Animal Control

Our ACOs are Hard at Work 

Animal Control Officers are often your unsung heroes. They often work out of public view, sometimes in the dark of night, and off the beaten path. These First Responders are available to Montclair residents 24/7/365. They’re the best resource you never knew you needed!

The number one job of an Animal Control Officer is to control the spread of rabies. The number one job of pet owners is to keep their pets current on immunizations. Important history and information on rabies can be found here:

ACOs often have a busy schedule… capturing injured/sick animals, investigating dog bite incidents, helping shelter animals get adopted, enforcing state and local dog and cat licensing laws, providing surrender-prevention services, trapping colony cats for TNVR, dealing with dog barking complaints, reuniting stray animals with their owners, conducting animal cruelty/abuse/neglect investigations, rescuing dogs and cats stuck on roofs, and removal of deceased animals from public property, to name a few. See below the complete list of services that your Animal Control Officers provide to you as residents of Montclair.

ACOs educate residents about what are or are not valid concerns/complaints about wildlife, from skunks to groundhogs to deer to foxes and coyotes. There is lots of information available online for residents to educate themselves further about the native wildlife of Montclair, try HERE for a start.

No two days are the same for an ACO… one day there could be a few emergencies that require their immediate attention, another they’re in the kennels socializing dogs and showing cats to prospective adopters. Sometimes they’re saving a raccoon stuck in the sewer grating, or capturing an injured goose in the park to bring it to a wildlife rehabilitator. It’s not unheard of for them to be rescuing ducklings from storm drains or fawns from the local waterway or rattlesnakes from parking lots, either.

You’ll often see one of them at our local vet with a shelter animal or two, mostly for pre-adoption checkups and/or vaccinations. They also speak at schools and scout events, participate in off-site adoptions and hold rabies clinics for Township residents.

The Township of Montclair's Animal Control and Humane Law Enforcement Department is committed to providing assistance to the residents and animals of Montclair. Our goals are education, enforcement, rescue, and rehabilitation.

Contacting Animal Control

Montclair Animal Control Officers are in-house at the animal shelter from 8:30am to 4:30pm daily and are available for emergency callouts only 4:30pm to 8:30am. (see below)

Montclair residents with an animal issue should contact the Animal Control Service Request Line at 862-621-9113 for assistance from the ACO on duty.  Calls during overnight hours that are not considered an emergency will be addressed during in-house hours.

For emergency situations requiring immediate attention, residents are advised to call Montclair police at 973-744-1234.  

Daily Animal Control Services

  • Pick-up and impound of stray and injured domestic animals when an owner is unknown or unavailable
  • Pick-up of injured, sick or orphaned wildlife
  • Transport of stray animals to animal shelter 
  • Transport of injured animals to a veterinarian for treatment
  • Transport of injured wildlife to a licensed rehabilitation facility
  • Pick up, transport and quarantine of suspect rabies cases/specimens
  • Handle animal bite incidents
  • Issuance of summonses for animal-related violations
  • Animal cruelty/abuse/neglect investigations
  • Humane/Responsible Pet Ownership Education to the residents
  • Patrol the community
  • Removal of deceased owned pets from their residence – for a fee

After Hours Emergencies

The following constitutes an animal emergency to which our Animal Control officers will respond after hours:

  • Injured domestic animal when an owner is unknown or unavailable
  • Sick or injured wildlife if imminent life-threatening hazard exists to either the animal or a resident
  • Cruelty, abuse or neglect of an urgent nature
  • Urgent situations in which Police/Fire/EMS require the assistance of an ACO
  • Animal to human bites or rabies suspects
  • Live bats encountered in living quarters, especially in bedrooms during overnight hours - please call us ASAP and keep bat contained in the room/home until ACO arrival. (see below) 

Wildlife and Deceased Animals

  • Animal Control will respond to calls involving wildlife within the main living areas of a home, however, unfinished basements, garages, or attics are not considered living spaces. A resident with wildlife in one of these other areas will be directed to the Humane Society of the United States' Wild Neighbors Program, see details and information HERE.
  • Bats found flying in the home, especially at night near or in a bedroom, are considered an urgent matter for immediate Animal Control response. An ACO will come to your home to contain the bat and send it for rabies testing. NEVER open the window and allow a bat to fly out of your house in one of these situations and never try to catch or contain the bat. Leave the room where the bat was seen last, close the door and block the bottom of the doorway with a thick towel until an ACO arrives. Bats have very tiny teeth and a human can easily be bitten while sleeping/resting without even knowing or feeling it. Sending the bat for testing rules out whether the bat was rabid or not. It is unfortunate that this is the course of action, but human lives take precedence and even though a majority of bats tested test negative for rabies, some do. Public safety is paramount. 
  • Wildlife calls involving larger animals such as coyotes or fox which do not appear ill or injured do not need Animal Control response. Information from New Jersey Department of Fish & Wildlife can be found HERE.
  • Calls about injured deer do not need Animal Control response unless the deer is down and unable to walk, forage for food and/or defend itself from predators and humans. Deer are hearty animals and will be able to function with injuries to their legs and other body parts, especially when in the company of other deer. DO NOT attempt to capture or contain an injured deer in hopes of trying to get help for it, as there is no rehabilitation for adult deer. Mortally wounded or severely distressed deer will be humanely dispatched by Montclair Police to end their suffering. 
  • As per the Township contract, Animal Control will remove deceased animals from public property during normal business hours.
  • Deceased wildlife on private property is the responsibility of the homeowner to remove/dispose of. Normally, deceased wildlife can be double bagged in black garbage bags and disposed of in the homeowner's outside garbage receptacle. Exceptions can be made for the elderly or physically challenged. 
  • Deceased domestic animals on private property will be removed by Animal Control to scan for a microchip and to try to locate the owner.


ACO Michele with her doggie buddy