Animal Traps

Obtaining a Trap for Wild / Stray Animals


Setting an animal trapThe Health Department operates a trap loan program whereby residents that are having a problem with a stray or wild animal may request a trap be set at their residence. You can call the Joplin City Health Department and animal control will provide animal trapping services to residents of Joplin in accordance with Joplin City Code, the Wildlife Code of Missouri, Rules of the Conservation Commission, and this policy.

Domestic Cats


Domestic cats may be trapped by animal control officers (ACO) in situations requiring quarantine, or when it is necessary, in the opinion of the officer, to abate situations involving:
  • Feral or excessive cat populations
  • Incidences of property destruction caused by cats
  • Other instances involving nuisance
  • Sick or injured cats
Citizens who own their own cat trap may request that the ACO pick up cats that they have trapped on their own property. Traps must be compatible with the Health Department's trapping system.

Domestic Dogs


Domestic dogs may be trapped by an ACO for situations regarding general nuisance, such as running at large, injured or sick animals, aggressive dogs, to meet quarantine requirements, or for other situations deemed necessary by the ACO. The ACO will investigate complaints and if necessary, will set a trap at the owner’s request. Traps will be monitored and maintained daily by the ACO. The citizen will be required to notify the ACO during normal business hours if an animal becomes trapped.

Wild Animals


Wild animals, including but not limited to skunks, raccoons, opossum, groundhogs, will be directly trapped by an ACO only when a situation involves an obviously sick or injured animal, to satisfy a quarantine, or in a situation where direct physical property damage is occurring.

Citizens with other nuisance issues concerning a wild animal will be referred to available private nuisance animal abatement contractors. Captured animals will be picked up by ACO.

Upon investigation of wild animal complaints, where trapping is appropriate, ACO’s will also provide advice to property owners on methods to reduce the condition, if any, that is causing or adding to the nuisance animal condition on the property (i.e. sealing holes in foundations, properly storing trash or other food sources in sealed containers, etc.). If reasonable efforts are not made by the property owner to abate these conditions future trap use may be discontinued.

General Provisions


Traps will be set for up to five days at any residence for any single trap request. Traps will not be set during inclement weather or when the ACO will not be available to regularly monitor the traps, such as holidays.

Unless the ACO is familiar with a trapping request location and/or the person requesting the trap, a trap will not be set unless the property owner / occupant is present. This is to allow the ACO to provide education on the proper use and baiting of the trap.

Due to staff limitations, traps may not be set over weekends or other times when only one ACO is on duty. If service demand is low, traps may be set during these times at the discretion of the ACO working that shift.