Public Awareness - Animal Control Dangerous/Vicious Dogs

Dangerous/Vicious Dogs
The Fort Smith Police Department Animal Control Division strives to protect the citizens of Fort Smith from dogs that pose a threat to their safety. Therefore, Animal Control personnel frequently enforce city ordinance pertaining to these animals that are considered to be either dangerous or vicious.

If a call is received that a dog was acting aggressively toward another domestic animal or person, the dog may be classified as dangerous or vicious, depending on the circumstances of the case. If your dog has been classified as dangerous or vicious, we will provide documents to you that inform you of the classification as well as an order of compliance form which outline steps you will be required to take in order for you to lawfully keep your dog in the city limits of Fort Smith. You will be given forty-five (45) business days to be in compliance with this order given to you by Animal Control.

You have the right to appeal this initial classification by sending an appeal request, in writing, to the Animal Control supervisor, Sergeant Greg Copeland at the Fort Smith Police Department. Be sure to include a phone number so he can contact you. The appeal letter must be received no later than five (5) business days from the date you are given the ‘dangerous/vicious’ documents. The Animal Control supervisor will then contact you to schedule a date/time for an appeal hearing, which will be held at the Sebastian County Human Society.

If your dog is classified as dangerous, you may be allowed to pick it up at the shelter during the compliance period, but only after Animal Control has inspected the area the dog will be kept and the dog has been micro-chipped. If the animal warden is confident the dog classified as dangerous can be properly restrained on your property, you will be allowed to pick it up after paying the impound fee to the shelter and having the dog micro-chipped.

If you dog is classified as vicious, the dog will not be released by the shelter until complete compliance with the order of compliance is achieved, and after paying the impound fees.

To view the city ordinance concerning dangerous/vicious dogs, please read city ordinance Chapter 4, Article 1, Section 4-7.


Contact Information
Animal Control office phone number (479) 784-1040

Animal Control Supervisor Sergeant Greg Copeland (479) 709-5017