Animal Control

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Feb 2024 Dog License Eng
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The Clifton Health Department strives to provide the best public health services to its citizens to improve the well-being of the public, including animals. The Animal Control Officers (ACOs) of the Clifton Health Department are compassionate animal welfare professionals.  All ACOs have satisfactorily completed a course of study approved by the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services and the Police Training Commission in consultation with the New Jersey Animal Control Officers Association.  They are certified by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to enforce local and regional laws concerning the care and treatment of animals and educate the public about animal control safety.   

ACOs can administer warnings or issue citations to citizens for violations of city ordinances such as failing to license their dog (§203-2), letting their dog run at large (§203-10). Failing to pick up their dog’s feces and dispose of it in a sanitary manner. (§203-11B1, 2)  They also enforce the city ordinance concerning unsupervised feeding of free-roaming cats (§203-70), and feeding of wild water fowl. (203-48), 

Officers respond to calls about stray dogs, stray cats and injured animals (both domestic and wildlife). Sometimes, officers have to capture animals and try to locate the owner, if no owner can be located they bring the animals to the Clifton Animal Shelter located at 2 Dogpound Road behind City Hall. There the animals are cared for and held for 7 days before they go up for adoption.  Our goal is to reunite as many pets as possible to their owners.  

We offer free rabies clinics for dogs twice a year (spring and fall) and cats ($5) once per year.  

We accept stray domestic animals at the shelter from Clifton, Wallington and Little Falls. 

If you live in Clifton, Wallington or Little Falls and have a domestic pet that you can no longer care for, please call the Friends of the Shelter (FOS) at 973-470-5936 to make an appointment to surrender your pet. 

We do respond to calls of deceased domestic animals (dogs and cats) on public or private property for the purpose of scanning for microchips, looking for collars with license/ID and matching up with lost pet reports to give owners closure.  

We do not pick up dead wildlife. For deceased animals on roadways, please call the Department of Public Works at 973-470-2237 during regular business hours. After hours, holidays, or weekends, please call 973-470-5911. 

We respond to calls of wildlife inside living quarters. (not detached garages or attics) 

We no longer trap for nuisance wildlife (ex. groundhogs eating vegetables, skunks or raccoons) as the State Department of Fish and Wildlife restricts release areas. 

We do not trap outdoor cats, but if you are interested in TNR (trap neuter and release) you can contact the FOS at 973-470-5936 for information.  

As of 02/01/2019 all calls of Animal Abuse or Cruelty must be investigated by the police department. If you suspect any animal is being abused, call the police dispatch at 973-470-5911. 

Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance. 

Clifton Animal Shelter:

Information for Low-Cost Spay/Neuter: 

Low Cost Spay/Neuter in New Jersey:

Animal Cruelty Information