Animal Emergencies & Complaints



NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS: If you have an animal related emergency during normal business hours, please contact the Newburyport Health Department at 978-465-4410.

NIGHTS/WEEKENDS: If you have an animal related emergency on a night or weekend, please contact the Newburyport Police Department for assistance at 978-462-4411. 

An emergency complaint is one that requires immediate action from the Animal Control Officer. Incidents qualifying as an emergency complaint are those in which there is imminent threat to human life or an injury to a domestic animal. Examples of emergency complaints include:

  • Domestic animal hit by car and injured
  • Canine bite, attack or mauling in progress
  • Potentially rabid animal having contact with human or domestic animal
  • At large dogs acting vicious or posing a threat to a human or other animals
  • Large dead animal disrupting traffic flow

NOTE: Loose dogs or dogs in custody are NOT an emergency. The on-call ACO working nights and weekends can not respond to loose dogs or dogs in custody. 


All other complaints are non-emergency complaints. Non-emergency complaints are those that do not pose a threat to life, public safety or danger of serious injury to the public or animals.  Non-emergency complaints do not require immediate action from the Animal Control Officer and shall be investigated during normal business hours. Examples of non-emergency complaints include:

  • Dead animals on the side of road or in public areas not disrupting traffic
    • Deceased animals on homeowners property is up to the homeowner to dispose of
  • Loose or lost domestic animals
  • Stray domestic animals
  • Violations of animal control ordinances which do not pose a threat to public safety
  • Nuisance complaints

To report a non-emergency complaint, please call the Newburyport Health Department at 978-465-4410 or email Kayla Provencher at