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winnebago county animal services is a department of Winnebago County government covering more than 500 square miles and serving the more than 280,000 residents who call Winnebago County home. We provide a number of services including pet licensing and registration, veterinary care to animals in need, animal welfare and cruelty investigations, pet adoptions, and more.  

The Animal Services department cares for an average of 4,000 animals each year, serves all municipalities, and is the only government run animal services/animal sheltering organization in the county.  We work to find homes for pets not reclaimed by their owners. If you are considering adoption we encourage you to view our adoptable pet listings, which are automatically updated every few minutes throughout the day.  If you don’t find the pet you’re looking for at Animal Services, also consider visiting other nonprofit shelters and rescues in the community. 

hours / contact

Shelter/Lobby Hours:
Monday: 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday-Friday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday: CLOSED
*Please note, all adoptions end 30 minutes prior to closing.

Patrol Hours:
Daily: 7:00 AM. – 12:00 AM (midnight)

Phone: (815) 319-4100
Fax: (815) 319-4101

Main Shelter

4517 North Main Street
Rockford, IL 61103

our services

In addition to pet adoption, WCAS offers services to help keep the pets and people of Winnebago County safe and healthy.

Pet Registration

Pet registration is required by law and a great way to help your pet get back home if they become lost. Plus, these fees fund our services.

Animal Welfare & Investigations

Our team investigates animal welfare and safety concerns. We also offer outreach and education about responsible pet ownership.

Vaccinations & Rabies Control

Regular vaccination is required for all cats and dogs and helps keep our pets and community healthy. Our team investigates bite incidents to prevent the spread of the rabies virus.

Spay/Neuter & TNR

Spaying/neutering pets helps prevent pet overpopulation in our community. Learn more about spay/neutering and our trap-neuter-return (TNR) program to control barn and feral cat populations.




Male | 7 yearsTerrier, Pit Bull
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Female | 2 yearsTerrier, Pit Bull
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Male | 6 yearsChihuahua, Short Coat
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Female | 2 monthsDomestic Medium Hair
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Male | 10 yearsDomestic Shorthair
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consider adopting?

add a furry member to your family

Winnebago County Animal Services works to find happy and healthy homes for adoptable dogs, cats, and other animals. We make finding and bringing home your new family member easy and affordable.


interested in becoming a foster?

Fostering is a wonderful and rewarding way to help animals who require a little extra attention and care before they are able to be adopted into a permanent home.

we’re social animals

join our pack

🐾We want to give a HUGE shout out and thank you to Kaye at Bark On Mulford for donating an amazing 44 collars, 4 harnesses, 7 leashes, and 2... car harnesses to Winnebago County Animal Services!!! We truly appreciate your support! Thank you SO much!!!🐾

If you’ve been working from home, your dog has probably gotten very accustomed to the new routine and loves being promoted to coworker ...status. When your schedule changes and you start leaving the house again, your pup might be confused. Here are some fantastic tips to help set you and your pup up for success!

• If you haven't done it already, get a crate for your dog to stay in. It'll ensure they don't destroy anything when you leave. Beginning to crate train now will ensure your pup is fine in a crate when the time comes to go back to work.

• If your dog does not need to be crated, begin creating some boundaries around yourself and cut down on the amount of attention you're showing them. Encourage alone time by offering them chew toys bought especially for this alone time.

• Be boring. Your presence should not influence their excitement at all. Whether you're home or not home, not much should change for your pup.

• Keep your feeding and walking routines in place. Normalcy goes a long way to help dogs be less anxious when you're not home so much.

• Don't make a big deal of coming and going. Leave with intention, don't linger saying goodbye and making a big deal of it. When you return, do 10 things before greeting your pup. This plays into your presence having no influence on their situation.

• If long hours are in your future, consider researching a dog walker now for at least one 30 minute walk per day.

Dogs get used to things really quickly and you being home a lot is definitely something they're going to begin seeing as their normal. Ensure they understand this isn't permanent by using the tips above. It'll help everyone adjust to their new normal when that times comes that we all must get back to that work grind.

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The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work

Pets -- like their humans -- had to adjust during the pandemic. And, according to some animal experts, it's going to take time for them to readjust.

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