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When filling a barking dog complaint please follow the steps below to ensure proper documentation and resolution.
This is pursuant to MA.Genral Laws Chapter 140 Section 157a Dog Complaints and Hearings
If you have been bitten or scratched by a stray or wild animal, or by a pet or farm animal that has been behaving oddly, follow these steps:
Rabid animals often behave strangely after the virus attacks their brains. Rabid animals may attack people or other animals for no real reason, or they may lose their fear of people and seem to be unnaturally friendly. Not all rabid animals act this way, however, so you should avoid all wild animals, especially bats, skunks, foxes and raccoons. Also, you should not feed or touch stray cats and dogs.
The rabies virus can lives in the saliva (spit) and other body fluids of infected animals and is spread when they bite or scratch. The virus can also be spread if one of these body fluids touches broken skin or a mucous membrane.
Rabies is a viral disease of the central nervous system that is almost always fatal.
We also follow under the same strict guidelines as you do. We are not licensed (PAC AGENTS) the only thing Animal Control could help is if the animal is injured then the animal will be euthanized.
The MSPCA has a website living with it has some helpful information. Or you may email the MSPCA at 617-522-7400 or email.
You may also visit the Fisher and Wildlife website.
Massachusetts's law prohibits capturing a wild animal and releasing it in another area. You can contact a (PAC AGENT) Problem Animal Control Agent who may assist you with the problem their number is in the phone book under the pest control section.
If you can't keep your ferret, please do not release it into the wild where it will most certainly die a horrible death, call your local animal control office, a shelter, or Massachusetts Ferret Friends at 781-224-1098 or email them abandoning an animal outside is against the law.
No, ferrets have been domesticated for over 1000 years and cannot survive in the wild for more than a few days.
Yes they do, same as dogs and cats.
While ferrets get along great with cats and dogs under supervision, they can do serious harm to birds, rabbits, and other small pets.
We suggest you adopt your Ferret from a rescue agency where you can save a life, email the Massachusetts Ferret Friends or call the hotline at 781-224-1098.
Document information such as time of the incident, person committing the act (description of person, if identity is unknown) exact location (such as proper address of where the animal lives or license plate of vehicle being driven) and as much information about the animal being abused (breed, color, size, where it is kept).
If the life of an animal is in immediate danger contact the local police at once Dartmouth Police 508-910-1735.
Mass General Laws provide for the basic necessities of an animal. Food water, and shelter are among the most common concerns, as well as actual physical abuse.
If you believe an animal is being abused, there are a few simple steps you can take in order to help.
Remember; quiet, still, no staring. If you are down and the dogs seems to want to bite you, slowly curl into a ball and fold your hands behind your neck.
Walk up to the dog from the side, not the back or directly in front.
Hold out your knuckle and let him sniff your hand, this method keeps your fingers protected. That's how dogs tell who you are by sniffing. Pat him under his chin or on the side. Never pat a dog by coming down over the top of his head or the back of his neck because it is threatening. Practice by patting your pet dog correctly.
Do not run, scream or talk. Just stand still and be quiet. Don't look directly at the dog, even if he comes up to sniff you. You can look at his tail or his foot, but don't look into his eyes. In dog language, that is a threat. Remember; quiet, still, no staring. Most likely the dog will lose interest once he looks you over. Then you can slowly move away.
No, the only time you should pat a dog you don't know is if you have permission. So, if a person and a dog are walking past your house and you want to pat the dog, ask permission.
Points to remember:
The safe way to meet a strange dog:
You should seek medical attention immediately. Animal bites should be taken care of immediately due to infection and possible rabies treatment.
You can prevent children from being bitten by:
To prevent your pet from being bitten by another animal, keep pets under control at all times and in the house at night.
Take your pet to a veterinarian within 24 hours. If the attacker is at risk for rabies, for example, a raccoon, skunk, woodchuck, fox, or bat, handle your pet with gloves and wash any area, which may have saliva from the attacker on it.
Greeting Barking: If your dog barks at people coming to the door, at people or dogs walking by the property, at people or dogs he sees on walks, and at people or dogs he sees through the fence - and the barking is accompanied by whining, tail wagging, and other signs of friendliness - your dog is barking to say hello. He may very likely bark in the same manner when family members come home.
What To Do: Keep greetings low key. Teach the dog to sit and stay when meeting people at the door so he has something to do aside from barking. This should reduce his excitement. If your dog likes toys, keep a favorite toy near the front door and encourage your dog to pick up the toy before he greets you or guests. If the dog learns to hold a toy in his mouth, he's less inclined to bark. He will likely still whine, though. On walks, teach your dog to walk calmly past people and dogs without greeting them. To do this, follow the Counter Conditioning Instructions Number 3.
Play Barking: Some dogs are particularly noisy when they play with people or with other dogs. If you have multiple dogs and they like to bark while they play, put them outside so they don't bother you. If they bother the neighbors, bring them inside and separate them during times when you can't tolerate the barking. Encourage the dogs to play with toys so they have something in their mouths. If your dog barks while playing with you, simply play different games-if he barks while wrestling with you, teach him to play tug-of-war or fetch games. It's unfair to expect dogs not to play, so make arrangements for your dog to play (and bark) at times when it won't disturb people.
Prevent the dog from being exposed to the things that trigger him to bark. You should block access to windows, and cover them so he can't see out. Play background music to mask outside sounds, change the sound of your doorbell, and bring him in from the yard whenever he barks.
Counter Conditioning Instructions Number 1: If the dog continues to bark despite your efforts to block his exposure to things, teach him that when someone comes to the door or passes by the property, he is permitted to bark until you say "Quiet." Allow him to bark 3-4 times, say "Quiet," (avoid shouting), go to the dog and gently hold his muzzle closed with your hand and repeat "Quiet," call him away from the door or window, ask him to sit, and give him a treat. If he stays beside you and remains quiet, continue to give him frequent treats for the next few minutes (until the stimulus is gone). If he resumes barking right away, repeat the sequence. Go through the same steps if the dog is barking at passersby from the yard.
Counter Conditioning Instructions Number 2: If the above procedure is ineffective after 10-20 attempts, allow the dog to bark 3-4 times, say "Quiet" (avoid shouting), and make a startling noise by shaking an empty soda can filled with pennies or a set of keys. He should react to the sound by stopping what he's doing. Call him away from the door or window, ask him to sit, and give him a treat. If he stays beside you and remains quiet, continue to give him frequent treats for the next few minutes (until the stimulus is gone). If he resumes barking right away, repeat the sequence. If this doesn't work after 10-20 attempts, you will need to seek assistance from a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, a Veterinary Behaviorist, or a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.
Counter Conditioning Instructions Number 3: If the dog barks at people and other dogs during walks, distract the dog with special treats before he begins to bark. Show the dog the treats by holding them in front if his nose (soft treats are best) and encourage him to nibble at the treats while he is walking along, past the person or dog who would normally cause him to bark. Some dogs do best if you ask them to sit as the person/dog passes by, while other dogs prefer to keep moving. Make sure you praise and reward the dog with treats every time he elects not to bark. - It may help to have the dog wear a head halter during occasions when the dog is likely to bark (on walks, in the home, etc.). Your dog should only wear the halter when you can supervise him. A halter can have a distracting and/or calming effect, and make him less likely to bark. Make sure you reward him for not barking. - If the dog is engaging in territorial barking primarily in the yard, keep the dog in the house during the day and supervise him when he is in the yard. - If the dog is engaging in territorial barking in the car, teach the dog to ride in a crate while in the car. This restricts the dog's view and may reduce his motivation to bark. If this is not feasible, try having the dog wear a head halter.
Excessive barking is nothing new. Dogs appear to enjoy barking, and they do so for various reasons. They bark when they want something, when they say "hello," when they are having fun, when they are startled or alarmed, when they are defending their territory or threatening someone, when they are frustrated, and when they hear other dogs barking. Unfortunately, a dog who barks incessantly can drive the family crazy-and disturb the entire neighborhood.
Many owners can identify why their dog is barking, just by hearing the specific bark. If you want to reduce your dog's barking, it is imperative to determine the dog's reason for barking. Understand that it usually takes time to teach a dog to bark less. It is not realistic to expect a quick fix or to expect that the dog will stop barking altogether. Your goal should be to decrease the amount of barking. Bear in mind that some dogs are more prone to barking than others. In addition, some breeds are known as "barkers," and it may be more difficult to decrease barking in individuals of these breeds.
The most common reasons why dogs bark:
Yes! The town has a by-law that allows for a citation of $25 per incident with regards to barking. Animal Control must issue a warning first, then each subsequent offense is $25. After 5 offenses, the officer can bring the dog owner before the hearing officer for a hearing. The Mass General Law's state that a nuisance by reason of excessive barking or other disturbance maybe considered a nuisance. Complainants can also file a complaint in Third District Court on their own behalf.
You can call the Dartmouth Police at 508-910-1735. Be sure to tell them your name, and if you have spoken to Animal Control in the past, be sure to let them know this. The Standard Operating procedure is that the area car will be sent to investigate and if the dog is found to be barking, they will try to contact the owner to quiet the dog. Then the officer should file a report informing the Animal Control Department of the findings. We will then further investigate your complaint and issue any citations that are appropriate.
No! It's against the law to divulge the name of the complainant. It's very important to us to know the complainant, at times it helps to speed up the process.
A barking dog complaint is one of the most time consuming and intense investigations Animal Control does. It takes time and help from the complainant to end this problem, some complaints take one week to sometimes six months. Every complaint is different in some way.
Yes, there are a lot of veterinary hospitals that offer low cost programs. You could also contact some low cost clinics to seek their programs. The state of Massachusetts has a license plate program to help pet owners with spay/ neuter. Learn more on the Your Car Tells the World How You Feel About Animals website.
Animal Control will not go out and trap cats from properties for removal and euthanasia. If the property owner wants cats removed, they must notify Animal Control of their intentions and Animal Control will explain the proper procedure in which to follow.
Yes, you could license your dog by mail, just send in a copy of your Rabies certificate, as well as a self-addressed stamped envelope, payable to the Town of Dartmouth.
Mail to: Town Clerk400 Slocum RoadDartmouth, MA 02747
or you may drop it off in the silver box in front of the town hall.
The violation for an unlicensed dog is $25 per violation. The owner or keeper can be cited for the violation every day until the dog is licensed.
The Massachusetts General Laws state that all dogs by the age of three months must be licensed at their city or town hall.
The violation of keeping an unvaccinated dog is $50 dollars. The owner or keeper can be cited every ten days for the violation.
The Massachusetts General Laws state that by the age of six months all dogs must be vaccinated.
All animals that stay outside need proper shelter, food, and water. The shelter, preferably a dog house, must be of adequate size to allow the dog to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Cold garages, cars, or three-sided shelters are not adequate shelter. Placing hay or straw inside the dog house is better than a blanket, as the blanket will not dry out like hay/straw.
We suggest you adopt your dog from a rescue agency or shelter save a dogs life. "Adopt don't Shop".
You may contact your local animal control to pick up the cat if it is friendly, or contact Habitat for Cats at 508-961-2287, they will work with you on trapping the cat.
Contact your neighbors, it may be a new cat in the neighborhood or a neighbor's cat that just got out.
Many cat owners believe a collar can injure a cat, but a breakaway collar lets a cat escape if the collar becomes snagged. Microchips are placed just under the skin and are a forever form of I.D.
An identification tag is a lost cat's ticket home, 2 to 5% of cats in shelter get claimed by their owner. Microchipping is the best and newest way of making sure your cat gets home safely.
Cats like to play, prowl, pounce, and they can do all those activities indoors with you and a few toys without being exposed to predators, disease, traps, poison and traffic. Indoor cats are healthier, happier - and safer and live longer!
There are just not enough homes each day thousands of cats are put to death in Massachusetts.
Let's do some quick math:
We suggest you adopt your cat from a rescue agency or a shelter where you can save a life. The cost associated with a purchase and then vet care will be a lot more than an actual adoption of a fixed healthy cat or kitten.
There is an Animal Control Officer on duty 7 days a week, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm After hour calls in regards to for emergencies should be referred to the Dartmouth Police at 508-910-1735.
Emergencies such as sick/injured animal no known owner, viscous dog, suspect rabid animal, dog restrained unable to hold until officer returns to duty.
The Dartmouth Animal Control Department personnel consists of one full time animal control officer, and one part time (14 hours a week) officer. This means there is only one officer on duty at any given time for the entire town. If you get the voicemail please leave a detailed message and the ACO that is on will return your call as soon as possible. If the call is for an injured animal, animals in distress, or emergency please call the Dartmouth Police Dispatch at 508-910-1735 as well as leaving a message on the A.C.O. voicemail.