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Animal Control

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Fall River Animal Control's website. As many of you know, this department was brought in house on July 1, 2006. We work between the hours of 8AM and 4PM, seven days a week. We are available for emergencies 24 hours a day.

Animal Control collects the stray dogs and cats of the city. We also should be contacted if an animal, whether wild or domestic, is sick or injured. All animal bites should be reported to us, as any animal that breaks skin must be under a ten day rabies quarantine.

Stray dogs are held in our facility at the Southcoast Humane Society for ten day, cats are held for five. During this period, animals may be claimed by their owners with proof of ownership. Once the hold time is over, animals becomethe property of the city. Healthy adoptable animals are turned over to the shelter for adoption.

Animal control offers two low cost rabies clinics per year. (Please call for dates and times)

Our goal is to keep the city safe for both human and animal residents. We investigate cruelty complaints, animal bites, cases of neglect and abandonment, and proper animal waste on public property.

We welcome any questions, concerns, and even comments. We rely on the public to alert us of a potential situation. So, please do not hesitate to call us.

Thank you,

Fall River Animal Control
Cindy Berard, Supervisor
David Cadima, Officer
Karen Concepcion, Officer

Contact Information:
Office: 508–324–2037     8AM–4PM
Emergency: 508-676-8511     After hours and holidays


1. What is the city doing about the enormous cat problem?
We have estimated that there are over one hundred thousand stray cats in the city of Fall River. The city cannot possibly collect them all. We encourage people to spay and neuter any cat they decide to possibly feed. There are two low cost clinics in the city and one in Dartmouth.
(Please call us for names and phone numbers).

Animal Control has applied and received a grant to spay and neuter pets in the public housing units. We also will pick up any cat that is sick or injured and humanely euthanize them so that they are not made to suffer. Please note that the animal shelters are overflowing with cats. The only solution for these animals is to spay and neuter. There simply are not enough loving homes for every stray cat.

2. How do I catch a feral cat to spay or neuter it?
Animal control has humane traps that we lend out to our community. We can also help with transport to local vets and after surgery care for the cats.

3. What do I do if I find a stray?
Any stray animal should be reported to animal control. Stray dogs must be held for ten days so that an owner may claim his/her pet. Stray cats should also be reported to us since lost animals are reported to us.

4. What do I do if I lose my pet?
If your pet is lost, you should report it to the local animal control departments in the area, any local shelters and veterinarians. Posting signs around the neighborhood and placing newspaper ads are also great ways to recover your pet. Please keep in mind that the longer your pet is missing, the harder it will be to recover him/her so immediate action is important.

5. Do I have to pick up after my pet in this city?
Yes, it is against the law to leave your pets waste on any public property. Animal Control monitors the city and does cite for failure to remove animal waste.

6. Do I have to license my dog?
Yes, any dog found without a license will be cited. Dog licenses are available at he city clerk's office at city hall.

7. Are pit bulls banned from this city?
Pit bulls are legal in the city of Fall River. The city has a vicious dog ordinance. Any breed can and will be deemed vicious if authorities feel it is necessary. Every dog owner needs to be responsible and respect the leash law of this city. If you are compliant with the law, even the most unruly animal should never bite.

8. What do I do if I find orphaned wildlife?
If you find orphaned wildlife, you should contact animal control immediately. Only licensed wildlife rehabilitators are allowed by law to raise and handle wildlife. Possession of a wild animal in Massachusetts is illegal.

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