Public Safety

Posted on: May 15, 2017

Animal Control FAQs

NF Animal Control FAQs

What services does animal control provide in Summit? 

Animal control reunites lost pets with their owners, rescues injured and stray animals or wildlife, and enforces local and state animal laws including the investigation of dog bites and animal attacks, animal welfare checks and nuisance complaints.

What should I do if I see a fox or coyote? Just seeing a fox or a coyote is not by itself cause for concern. Over the past few years these animal populations have grown and can often be found in residential areas throughout NJ. It is important to remember that both fox and coyote have adapted to live quite well in the suburbs and even alongside humans. It is also important to remember that these animals are normally not aggressive. Following are a few actions people can take to deter wild animals from a property:

  • Do not feed wild animals
  • Place all trash in a receptacle with a tight fitting lid
  • Do not leave food outdoors for pets
  • Maintain tidy birdfeeders (consider use of block suet)
  • Keep yard clean with trimmed hedges and cut grass
  • Install a motion sensor light in yard or driveway

If I see a raccoon during the day, should I be concerned? Not necessarily. The idea that raccoons are completely nocturnal is inaccurate. Raccoons often look for food during the day, especially during the fall and spring.

Nevertheless, anytime an animal appears sick, aggressive or injured, residents should call the local police department non-emergency number (908-273-0051). The police will contact animal control. If an animal has not moved from a location or has been circling an area for more than an hour, the police should be contacted.

What should I do if I encounter an animal that is aggressive or appears to be rabid? After an encounter with aggressive or possibly rabid animal, residents should immediately notify the police department. If possible, try to keep an eye on the animal to help the police locate it when they arrive.

Is the rabies virus still found in New Jersey? Yes, unfortunately rabies is found in NJ. Protect pets and family members by vaccinating all dogs and cats, even those that never go outdoors, against rabies. Licensing pets is the law in the state of New Jersey. Contact the City Health Department at 908-277-6464 or by visiting https://www.cityofsummit.org/DocumentCenter/View/206 to obtain or renew a pet license.

With warmer weather approaching, what happens if I find a bat in my house? Since bats can sometimes carry the rabies virus, anytime a bat is found in a living space, call the police non-emergency number (908-273-0051) and they will notify animal control. If possible, bats should be collected and tested for rabies. A common entry point for bats is through a chimney. Please remember to cap chimneys appropriately.

Are you allowed to feed wild animals in Summit? No. Summit has several local ordinances that prohibit the feeding of wild animals. These local laws include the feeding of stray cats. Additionally, New Jersey law states that anytime a resident feeds a stray cat or cats, they become the legal owner of that/those animals.

For additional information please visit westfieldnj.gov/health.

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