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Animal Control

Animal Control is a subdivision of the Groton Town Police Department.   Our division currently employs 1 full time Animal Control Officer, 1 full time Assistant Animal Control Officer and 1 part-time Assistant Animal Control Officer to provide daily coverage to all the citizens of the Town of Groton to include the City of Groton and Groton Long Point.

First and foremost, our job is public safety.  We are responsible for all domestic animal issues and wildlife if it is a rabies issue.  We respond to all citizens’ concerns regarding these animals.  This includes impounding stray dogs, barking complaints, animal bites, and cruelty investigations.  At this time we are unable to pick up stray cats due to Connecticut state law.  We realize this is a frustrating issue and try to offer alternate solutions to this problem when we can.

Groton Animal Control has always operated under the philosophy of community policing.  Pets are members of the family and we acknowledge this through our concern for the animals in the course of our duties.  We realize that most situations involve friends and neighbors and strive to mediate long term solutions which afford the best protection for all. 

The Groton Animal Facility is located next to the Groton Town Police Station.  It is the Animal Control Officer’s responsibility to care for all the animals that have been impounded.  Our population can vary from a few cats and dogs to an all time high of 15 cats and 20 dogs.  A large percentage of these animals are redeemed by their owners.  The others are available for adoption and can be viewed at www.petfinder.com.  We have a very successful adoption program and most animals have homes lined up as soon as they are available.

Groton Animal Control, in conjunction with Safe Kids of New London County, offers a dog bite prevention program for the youth of Groton.  We are active in schools and other venues to promote safe behavior around animals.  This program includes the use of Delta certified therapy dogs through WAGS (Wonderful Animals Giving Support).  This is a regional project with Ledyard, New London, and Stonington Animal Control participating.  More information is available at www.nlcsafekids.org.

Groton Animal Control is currently developing an emergency plan to provide for the animals in Groton in the event of an emergency.  This is an ongoing project that will focus on public education and preparedness.  Information will soon be available in the Town of Groton Emergency Management section.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have to license my dog?

The State of Connecticut requires all dogs 6 months of age and older to be licensed.  Licenses may be purchased at the Town Clerks office or through Animal Control.   A copy of a current rabies certificate is necessary to purchase the license.  This is a yearly obligation and new licenses are sold beginning June 1.  It is important to keep your dog current as Animal Control periodically canvasses neighborhoods for unlicensed dogs.

Does my animal need a rabies vaccination if it stays inside?

Yes!  Again State law is very clear and requires all dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies by 3 months of age.  Speaking from experience, there are unusual situations that can occur including a rabid animal entering the house.   There are many low cost vaccination clinics available throughout the state.  For more information you may visit the Connecticut Humane Society’s website at www.cthumane.org.

If I can no longer keep my animal can I turn it into Groton Animal Control?

We request that other options are explored first.  These include an ad in the paper, private rescue groups, and the Connecticut Humane Society.  If the owner is unsuccessful then we will accept the animal if we have available space.  We will only accept animals from Groton citizens. 

I have a wild animal living in my attic.  Will Animal Control remove it for me?

Animal Control will respond to wildlife calls if it is a rabies issue or if there has been contact with a person or domestic animal.   Wildlife that is acting sick or aggressive is a priority call.  The symptoms of rabies are varied.  Some animals will be slow moving and uncoordinated and appear to be drunk.  Others can go from a disoriented state to very fast moving and aggressive.  All other wildlife issues must be handled by a licensed professional.  This includes the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) and licensed trappers who can be found in the yellow pages under Pest Control.     

What should I do if I see a coyote?

Coyotes seen near homes or in residential areas rarely threaten human safety.  Their diet consists mainly of rabbits and rodents supplemented with berries and other plant material.  Coyotes will also help themselves to pet food, as well as the pets themselves, garden produce and food wastes.  The best way to solve wildlife problems is to prevent them-don’t let pets run loose and keep anything that could be used as a food source safely stored.
The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection recommends you follow these tips to increase the safety of pets and livestock, enhance human safety, and learn how to coexist with coyotes.

  • DO NOT allow pets to run free!  Keep cats indoors, particularly at night, and small dogs on a leash or under close supervision at all times.  The installation of a kennel or coyote-proof fencing and small animal pen designs can protect farm animals.
  • NEVER feed coyotes!  DO NOT place food out for any mammals.  Clean up bird seed below feeders, pet foods, and fallen fruit.  Secure garbage and compost in animal proof containers.
  • Always walk dogs on a leash.  If approached by a coyote while walking your dog, keep the dog under control and calmly leave the area.  DO NOT run or turn your back.  Coyotes are territorial and many reports of bold coyotes visiting yards, howling, or threatening larger dogs can often be attributed to this territorial behavior.
  • Attempt to frighten away coyotes by making loud noises (e.g., shouting, air horn) and acting aggressively (e.g., waving your arms, throwing sticks, spraying with a hose).
  • Be aware of any coyote behaving abnormally or exhibiting unusually bold behavior (e.g., approaching people for food, attacking leashed pets that are with their owners, stalking children, chasing joggers or bikers, etc.) and report these incidents to authorities immediately by calling 911.
  • Be aware of and report any coyotes exhibiting behavior indicative of rabies, such as staggering, seizures, and extreme lethargy.  Daytime activity is not uncommon and does not necessarily indicate rabies.
  • Teach children to recognize coyotes and to go inside the house (do not run) or climb up on a swing or deck and yell if they are approached.
  • Close off crawl spaces under porches and sheds that coyotes or other animals may use.
  • Educate your neighbors.  Ask them to follow these same steps.
  • Regulated hunting and trapping may be used to remove problem coyotes in areas where it is safe and legal to do so.
  • Contact the DEP Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011 for more information on coyotes or other wildlife problems.  To learn more about Connecticut’s wildlife, visit www.ct.gov/dep/wildlife.

For further information, you may also search the following site:
The Humane Society of the United States at www.hsus.org.

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