Welcome To DAS Vision and Mission

Delaware Animal Services (DAS) is committed to creating a safe community that celebrates the human-animal bond, where animals are free from abuse and neglect, every pet has a home, and animal caretakers have access to the tools and resources needed for their companions.

Our mission is to make our Delaware communities safer for animals and the public through the professional delivery of animal related services, innovative problem solving, and cooperative partnerships.

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What we offer for you Services

Animal Control & Cruelty

The role of the Delaware Animal Services (DAS) is to enforce state codes, rules, and regulations related to companion animals, and to investigate animal neglect and cruelty cases for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of Delaware’s human and animal residents.DAS officers will respond to calls concerning:Animal cruelty and neglectStray dogs and dogs at largeInadequate dog housing and careAggressive or dangerous dogsAnimal bites to peopleAnimal-related emergenciesAssistance to police and law enforcement agenciesNew Changes to Delaware Dog LawsIn addition to enforcing laws, our officers serve as educators in the field to teach pet owners how to treat and properly care for their companions. Often, we provide referrals to local animal welfare programs or resources to people who want to provide for their pets but lack the information or resources to do so.We do not respond to calls regarding:Nuisance wild animal issuesInjured wildlifeBarking dogsStray and outdoor catsSick or injured owned animalsDead animals on the roadStray livestockAnimals which an owner wishes to rehome or relinquish*DAS is not a shelter or rescue, and therefore cannot accept pets that an owner wishes to surrender or stray or homeless cats.  For stray cat services, contact our shelter partner, the Brandywine Valley SPCA to learn about their community cat program.  To re-home a pet, you may also contact other local shelters and rescues for assistance, or learn more about re-homing your dog or cat
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I’ve Lost My Pet

All animals picked up by Delaware Animal Services are checked for a microchip, pet license or other ID tag. If identification is found and the owner can be contacted, pets are returned immediately. All others are taken to the Brandywine Valley SPCA’s shelter facilities in Delaware. Our officers post information about these animals on the State Lost & Found Pet Registry.During the stray hold period (a minimum of three days), animals are held in kennels within the county in which they are found so that pet owners can more easily find lost pets. Stray animals are held for a minimum of three days. If the pet is unclaimed, it becomes property of the Brandywine Valley SPCA and will be evaluated for placement or adoption.Tips for Finding Your Lost PetCheck the State’s Lost & Found Pet Registry – This site contains pictures and descriptions of all stray animal picked up by DAS officers, as well as, animals found by members of the public.Fill out a DAS Lost Report – If you don’t see your pet on the State Lost and Found Pet Registry, post a lost pet report. Include a photo, description and details where the pet was last seen. If you need assistance, call the DAS dispatch center at 302-255-4646.Call the Brandywine Valley SPCA’s Lost/Found hotline to arrange to visit the shelter facilities to search for your pet.New Castle County: 302-516-1001Kent County: 302-601-7000Sussex County: 302-856-6361Contact Other Local Animal Shelters – All Delaware shelters post stray pets that they have taken in on their website. Check these websites and/or visit as soon as possible. These shelters include:Humane Animal PartnersFaithful Friends Animal SocietyFirst State Animal Center and SPCACheck Your Neighborhood – Drive and/or walk your neighborhood and adjoining neighborhoods daily. Talk to neighbors and hand out flyers so they can contact you if they see or find your pet.Advertise – Put out flyers in your neighborhood, local stores, veterinary offices and similar locations. Check websites such as Craig’s List & Petfinder to look for and post information about your lost pet. Place a “lost pet” ad in your neighborhood newspaper
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Dog Licensing

Under Delaware law it is mandatory that dog owners have their pets licensed. Delaware Animal Services has three options of licensing. Click a link below to get more detailed information about each option. There is also a link below that shares Frequently Asked Questions about dog licensing.Individual Dog LicensesKennel LicensesRetail Dog Outlet Licenses FAQ
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I’ve Found A Pet

For stray dogs, contact the following animal control agencies depending on your location:Delaware Animal Services – New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties – 302-255-4646City of Newark – Newark Police – 302-366-7111Have you found a stray animal that you’re not sure what to do with? Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that the animal is safely returned to its owner.Check for identification tagsIf you have found a dog with a county or state dog license tag, click here to enter the tag numberHave pet scanned for a microchip at a local shelter or veterinary center.Check the State Lost and Found Pet Registry to see if the animal has been reported missing.File an online found animal report on the State Lost and Found Pet Registry, as well as other local animal shelters. If you need assistance, please call our DAS Dispatch Center at 302-255-4646.DAS officers will pick up stray dogs from your location. We ask that the animal be confined to your home or yard. Be aware that depending on call volume and priorities, it may take some time for an officer to respond. Contact DAS at 302-255-4646 to schedule a pick up.By law, all stray dogs found and contained must be reported to DAS, or the cities of Newark or Dover animal control within 48 hours.A Note About CatsCats are allowed outdoors in the state of Delaware. If you have found a cat, you might have found someone’s pet who has either been let out or escaped the house. Cats are more likely to find their own way home than be reclaimed at the shelter. The best thing you can do for a healthy, adult cat who is not in imminent danger is allow him or her to find their way home and only intervene if you are concerned for the cat’s safety.  More informationAlley Cat Allies provides extensive information about community cats on their website, including how to  live with cats in your neighborhood, and deterring cats from your yard.I Found Kittens, What Do I Do?This depends on how old they. If they are young, they are likely still being cared for by a parent and it is best to leave them alone. As they get older and are weaned, they can be socialized, spayed/neutered and placed in homes if available.  More information
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Rabies Exposure

Delaware Animal Services (DAS) Rabies Prevention Program DAS enforces Delaware Rabies Control Laws and responds to reports in which a human has been exposed to the rabies virus.  Over 2,000 human exposures are reported annually to the Delaware Division of Public Health.  Humans are most commonly exposed to the rabies virus through a bite or a scratch from a mammal, such as a dog, cat, raccoon, skunk, or bat.  Prevention is the best way to reduce the spread of the rabies virus in the community.  Visit the Division of Public Health Rabies website to learn more about rabies and preventative actions you can take.What is Rabies?Rabies is a virus spread to people from the saliva of infected animals. The rabies virus is usually transmitted through a bite, and once contracted, the disease is fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control, animals most likely to transmit rabies in the United States include bats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and skunks. Because pets can and do come in contact with wildlife, current rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats are required by law. These vaccinations are key to protecting your pet, you, and the public, from the rabies virus.It’s the Law:  Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets must be vaccinated in Delaware.In Delaware, all dogs, cats, and ferrets over the age of six months of age must be vaccinated against the rabies virus.  Upon request by an Animal Welfare Officer, pet owners are required to present a valid rabies vaccination certificate.  If no vaccination certificate can be produced, a fine may be issued.  Additionally, unvaccinated pets that bite or scratch a human will be placed on a shelter 10-day quarantine and the pet owner is responsible for the cost associated with the quarantine.  Most pets that bite or scratch a human and are currently vaccinated can remain in the home for quarantine at no cost to the owner.Pets may be vaccinated at any veterinary hospital or clinic, including clinics managed by animal shelters.What to do if you have been exposed to the rabies virus:NEW! Rabies Exposure – You’ve been bitten by an animal. What now?Wash all wounds thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately even if the wound seems minor.Report the exposure to the Division of Public Health (DPH) at 888-295-5156.  All medical providers are required to report potential human exposure to DPH.Healthy dogs, cats, and ferrets that have bitten or potentially exposed a human can be quarantined and observed for 10 days following the exposure. If the animal remains healthy during this period, it did not transmit rabies at the time of the bite.Management of animals other than dogs, cats and ferrets depends on many factors such as species, circumstances of the bite, the biting animal’s history, and the animal’s potential for exposure to rabies. These situations are managed on a case-by-case basis.If an animal cannot be observed or tested for rabies, as is common with many types of wildlife, treatment may be necessary for the people exposed. The DPH Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology will assist you and your physician to make that determination.Report Animal BitesAnimal Bites to Humans – Call Division of Public Health – 888-295-5156Animal Bites to Animals – Call Department of Agriculture – 302-698-4630
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Community Resources

Pet Owner Resources If you are seeking help for your pet, there are organizations in Delaware that may be able to help with low-cost veterinary care and vaccinations, spay and neuter, pet food bank, and sheltering.A good place to start is with Delaware’s animal shelters:Brandywine Valley SPCA, New Castle, Dover and GeorgetownFirst State Animal Center & SPCA, DoverFaithful Friends Animal Society, WilmingtonHumane Animal Partners, Wilmington and StantonYou can also find rescue organizations by searching hereFind a Veterinarian or Veterinary ClinicLow-Cost Spay/NeuterRe-homing Your DogRe-homing Your CatDog Bite PreventionAnimal Poison Control CenterPet Friendly Rental SearchService Dogs and Emotional Support Animals
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Disaster Preparedness

Just like other members of your household, emergency planning for your pets requires supplies and advance preparation. Pets are members of the family and should be included in disaster preparations.Delaware Animal Response (DAR)Delaware Animal Response (DAR) is a program within the Delaware Division of Public Health Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) that works to prepare the community for emergencies and disasters where domestic animals and their caretakers may be affected. DAR’s mission is to develop and implement preparedness, response, and recovery plans necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of domestic animals, and the people who own or have responsibility for animals during emergencies and disasters.Volunteer OpportunitiesThe DAR program operates a State Animal Response Team (SART), made up of volunteers trained and ready to respond during emergency situations. Volunteers with diverse experience and interests are encouraged to apply. People with veterinary medical experience may sign up for the Veterinary Medical Reserve Corp (VMRC), a section within SART. To volunteer, send an email to the DAR Coordinator.Disaster Preparedness for PetsReady.govASPCA
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Low Cost Spay & Neuter

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Wildlife Concerns

DAS does not handle complaints involving wildlife. However, the information below may assist you.Wild Animal Questions and Concerns:Visit Wildlifehelp.org for answers to common questionsThe Humane Society of the United States  provides answers to wildlife problemsHire professional assistance – find wildlife control companies listed in yellow pages and ensure you choose one that uses humane practicesContact DNREC Div. of Fish & Wildlife during business hours with questions at 302-739-9912.Injured Wild Animals – Visit Delaware Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators website for information and assistance.Injured Wild Birds – Contact Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, 302-737-9543Wildlife Violations – such as someone shooting or trying to hurt wildlife – call DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife at 800-292-3030
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