Animal Control

“Helping Residents peacefully coexist with the domestic and wild animals in our community.”

Mission Statement

The goal of the Animal Control program is to provide improved quality animal control services to all residents. We will work to provide a fast response to all calls for animal-related assistance.


  • Enforce Animal Control by-laws
  • Enforce M.G.L. Chapter 140 laws
  • Remove sick or injured wildlife
  • Determine risk of rabies exposure and need for testing
  • Provide information about wildlife
  • Pick up stray and/or domesticated animals
  • Investigate dog bites
  • Investigate cruelty and/or neglect complaints
  • Educate the public about responsible pet ownership

Animal Control Emergencies

  • Dog bites
  • Animal injured in auto accident
  • Human contact with bats

*Non-emergency complaints are handled during regular business hours.

Dangerous Dogs

Defined as dog does bodily injury to a person, attacks, wounds or kills any other dog, pet or livestock, without provocation.

Investigation of incident is performed by the ACO, and the dog is quarantined for 10 days in the owner/keepers home. The ACO may order the dog to be permanently confined to the premises of the owner/keeper.

Dog Licenses

All dogs must be licensed by 3 months of age with the Town of Dover Town Clerk.<br
Fees: $15 per dog by April 1st of each year. Every dog must have proof of rabies vaccination


  • 1st offense: $0
  • 2nd offense: $25
  • 3rd offense: $50

Unlicensed late fee: $25

Rabies Information

Massachusetts law requires that all dogs and cats, age 6 months and older, must be currently vaccinated against rabies. Throughout the state, rabies clinics are organized to assist in low cost vaccination against this dreaded disease. Because Dover encourages residents and non residents to ensure that their pets are vaccinated, we hold an annual rabies clinic during the month of April. Detailed information is available through the Town of Dover Town Clerk’s office.

Pet Owner Guidelines


Tagging insures the quick and safe return to the pet owner and may alleviate fines

Public Control

Although there are no leash laws in the Town of Dover, a pet owner must have full control over their pets at all times in a public way.

Noise Control

Neighborhood consideration is essential. Barking dogs are disruptive in a community. Initial contact should be neighbor to neighbor, as contacting authorities should be a last resort.

Lost and Found Pets

The owners of pets with identification are contacted immediately.
If no response, pets are brought to:

Medfield Animal Shelter
99 West Street
Medfield, MA 02052

A $25 fine is imposed

Animal Inspector

The ACO handles Barn, livestock and waterfowl inspections. There is no licensing fees assessed for these animals, but an accurate count is required for each property.