Animal Control

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ALL CALLS, please contact the Amesbury Police Department at 978.388.1212
 
Emergency Complaints:  An emergency complaint is one that requires immediate action from the Animal Control Officer. Incidents qualifying as an emergency complaint are those in which imminent threat to life or danger of serious injury to public or animals or any situation that may develop or is a threat to public safety. 

Examples of emergency complaints include:

  • Domestic or wild animal hit by car and injured;
  • Canine bite, attack or mauling in progress;
  • Potentially rabid animal having contact with human or domestic animal;
  • At large dog acting vicious, or posing threat to a human or other animals ;
  • Animals attacking each other;
  • Animals in traffic flow;

In the case of animal attacks or vicious dogs at large, contact 911 immediately. 

Non-Emergency Complaints:  All other complaints are non-emergency complaints. Non-emergency complaints are those that do not pose a threat to life, public safety or danger of serious injury to public or animals. Non-emergency complaints do not require immediate action from the Animal Control Officer and shall be investigated during normal ACO business hours, 8AM to 4PM Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). 

Examples of non-emergency complaints include:

  • Dead animals on the side of road or in public areas not disrupting traffic;
  • Quarantines;
  • Loose or lost domestic animals;
  • Stray domestic animals;
  • Wildlife in homes or areas around residences;
  • Violations of animal control ordinances, not posing threats to public safety;
  • Unwanted pets;
  • Nuisance complaints;

Complaints Resulting in Animal Impound:  Animals requiring impound shall receive any necessary medical attention and care required to ensure the safety and welfare of the animal while in the custody of the city. Animals impounded shall be held for no more than ten (10) days in the city’s custody. Prior to and during impound, every effort shall be made by the ACO to notify the animal’s owner. If owner contact information is unobtainable, ACO shall utilize the website, local newspapers, flyers or other means to locate the owner. 

The owner is responsible to pay all applicable fines and fees, in full, prior to the release of the animal from the city’s custody. Fees may include veterinary services, kenneling services, fines and processing fees. The ACO shall not release an animal to its owner until all required licenses and insurance are met per Article 25- Animal Control and Licensing of the city’s by-laws. 

The ACO shall release animals to their owners during normal ACO business hours only. The ACO may decide on a case by case basis to process the release of an animal to its owner after normal ACO business hours. 

Complaints Involving Possible Rabies:  Animals suspected of carrying the rabies virus and may have had contact with humans or domestic animals shall be sent for testing by the state within 24 hours of capture. 

Complaints Involving Wildlife:  The ACO does not respond to complaints of wildlife except in the case of the animal being hit or injured by a car, having had contact with a domestic animal or person and suspected of having rabies, blocking traffic or posing an imminent threat to public safety.  Wildlife found inside or outside a resident’s property is the responsibility of the resident. In such cases residents should contact a pest or animal removal service at their own cost. 

Complaints Involving Dead Animals:  The ACO and city is not responsible for dead animals on private property. Residents should contact a pest or animal removal service at their own cost for removal of dead animals on private property. 

Complaints Involving Nuisances or Violations of Animal Control Laws & Regulations:  Complaints involving nuisance animals or violations of animal control laws and regulations, such as leash and restrain laws, pet waste removal and licensing laws, shall be addressed during normal ACO business hours. The ACO shall investigate the complaint and make a determination whether to provide education, issue warnings or citations relative to the complaint, according to Article 25 - Animal Control and Licensing.

Dead Animals: Unfortunately, most small animals will be gone by crows, coyotes, etc., usually in less than a day. For small animals and birds, State Public Health recommends for birds that you double bag and place in the trash.

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