Office of Animal Welfare

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Animal Control

N.J.S.A 4:19-15.16. Section (a) requires the impoundment of any stray dog off the property of the owner and impoundment of any dog or other animal (i.e., cats) off the property of the owner reported to, or observed by a certified animal control officer (ACO) to be ill, injured, or creating a threat to public health, safety or welfare, or otherwise interfering with the enjoyment of property. All impounded animals must be held for 7 days at a facility licensed as a pound prior to adoption or euthanasia. ACOs do not generally address wildlife nuisance problems unless the wildlife exhibit signs of rabies.

ACOs can be contacted through municipal police departments and local health departments. Every municipality shall utilize an impoundment facility where stray animals are taken for evaluation and held for owners to reclaim their lost pets.

Residents needing assistance with nuisance wildlife situations should contact the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish and Game for guidance. Contact and guidance information for this agency is available on their website, .

For information on addressing problems associated with free-roaming cats, click on the ‘Free-Roaming and Feral Cats’ tab to the left.


VPH-32 Application for Animal Control Officer Certification pdf 21k doc 27k
VPH-30 Application for Animal Cruelty Investigator Certification pdf 21k doc 27k