Frequently Asked Questions: Animal Control

Q:  What does the Animal Control Officer do?
A:  The Animal Control Officer is responsible for enforcing State Laws and local Ordinances pertaining to the health, welfare, and control of domestic animals. The Animal Control Officer is also considered the local Rabies Control Authority that handles animal bite reports to humans and to animals and that handles reports of sick or injured animals.

Q:  What are your hours of operation?
A:  Our phones accept voicemail 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During the hours of 7:00am to 3:00 pm every day of the week, an Animal Control Officer is generally on duty and the Animal Control Facility is open. However, the Animal Control Officer goes out on calls throughout these hours. If you need to leave information and your problem is not an urgent one, leave a message with your name, phone number, and the nature of your problem. If you see a dog running at large or an animal that appears to be injured call the Police Dispatcher at (603)886-6011 to report it. This way the dispatcher can get help to you or to the animal quickly via our radio.

Q:  Who picks up deceased animals?
A:  Please contact the Highway Department at (603)886-6018, for all deceased wildlife on or near the roadway. If wildlife dies on your property, you are responsible for the removal. If you find a deceased domestic animal, notify the Animal Control Officer at (603)889-PETS (889-7387) or through the dispatcher at 886-6011.

Q:  If a domestic or wild animal bites me, what should I do?
A:  The very first thing you should do is clean your wound(s) thoroughly (wash under warm running water with soap) and contact your physician immediately! If your physician is not available, we strongly advise that you go to the nearest emergency room for treatment. Even the smallest wounds can be infected with parasites or, worst of all, the Rabies virus. Contact the Animal Control Officer as soon as possible to report the incident so that we can attempt to locate the animal which has bitten you to determine if it has had a vaccination, in the case of a domestic animal, and quarantine it if necessary.

Q:  Why do I need to license my dog with the town?
A:  Every dog in the State of New Hampshire is required to be licensed and to wear the tag at all times. A current rabies vaccination is required in order to get the license. The license is proof that all dogs get vaccinated against rabies which is also required by New Hampshire State Law. The money collected from the sale of the licenses helps to fund spay and neuter programs and pays for rabies testing in the event you, your child, or your pet is bitten by a possible rabid animal. The license tag also allows Animal Control to reunite you with your pet should it become lost.

Q:  I have a problem with stray cats in my neighborhood. Why don't you pick up stray cats?
A:  There is no leash law for cats in Hudson, New Hampshire. This prohibits an Animal Control Officer from being able to impound a cat found at-large. If a citizen chooses to take in a stray cat, they may do so as long as it is treated humanely. There are many Animal Shelters and rescue groups in this area that could assist you if you decide to take in a cat. We recommend that you ask around your neighborhood, distribute posters and place an ad in the local newspaper before you re-home the cat in case it is someone's pet. Encourage your neighbors to keep their cats indoors. More cats disappear due to being hit by cars than from being re-homed.
If you find an injured or sick cat, please report this immediately to the Animal Control Division by calling the dispatcher at (603)886-6011. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CAPTURE IT YOURSELF.

Q:  What is animal abuse?
A:  There are many different forms of animal abuse which include but are not limited to: depriving it of food, water, or shelter, leaving it outside in the New England weather when it may not have the right coat type (summer or winter), and/or hitting or beating a pet for any reason. If you have any question about the proper treatment of a pet or animal please contact the Animal Control Officer to discuss it.

Q:  What should I do if I suspect that someone is abusing their pet?
A:  So many animals continue to suffer each year because witnesses are afraid to speak out. Anytime you suspect that an animal is being abused you need to call the Animal Control Officer at (603)889-PETS (889-7387) or, in an emergency, call the dispatcher at (603)886-6011 or 9-1-1. You are not required to leave your name and information; however, it will help us and the pet get justice.

Q:  What can I do about my neighbor's barking dog?
A:  It is against New Hampshire State Law for a dog to bark during the night hours or constantly for more than one half hour during the daytime. Contact the Animal Control Division at (603)889-PETS (889-7387), to report a violation. You must provide the following information: Your name and phone number, the offender's exact address, and the date and time of the last incident.

Q:  Is it against the law for someone to leave the scene of a motor vehicle accident without reporting to a Law Enforcement Officer that they hit a domestic dog?
A:  Yes, this is a misdemeanor and the person responsible could be arrested.

Q:  If I have lost a pet, how do I go about finding it?
A:  Call the Animal Control Division at (603)889-PETS (889-7387) and leave your name, phone numbers (cell, home, work), address (where the pet lives) and a detailed description of your pet, including its name. We need the phone numbers in case we find your pet injured and must rush it to the veterinarian.
If possible, email a picture and the information to You may want to make posters to distribute in your neighborhood, to local veterinarians, and shelters.
Remember to contact Animal Control when you have found your pet and pick up all of the posters.

Q:  What is nuisance wildlife and what can I do about it?
A:  Wild animals adapt to their surroundings to survive. They find shelter under decks, under sheds, and inside homes and garages. They find food sources at backyard bird feeders, inside garbage cans and in food containers left for domestic pets. They are perceived as a nuisance when they destroy property or just appear in the yard.
It is best to leave wildlife in its habitat and adjust your habits. Do not feed birds or pets outside. Do not leave garbage uncovered. Block the areas beneath sheds and decks and don't leave garage doors open for long periods. If a wild animal must be removed from your home (fireplace, etc.) we recommend you call Nuisance Wild Animal Control listed under pest control or wildlife removal in the yellow pages. Or, contact Animal Control at (603)889-PETS (889-7387) for a list.

Q:  Where can I find information on emergencies and disaster planning for my pet?
A:  The single most important way to protect your pets is to take them with you when you evacuate. You can find information at the following web-site: Type disaster planning or pet emergencies into the search field. Or, you can contact the Animal Control Division at (603)889-PETS (889-7387) for information.

Q:  Can I leave my dog/cat in my car while I quickly run into the store?
A:  It is not safe to leave your pet in a vehicle. The temperature inside a vehicle is always different than the outside temperature. Something can always happen to delay you from getting back to the vehicle in a timely manner. DON'T RISK YOUR PET'S LIFE. Be aware that it is illegal to leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running. It is also illegal to leave a pet inside a car when the temperature can cause it harm. Keep your pet safe and healthy and keep yourself out of trouble by leaving them at home.