Animal Control Officer

Animal Control truck

The Portsmouth ACO works a part time schedule and can be reached at (603) 610-7441.  Please leave a message and she will contact you during her scheduled hours.

If you have questions or concerns pertaining to hunting rules and regulations in the State of N.H., please visit the N.H. Fish and Game Department's web site at for information. They can also be reached by phone at (603) 271-3421.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What does the Animal Control Officer do?

The Animal Control Officer is responsible for enforcing State Laws and local Ordinances pertaining to the welfare and control of domestic, exotic and wild animals. The Animal Control Officer is also considered the local Rabies Control Authority and handles many wild animals, which have been reported to be sick or injured.

Opossum trapped in a cage

If a domestic, wild or exotic animal bites me, what should I do? 

The very first thing you should do is clean your wound/s thoroughly and contact your physician immediately! If your physician is not available, we strongly advise that you visit the nearest emergency room for treatment. Even with the smallest wounds, viruses and disease can be transmitted. If feasible, contact the Animal Control Officer so that he/she can begin attempting to locate the animal/s, which had bitten you to either quarantine or bring to the State Lab for rabies testing. 

What is Animal Abuse?

There are different types of animal abuse, simply depriving your pet of sufficient shelter, food, water or medical treatment is Illegal! These are forms of neglect, which could eventually lead to the pet owner's arrest. There are many forms of animal abuse and not all are easy to detect. How about the dog, which is being left out all day in the cold, New England weather? Not all animals are able to live out doors and chances are there is an animal being abused which lives close to you. 

If I suspect that someone is abusing their pet, whom should I tell and can I remain anonymous? 

Many animals continue to be abused each year because witnesses are afraid to come forward. Anytime you or someone you know suspects animal abuse, all you have to do is call the Animal Control Officer at (603) 610-7441. Please leave a detailed description of abuse and the location of the animal. If you would like to leave your name and address that would be extremely helpful but you are not obligated to do so.

Dogs in cages by the side of the highway after a trailer overturned

Is it illegal for someone to leave the scene, without reporting to a Law Enforcement Agency that they have hit a domestic dog?

Yes, this is a misdemeanor and the person responsible could be arrested. In the City of Portsmouth, It is also a violation to leave the scene of a domestic cat without reporting the incident to a Law Enforcement Agency. 

Are there other organizations in the area that can assist me with animal related matters? 

Yes, the N.H.S.P.C.A., located in Stratham is probably the closest to the Portsmouth area. They are located off Rt. 108 in Stratham, N.H. and have a tremendous amount of information to assist the public with their concerns pertaining to animals. The Portsmouth Police Department's, Animal Control Officers work closely with their team as well as their Animal Cruelty Investigator on many issues. They can be reached at (603) 772-2921 or check out their web site at

If I have a lost pet, where do I begin? 

Nobody knows your pet better than you. First thing to do would begin your search and make a call to the Animal Control Officer's office for assistance. If your pet does not return home in what you feel is a reasonable amount of time, begin to make flyers with information of your pet on them. For example, your pet's description, a photo, its gender, breed, color, size, distinguishing features (nicks in the ears, scars or marks), identification tags and state if your pet has an implanted identification chip. With this information on paper, make several copies and begin dropping them off at local vet's clinics and animal shelters and/or perhaps at a few local businesses, which allow free advertising.

Dog stranded on roof


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