Animal Control

The Animal Control Officer responds to calls regarding dogs and livestock.  Generally, the officer does not respond to calls regarding cats. 

Important Information

The goal of the Animal Control Department is to provide safe, humane shelter for unwanted, stray, abused and impounded dogs in accordance with state regulations. The Department is responsible for assuring the timely and effective enforcement of the town’s ordinances and state laws. The Department strives to protect the public’s health and safety from vicious, diseased or injured dogs, to educate the public about responsible canine care and ownership and to reduce the number of unwanted dogs in the community.

We believe that our entire community is benefited by the compassion and humanity shown in caring for animals which have been discarded. The animals cannot speak for themselves, we will speak for them by providing a clean and safe environment for them until they move on to their next home.

Although our department does not currently have the resources to provide service for cats, we would like to be made aware of feral cat colonies and hoarding situations. There are a number of grants available to help with spay/neuter of these animals, and we will do our best to work with responsible individuals to get these situations under control.

Dog Adoptions:
If you are looking for a dog as a pet, please contact us.  We do not always have dogs available for adoption, but we work with various animal rescue leagues and can assist you in finding a suitable pet.

Dog Adoption Fees:
The donation fee for dogs ranges from $50 to $125 dollars based on medical care provided. All dogs will be spayed or neutered, be tested for heartworm and have a current rabies vaccine. Adoption checks will be made out to the Dog Gift Fund to be used for the care of the dogs.

Dog License Fees:
Dog Licenses are available at the Town Clerk's Office.
Licenses are valid from April 1 of one year through March 31 of the next year and must be renewed annually.

Rabies Vaccinations:
Chapter 141, Section 145B of the Massachusetts General Laws and 105 Code of Massachusetts (CMR) 330 require that all dogs and cats in Massachusetts be vaccinated against rabies.

According to 105 CMR 330, dogs must wear rabies tags at all times.

Cats are not required to wear their rabies tags.  However, cat owners must have the tag available for inspection by authorized persons.

Under 321 CMR 2.07 (Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife), ferrets kept as pets must also be vaccinated against rabies at an age determined by the vaccine manufacturer’s instructions for the particular vaccine. Presently, only one rabies vaccine has current USDA approval for ferrets, and this vaccine is recommended at three months of age and then annually.

If you have questions, contact the Bureau of Animal Health in the Department of Food and Agriculture at 617-626-1794.
Under 321 CMR 2.07