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Animal Protection

Animal Protection 

The Animal Protection Department at La Plata County Humane Society plays a critical role in addressing cruelty to animals in the community. Through specific contracts for services, our officers enforce animal related ordinances for La Plata County and the City of Durango. Their responsibilities include protecting the public, domestic animals and livestock, as well as educating the public about responsible pet ownership.

Our Officers

Our humane Animal Protection officers are peace officers, mediators, enforcers, Certified Equine Investigators and animal cruelty investigators. They have the authority to report and seize animals, they are not “dog catchers” or animal control officers. The department serves La Plata County (Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio and Hesperus). Officers respond to concerns about animal cruelty reported through the Central Dispatch Hotline (970) 385-2900, as well as cases referred by other law enforcement agencies.

Our officers spend several hours each day out in the field, responding to calls. Their main daily task is to respond to potential situations of animal cruelty, investigate and mediate neighborhood complaints pertaining to animals. They also capture, impound, quarantine vicious wild animals capable of transmitting rabies, help the injured, promote responsible pet ownership, pet care and humane education to the community.

Signs of Animal Abuse

  • Poor body condition and noticeable trauma
  • Dogs left outside without food, water, or shelter
  • Sick or injured pet that has not been treated
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Hoarding numerous animals
  • Animals left alone in a car during extreme weather


Picking Up Your Pet

Owners whose pets are brought in by Animal Protection are required to pay an impound fee associated with their licensed or unlicensed pet at time of pick-up. Download our La Plata County Paw Laws handout to stay up-to-date with local city and county dog ordinances.

Impound & Boarding

  • Licensed Pet – $40
  • Unlicensed Pet- $60
  • Boarding – $25/day


Travis Woehrel, Director of Animal Protection (970) 259-2847 x103 or by email.


Additional Resources
La Plata County Animal Protection Codes and Violations
La Plata County Codes
La Plata County Paw Laws
Durango City Laws



La Plata County Humane Society (LPCHS) is a private 501(c)(3) organization contracted by the City of Durango and La Plata County to provide Animal Protection Service (APS) and an impound facility. 

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