Dept. of Animal Control

The Humane Society of St. Joseph County operates the Department of Animal Control to ensure the safety and welfare of not only our community’s animals but also the people that they may come into contact with. The Department of Animal Control is contracted to perform animal control and sheltering services for St. Joseph County, Mishawaka City, and the towns of Osceola, Lakeville, New Carlisle, North Liberty, Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, and Holy Cross. We do not service South Bend city limits.

Each Animal Control Officer is extensively trained in not only understanding animals but animal law unique to both Indiana and our community. ACOs typically complete an extensive three to six month training program that covers everything from breed identification, large animal rescue through criminal law and judicial procedures. To further the expertise of our ACOs, we invest in their education by sending them to training seminars taught by the National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA). These NACA certified ACOs learn a wide variety of skills including body condition scoring, safety and survival in the field, investigative report writing, case and trial preparation, large scale impounds, and disaster planning.

We take great pride in providing our community the highest quality of client and animal control services. To purchase a pet license, various animal related permits, surrender owned or stray animals, make a complaint or report a bite, please visit our office at 2506 Grape Rd., Mishawaka, IN or call us at (574) 255-4726. An Animal Control Officer or Client Care team member will be happy to help you.



  • Visitors are asked to call prior to visiting the shelter. This allows us to identify what services we can assist you with in a timely fashion. Appointments are preferred for all stray animal surrenders and required for all owner surrendered animals.
  • The animal control lobby is available for: stray animal intake, lost pet walk-throughs, purchasing licenses/permits, and pet redemptions.
  • To protect shelter staff and community members, guests are expected to practice social distancing. Please keep animals close to you. Masks are not required but highly recommended.
  • Owners wishing to surrender a pet must have an appointment before they will be allowed to surrender. Visit our website at to submit an Owner Surrender pet survey. After receiving this survey, we will contact you to discuss a surrender appointment.
  • If you have experienced respiratory illness or have been exposed to others who have been ill within the last two weeks DO NOT ENTER. Call us from your vehicle at (574) 255-4726 ext 0 for assistance.

This policy may be updated or altered as needed during the COVID-19 crisis. Please call if you have questions at (574) 255-4726 ext 0.