Animal Investigations & Complaints


Whom Should I Call With Animal-Related Complaints?

Madison County Animal Care and Control Officers enforce state and county animal control and welfare laws in unincorporated areas of Madison County. These laws are designed to: 

  • Protect citizens from rabies
  • Protect animals from rabies & other health hazards, neglect, inhumane treatment, and abuse
  • Protect citizens from intimidation and injury from dogs and other animals
  • Encourage responsible pet ownership
  • Assess penalties for violators

MCACC investigates complaints in UNINCORPORATED areas of the County. The types of complaints we respond to include:

  • animal neglect
  • animal cruelty
  • animals allowed to run loose by their owners
  • injured wildlife
  • animals in peril
  • animal bites to humans
  • dogs threatening or attacking humans or other animals
  • illegal ownership of dangerous animals

Making a Complaint about an Animal in your Neighborhood

To have an animal-related complaint investigated in a town, contact your local police department.

Making a Complaint about an Animal in an Unincorporated Area of the County

Contact our office with the following information:

  • Your name, address, and phone number. This information is kept strictly confidential. It will not be disclosed to anyone. It is required so the Officer responding to the complaint can contact you for more information or to follow up.
  • The owner's name, address, and phone number. The more information you can provide about the owner, the faster the complaint can be resolved. We do require an exact address in order to respond to a complaint. Look for the address on the mailbox or house.
  • A major intersection near the owner's address. This helps the Officer quickly locate the address.
  • Information about the animal. The species, breed, sex, color, age, etc.
  • The specifics of your complaint. If animals are allowed to run loose, when are they usually out? If an animal is being abused, what specifically is being done to the animal?

What do I do if an animal bites me?

Any time a domestic animal bites a human, it must be observed for rabies by a veterinarian. Wild animals that bite humans must be euthanized and tested for disease.

  • Have someone confine or keep track of the animal and contact your police or animal control department.  
  • If this is not possible, report as much of the following information to your police or animal control department as possible: 

    • owner's name, address, and phone number
    • animal's rabies tag number, year, and county
    • type/breed of animal
    • color
    • size/approximate weight
    • sex 
  • Immediately flush the bite wound with soap and water for five minutes. In the unlikely event of rabies exposure, this will greatly reduce the chance of infection.
  • You should then seek medical attention.

What should I do about wild animals?

Some animal species, such as skunks, raccoons, opossums, deer, squirrels, ground squirrels, woodchucks (groundhogs), Canada geese, foxes and coyotes have adapted well to living among humans and use them as a valuable resource (for food, shelter, etc.).

If the animals residing on your property are not doing any damage, you may want to allow them to stay. It will be very difficult for them to find another place to live if you evict them. Unfortunately, some people have problems with property damage caused by wild animals and others are uncomfortable with the idea of wild animals taking up residence on their property.  Madison County Animal Care & Control is not equipped to assist in efforts to remove or relocate wild animals; but here are a few regional resources that can be contacted to assist with the efforts:

Bi-State Wildlife Hotline, Inc   (855) 945-3435
Treehouse Widlife Center  (618) 466-2990
Metro-East Wildlife Control  (618) 488-7409
 (618) 301-0625
The Bat Guy  (217) 710-2919 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR), located at Horseshoe Lake State Park  can answer your questions on wildlife and permits.  Contact Ben Funk at (618) 931-0270.

Please refer to the University of IL Extension Living With Wildlife page for information on native wildlife and what you can do.