Animal Control & Shelter

The Animal Control Department has the following duties:

  • Apprehend dogs who are at large or a public nuisance and keep them until the owner is found or until the dogs are otherwise disposed of under the provisions here in.
  • Enforce the provisions of City Ordinance and the applicable provisions of Chapter 140 of the General Laws governing the regulation of dogs.
  • Investigate complaints regarding dogs and damage to livestock allegedly caused by dogs.
  • Maintain and supervise the operation of the City Animal Shelter, including the keeping of records required.
  • Respond to calls on stray dogs, dog bites, sick wildlife, barking complaints, animal cruelty, assist the Police and Fire Departments and other departments as needed.

The City of Attleboro does not have ordinance pertaining to cats, we do not pick up stray cats or trap stray cats.

Request For Assistance:

A Request for Assistance is an informal process by which the Animal Control Officer will obtain information from a resident(s) about a dog that is disturbing the peace of a neighborhood or particular neighbor or other resident in the area. Based upon the circumstances, the Animal Control Officer may suggest the dog owner make certain efforts to minimize the disturbing behavior.

 Nuisance Dog or Dangerous Dog Complaint:

When a written complaint is made to the Superintendent of Parks and Forestry, or his or her designee, that a dog owned or kept in the City is a “nuisance dog” or a “dangerous dog”, the Superintendent of Parks and Forestry or his or her designee will investigate the complaint.

The investigation will include a public hearing and the person who made the complaint will be questioned under oath.

The Superintendent of Parks and Forestry, or his or her designee, will act as the hearing authority and, based on the credible evidence and testimony provided at the public hearing, will determine whether the dog is a dangerous dog. 


Dangerous Dog: A dog that either: (i) without justification, attacks a person or domestic animal causing physical injury or death; or (ii) behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses an unjustified imminent threat of physical injury or death to a person, or to a domestic or owned animal. (Section 9-35-1, Revised Ordinances of the City of Attleboro)

 Nuisance Dog: A dog that: (i) by excessive barking or other disturbance is a source of annoyance to any sick person residing in the vicinity; or (ii) by excessive barking, causing damage or other interference, a reasonable person would find disruptive to one’s quiet and peaceful enjoyment; or (iii) has threatened or attacked livestock, a domestic animal or a person, but such threat or attack was not a grossly disproportionate reaction under all the circumstances.

(Section 9-35-1, Revised Ordinances of the City of Attleboro)