Police Department

Animal Control Information

Animal Control - The Animal Control Division is a branch of the Burlington Police Department. Most animal control issues are dealt with by Community Service Officers. The Animal Control Division is responsible for all aspects of Domestic Animal Enforcement including City Ordinance and Vermont State Statutes. You may find the City of Burlington's Ordinance pertaining to Animals by clicking here and reading Chapter 5: Animals and Fowl. You may access the complete Vermont State Statutes pertaining to Animals by clicking here. You may find a complete guide to BPD's Animal Control division here.
Rabid skunks, raccoons and other wildlife: If you see an animal that appears to have rabies, please report it to the Burlington Police Department immediately by calling (802) 658-2700 and dial 8 to speak with Dispatch. Note: urban wildlife is often mildly domesticated and may not conform to standard nocturnal habits. It is not unusual for them to be out during daylight hours, especially in the Spring. If you see a skunk, raccoon or other wildlife out during the day that is not exhibiting specific symptoms of rabies, give it space. It may just be looking for food. Bats are the largest source of rabies infection of humans in the United States. If you suspect you have slept in the same room as a bat, been scratched or bitten by a bat, we suggest contacting the rabies hotline as soon as possible: 1-800-472-2437 (1-800-4-RABIES)
Lost or found dogs: If you have lost your dog or have found a dog, please call (802) 658-2700 and press 8 to speak with a Dispatcher. We also recommend you visit the Humane Society of Chittenden County’s (HSCC) website at  http://www.chittendenhumane.org/Lost-and-Found-Pets for helpful information.
Lost/Found stray or feral cats: The Burlington Police Department does not routinely take custody of cats. We recommend contacting the HSCC at (802) 862-0135 or visit http://www.chittendenhumane.org/Lost-and-Found-Pets. HSCC may be able to assist with feral cats through its TNR (trap, neuter and return) program. For more information on this, call (802) 862-0135 ext. 18.
Dog Licensing: State law requires collars and tags on all dogs. Every dog must be licensed in the town in which it resides (VSA 20-3581). If your dog lives in Burlington and is not registered with the City, it may be impounded. You will then be required to license it and pay the impound fees before it is released to you. Click here for more information about dog licensing in Burlington. Find out more information on licensing your dog on the City's Dog License FAQs page.
Dead animals on public property: To report a dead domestic pet (cat or dog), please call (802) 658-2700 and press 8 to speak with a Dispatcher. All other dead wildlife (such as skunks, squirrels and raccoons) should be reported to the Department of Public Works, (802) 863-9094. If the animal is found on private property, it is the owners responsibility to dispose of the animal. It is highly recommended that you avoid contact and use bleach afterward to disenfect all tools used in the disposal.
Injured wildlife: Many injured animals, such as birds, chipmunks and squirrels can be nursed and rehabilitated back to health by licensed volunteers. Advice on what to do with any injured wildlife you find and how to contact a licensed rehabilitator can be found at this link here.


Reporting cruelty or neglect of an animal: If you suspect or witness the inhumane treatment of an animal, please call (802) 658-2700 and press 8 to speak with a Dispatcher.