Animal Services Unit
Lieutenant Mike Dougherty
Animal Services Supervisor:
The Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Unit is responsible for the enforcement of County Ordinances and State Statutes which relate to animals for the entire county area, to include the City of Stuart. This responsibility falls on Supervisor Karen Kneubehl, Animal Control Officers Michelle Thonney, Kimberly Guile, Heather Belknap, Dawn Hicks and Jordan Grose.
These duties range from; picking up sick or injured animals, both wild and domestic, investigating cruelty or improper care complaints, animal bites, rabies control, the investigation of animal nuisance complaints and picking up stray animals. With more than 30,000 registered pets in Martin County, the education of those pet owners on responsible pet ownership is a primary mission of the unit, along with public health and safety.
The Animal Services Unit works closely with the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast, which is the holding facility for all animals impounded by the unit and strays brought in by the public. The Humane Society will take all lost and found pet information over the phone and handle all adoptions and the local spay and neuter programs. The Spay and Neuter “Animobile” may be contacted at 772-223-8822 ext. 0.
All sick or injured wildlife impounded by the unit will be taken to the Treasure Coast Wildlife Hospital for rehabilitation and possible release back into the wild. All wildlife nuisance complaints will be referred to a licensed trapper. An excellent source of information concerning wildlife is the Florida Wildlife Commission website. The Animal Services Unit does not respond to nuisance wildlife complaints.
Animal licensing fees are collected by the Martin County Tax Collector’s Office. The current registration fee for an un-sterilized animal without a microchip is $75.00 annually, a sterilized animal without a microchip is $20.00 annually and a sterilized animal with a microchip is $10.00 annually. Please note: you must supply a copy of the animal's Rabies Vaccination to obtain a license. “Dangerous Dog” registration is $50.00 annually.
The County Pet Licensing Program, can be found here.
The Martin County Board of County Commissioners has adopted a local ordinance that governs the fines applicable with regards to animal violations. A copy of this ordinance can be accessed here.