A shelter should also be large enough for the animal to stand, turn around, and lie down on the inside without touching the sides or top of the shelter.

A kennel or crate intended for indoor use is not considered adequate outdoor shelter for an animal.

 

Is it legal to have chickens within Orleans Parish?

Roosters are NOT permitted within Orleans Parish. Hens are permitted as long as they have proper housing that is kept clean and sanitary.

 

What are the requirements for keeping a horse or mule within Orleans Parish?

 Horses or mules that are housed or stabled within Orleans Parish must file the following information with New Orleans Humane Law & Rescue:

  • Name of the owner
  • Number and kind of animals housed or stabled on the premises
  • Address of place (street and number) where the animals are stabled
  • Proof of annual negative Coggins' test result
  • Proof of annual vaccinations including Eastern and Western Encephalitis, West Nile virus, and rabies
  • Any other information as NOHLR may deem necessary for the enforcement of proper sanitary regulations on the premises

This information is required for equines residing in Orleans Parish and any equine exhibited or used for transportation in parades.

 

Are feral cats (community cats) allowed to roam freely?

Yes. Community cats, which are feral cats that have been spayed/neutered (fixed) and ear-tipped, are allowed to roam outside so long as the cats do not prove to be a nuisance to neighbors. Any ear-tipped cat brought to the shelter shall be released back where it was found, unless it is suffering from an obvious injury or illness. All privately owned indoor/outdoor cats must be microchipped or ear-tipped.

 

What does the law say about mule carriages?

The current requirements for working mules can be found in Sections 162-542 through 162-548 in the Code of Ordinances of the City of New Orleans and are enforced through a partnership between the Louisiana SPCA and Department of Safety and Permits.  Mules can only work for four hours at a time, and must take 15 minute breaks in between tours to rest and hydrate. When the National Weather Service declares a heat advisory, all owned animals must be brought inside, and working animals must cease work until the advisory ends. When the temperature is above 95.0 degrees or the heat index is 105.0 or more, carriage operation must be suspended.

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In 2018 our Humane Law & Rescue Officers completed over 3,400 investigations into claims of animal cruelty and neglect.

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