Frequently Asked Questions

How do I license my cat or dog in Montclair?
When is the next free Rabies Clinic?
How do I report animal cruelty, neglect or an animal control issue?
I saw a raccoon (opossum, skunk, fox) in my yard during the daytime. Should I be concerned?
What is Rabies and how is it contracted?
I have nuisance wildlife in my home/yard. What can I do?
What do I do if I find an orphaned or injured animal?
What do I do if an animal bites me?
Where do I find the Animal Cruelty laws?
Where do I find the Montclair Township Ordinances concerning animals?
How does one adopt a pet? What is the Shelter's role in the adoption/pet selection process?
How does one find a lost pet? Advice for those who may have lost a pet.
Spay and neuter pets - what are the laws? Where can this be done? Does the Shelter provide this service?
Dead animal pick-up - who does it and when is it the responsibility of the county? The property owner? Any other reasons the town might not pick up a dead animal?
Barking dog complaints - are there ordinances about dogs constantly barking?
Microchipping - does the Shelter microchip animals? Does the Shelter have a chip reader? Do you recommend having your pet chipped?
Dog Parks - where are the closest ones and what are the rules?
What is TNR?
What laws/ordinances/regulations are there that deal specifically with pets?

Q: How do I license my cat or dog in Montclair?
A: In order to license your cat or dog in the Township of Montclair he or she must have a current rabies shot. The fee for licensing dogs is $8.00 for a spayed or neutered dog and $11.00 for an un-spayed or un-neutered dog. Licenses renewed after March 1st will be charged a late fee of $5.00 in addition to the licensing fee. The fee for licensing cats is $6.00 for a spayed or neutered cat and $9.00 for an un-spayed or un-neutered cat.  Licenses renewed after March 1st will be charged a late fee of $10.00 in addition to the licensing fee.  Take your rabies certificate and fee to the Township of Montclair Health and Human Department at 205 Claremont Ave., 3rd floor during the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday to license your cat or dog.

Q: When is the next free Rabies Clinic?
A: Please call the Montclair Health and Human Services Department at 973-509-4970 for up-to-date information on Rabies Clinics for cats and dogs.

Q: How do I report animal cruelty, neglect or an animal control issue?
A: If you have an animal control issue or you know of or suspect an animal abuse or neglect case please contact The Township of Montclair Animal Control & Humane Law Enforcement Department at 973-744-1400, extension 6978. If the situation is an emergency or needs immediate attention please call the Township of Montclair Police Department at 973-744-1234 and have them contact animal control.ß

Q: I saw a raccoon (opossum, skunk, fox) in my yard during the daytime. Should I be concerned?
A: If you see wildlife in your yard that is typically nocturnal it does not necessarily mean that there is an issue. The landscape around us it changing and habitat that is native to these animals is being lost. As a result of this animals are often displaced and their habits/habitats are changing.  If the animal is behaving an especially aggressive or unusually friendly manner or appears to be sick or injured please contact animal control immediately. Do not attempt to handle the animal yourself.  Keep children and pets away from the animal.

Q: What is Rabies and how is it contracted?
A: Rabies is an infectious disease that affects the central nervous system of mammals. The virus is spread primarily through the saliva of an infected animal.  Rabies is NOT spread through the blood, feces, or urine of an animal infected with the virus.  Rabies is NOT an airborne disease. Though rabies is primarily spread from saliva entering an open wound or mucous membrane (i.e.: a during a bite) any possible or actual exposure to body fluids of a potentially infected animal should be still be reported to the health department.  Any warm-blooded mammal can contract the virus though the primary carriers in North America are raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes and coyotes. Opossums are surprisingly resistant to the rabies virus! If you feel that there has been any type of exposure to an animal or an animal has bitten you please report it immediately to the health department and animal control.  Rabies symptoms in animals are often displayed as excessive aggression or friendliness, drooling (mistaken for “foaming at the mouth”), wobbly gait, or paralysis. Though during the past ten years rabies has only caused a total of 28 human fatalities in the United States, it’s sensible to take the proper precautions to keep yourself, your family and your pets safe.  Report any suspect animals to animal control, teach your children about admiring wildlife from a safe distance and keep family pets up to date on their vaccinations.

Q: I have nuisance wildlife in my home/yard. What can I do?
A: The Township of Montclair Animal Control & Humane Law Enforcement Department does not handle nuisance wildlife issues.  The homeowner through prevention, exclusion and discouraging the wild animals can solve most nuisance wildlife issues.  A terrific online resource can be found on the Humane Society of the US website. In the state of NJ, trapping and relocating wildlife is not only not recommended, it is ILLEGAL and it is ineffective. Exclusion (making the environment less tempting for wildlife) is the best long-term solution.

Q: What do I do if I find an orphaned or injured animal?
A: If you find an orphaned or injured animal it is best to contact animal control immediately. If you find you MUST handle the animal it is recommended that you wear thick gloves when doing so. Keep the animal warm, safe, dark and quiet. Do not attempt to give the animal food or water – you could be doing more harm than good. If an animal appears sick or injured please contact animal control immediately.  If you believe an animal may have been orphaned take the following steps:

Stop! Wait! Look! Wild babies must accompany their mothers to learn how to forage for food and other survival techniques. Mom may not be far behind so wait a few minutes before approaching.  Remember your first day of Kindergarten? Mom let you walk to the bus stop yourself but she was probably hiding behind trees to make sure that you were safe!
Observe and gather information. What kind of animal is it? Are there flies or blood present? What is the animal’s condition—plump or skinny? Is it moving? Making noises? Take notes. Be patient and wait. Leave the area for a little while. Mom may not be far off. Give her a chance to retrieve her baby. Return to the scene. If a reasonable amount of time has gone by and you feel mom is not coming back please contact animal control as soon as possible.

Q: What do I do if an animal bites me?
A: If an animal bites you immediately wash out the wound with plenty of soap and water. Identify and isolate the animal that bit you (if possible). Contact your physician. Report the bite to the Township of Montclair health department and animal control so that the proper quarantine for the biting animal can be done.

Q: Where do I find the Animal Cruelty laws?
A: The NJ State Animal Cruelty Statutes can be found at www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusnjst4_19_1_4_19A_17.htm or http://www.njspca.org.

Q: Where do I find the Montclair Township Ordinances concerning animals?
A: For all Township of Montclair ordinances visit the General Code E-Code web site. The site provides a keyword search of the Montclair Code database. You may also call the Township Clerk's Department and request a copy of Township Ordinance: 973-509-4900.

Q: How does one adopt a pet? What is the Shelter's role in the adoption/pet selection process?

A: After you fall in love with an orphaned pet there is an application process that takes 24-48 hours. You will be asked for 3 personal references, your veterinarian’s name and phone number and proof of residence. The application also includes various other questions about your lifestyle and what you are looking for in a companion animal. MTAS’s mission is to ensure that prospective adopters are matched with the right animal for their lifestyle. If the potential adopter has questions our knowledgeable staff will help educate them on pet ownership.

Q: How does one find a lost pet? Advice for those who may have lost a pet.

A: If your pet is missing you should immediately contact your local police department, animal control officer and animal shelter. To reach the Montclair Police dial 973-744-1234. To reach one of our animal control officers and the shelter dial 862-233-0261. Spread the word among your neighbors. Ask them to check sheds and garages. Pass out fliers with your pet’s picture and your contact information. Check other local shelters as well. Sometimes pets may be transported to other shelters by good Samaritans passing through. For a list of local shelters go to:

www.Petfinder.com.

Other Helpful Links for finding Lost Pets:
The Humane Society of the United States
Finding a lost pet:
www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/what_to_do_lost_pets.html

Best Friends Animal Society
How to find a lost pet: bestfriends.org/resources/pet-care/general-pet-care/miscellaneous/how-find-your-lost-pet

The Missing Pet Network:
http://www.missingpet.net/

Q: Spaying and neutering pets - what are the laws? Where can this be done? Does the Shelter provide this service?

A: Currently there are no mandatory Spay/Neuter laws in New Jersey. It is a good idea to spay or neuter your pet for health and temperament reasons as well as population control. There are many options when choosing which way to go for Spay/Neuter surgery. You can find a local veterinarian on the N.J. Veterinary Medical Association website (http://www.njvma.org) There are also local low-cost spay/neuter clinics and programs:

People for Animals: members.petfinder.org/~NJ17/index1.htm
The Neuter Commuter: http://neutercommuter.org
Spay USA (A referral service for low cost spay/neuter): www.spayusa.org/
The Montclair Animal Shelter participates in some of these programs. If you need assistance making arrangements for spay/neuter please contact the shelter at 973-744-8600.

Q: Dead animal pick-up - who does it and when is it the responsibility of the county? The property owner? Any other reasons the town might not pick up a dead animal?

A: The Montclair Animal Shelter animal control officers are responsible for pick up of road-kill in Montclair and Verona only. Glen Ridge and Nutley residents must contact their local health department. Typically ACO’s only pick up deceased animals on public property owned by the municipality and deceased animals on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. Exceptions will be made for elderly or infirmed residents. All expired domestic animals on public or private property will be picked up by animal control so that we can cross-reference the animal’s description with the shelter’s lost pet reports.

Q: Barking dog complaints - do people call you about this? Does it ever turn into an animal cruelty situation and if so, when? How do you go about knowing which to investigate?

A: While there are no specific ordinances citing barking dogs there are public nuisance ordinances that encompass all disturbing noises. They are as follows:
§ 127-2. Unnecessary noise; disturbance.
No person shall make or assist in making any riot, noise or disturbance in any house, shop, store or any other place, public or private, within the Township.

§ 217-1. Declaration of nuisance.
It is hereby declared to be a nuisance, and it shall be unlawful, for any person to make or cause or suffer or permit to be made or caused, upon any premises owned, occupied or controlled by him or her or upon any public street, alley or thoroughfare in the Township any unnecessary noises or sounds by means of the human voice or by any other means or methods which are physically annoying to persons or which are so harsh or so prolonged or unnatural or unusual in their use, time and place as to occasion physical discomfort or which are injurious to the lives, health, peace and comfort of the inhabitants of the Township or any number thereof.

If you have an immediate complaint about a barking dog you can contact the Montclair Police Department at 973-744-1234. It is also a good idea to alert MTAS’s Animal control officers so they can make sure that there are no underlying issues of animal cruelty and neglect. Often the ACO’s can help the owner of the dog in providing a solution to the barking. If a dog is left outside for prolonged or indefinite hours the town’s Animal Cruelty Investigator can ensure that the animal’s needs are being met as provided by the NJ Animal Cruelty Statutes. To contact animal control or the animal cruelty investigator call the shelter at 973-744-8600.

Q: Microchipping - do we do it? Do we have a chip reader? Do you recommend having your pet chipped?

A: Microchipping is a future endeavor for MTAS. We plan to microchip all the shelter’s animals for adoption as well as provide the option at our local rabies clinic for a fee. MTAS recommends that companion animals be microchipped so that identification is indisputable. Microchips can’t fall off the pet like a tag can so there is no chance of losing it. MTAS does, however recommend multiple forms of id for your pet such as a rabies tag, id tag and microchip. MTAS, as well as many other local animal shelters and vet offices now have microchip readers and can scan any animals that come to the facility. The more identifiers, the faster your pet will be returned to you.

Q: Dog Parks - where are the closest ones and what are the rules?

A: Dog parks are great fun for you and your four-legged companion provided you both follow the rules. There are many great dog parks throughout the state (some require membership; some do not) and each has its own individual rules. One of the great local dog parks is in Brookdale Park. Check out their website: brookdaleparkdogpark.com

For a listing of other New Jersey dog parks go to:
Fun New Jersey:
www.funnewjersey.com/upload_user/Different_Outdoor_adventures_NJ/DOG_PARKS_NJ.HTM

Association of Pet Dog Trainers:
Dog Park Etiquette:
apdt.com/pet-owners/dog-park/etiquette/

Q: What is TNR?

A: TNR is short for Trap, Neuter and Return. TNR is a program often implemented to control feral cat populations. Neutered cats are released back to the colony site after surgery and are cared for by a “colony caretaker”. The idea is that once a colony is all spayed and neutered they can not reproduce and eventually the colony will cease to exist as the cats pass away. If you are caring for a feral cat population that is still reproducing please contact the shelter at 862-233-0261 to discuss the issue with staff. Do not continue to let them breed! One of the following organizations can also be contacted for further information and assistance:

S.T.A.R.T.: www.startpets.org
Alley Cat Allies: www.alleycat.org
Other useful links on Feral Cats:
NJ State Department of Health Office of Animal Welfare: www.nj.gov/health/animalwelfare/stray.shtml
Wikipedia Feral Cat Information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_cat