Office of Animal Welfare

Select textsizemediumlargelarger

About Us

Our Vision

The Office of Animal Welfare is in the Veterinary Public Health section of the Infectious and Zoonotic Disease Program. The Office provides assistance to municipal governments and local health departments in the State of New Jersey regarding the laws and rules addressing animal control, animal facility licensing and sanitary rules, dog licensing, and the training of Animal Control Officers (ACOs) and Animal Cruelty Investigators (ACIs).

Mission Statement

  To ensure that sanitary and humane conditions are maintained at pet shops, kennels, shelters and pounds through enforcement of New Jersey’s animal health and welfare rules by local health departments;


To educate animal health and welfare professionals, pet owners, ACOs, members of the animal trade profession, and the public regarding public health animal-related rules and regulations;

To certify persons satisfactorily completing the required training as ACOs and ACIs;


To work in partnership with various government agencies, animal control providers, and animal welfare organizations to promote solutions to animal control and welfare concerns; and

To promote humane care of stray, unwanted and homeless animals through animal control, impoundment, and sheltering in the State of New Jersey.


  • Develop and enhance regulations, education and training, standard operating procedures, programs and "best practices" that promote effective animal control and sheltering, as appropriate, throughout the State of New Jersey

  • Approve and support animal control and animal cruelty certification training courses

  • Oversee dog and animal facility licensing by municipal governments

  • Provide rabies vaccine for State/municipal-sponsored rabies vaccination clinics

  • Collaborate with and provide technical assistance to local health agencies; municipal governments; animal control providers; operators of kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds; and animal rescue organizations in New Jersey.