148 Peck Street
Rehoboth, MA 02769
508-252-5421, ext. 3126
Animal Control Officer
Inspector of Animals
Rob Johnson (interim)
Animal Control Officer Assistant
Inspector of Animals Assistant
Brian McKearney (interim)
Public Weigher Livestock
John R. Hass
Animal Advisory Committee
Richard Cohen, DVM
Amy Hurd, DVM
Donations and Memorial Donations to the Rehoboth Animal Shelter should be made payable to:
Rehoboth Animal Welfare Account
Town of Rehoboth
138 Peck Street
Rehoboth, MA 02769
REHOBOTH ANIMAL SHELTER Pets for Adoption
The Rehoboth Animal Shelter is located behind the Town Office at 148R Peck St. The telephone number is 508-252-5421, ext. 3126.
If you have an emergency or the Animal Control Officer cannot be reached, please call the Police Department at 508-252-3722 for further instructions, or Rob Johnson at 508-509-5691. You can also visit the town website for information for details.
To report a lost pet, or if you have found a stray, please call this number. If you get the answering machine, leave a message, including your phone number, and the Animal Control Officer will call you back. You can also visit the Animal Shelter Facebook page.
Information about pets available for adoption is at PetFinder. If you would like to make an appointment to visit, please call the shelter.
For information about volunteering at the Rehoboth Animal Shelter, please call 508-252-5421, ext. 3126.
INFORMATION ON 2016 DOG LICENSES - Late Fees After May 31
(April 26, 2016) Dog Licenses were due and payable on April 1st. Any dog license not paid by May 31 will be assessed a $15 per dog late fee in addition to the license fee(s).
The licensing fees are as follows: Male or female dog $20; female-spayed or male-neutered $10. If paying by check, please make sure it is made payable to “Town of Rehoboth”. Whether renewing online, via mail, or in person, dog license applications must be accompanied by a current year rabies certificate (with a vaccination date covering the current licensing year) and proof of spay or neuter [if applying for the $10 licensing fee] unless your documentation is on file in the Clerk’s Office.
Residents may purchase 2016 licenses either at the Town Clerk’s Office, by mail, or online. The hours for town hall are Monday through Thursday from 8 AM to 4 PM, and on Friday from 8 AM to 12 noon. If you are unsure, please give the office a call (508-252-6502 x-3110 for Laura, or x-3109 for Lynn) get more information.
Dog owners should note that the license(s) will not be returned unless a stamped, self-addressed envelope is included with the postage (71¢ for one dog tag, 93¢ for two dog tags and $1.15 for three dog tags).
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER WARNS DOG OWNERS ABOUT LICENSING
(September 1, 2015) Rehoboth Animal Control Officer Jane Foster reminds residents that all dogs must be licensed through the town clerk’s office. Licensing requires a yearly fee and renewal plus documentation of rabies vaccination.
According to Foster, some residents are completely unaware town bylaw requires every dog to be licensed and have an identification dog tag attached to a collar. She also reminds licensed dog owners to make sure their phone contact information listed on the license application is correct.
Many times she picks up a wandering dog with a dog tag and retrieves the license information only to find the phone number is no longer active. Instead of getting the dog back to its home right away, she must kennel the dog in the shelter at the expense of the owner.
“I’d just drive them home,” she said, “if the dog is licensed and I have the correct phone number to call.
August 13, 2015, Sun Chronicle Article: Rehoboth Selectmen Declare Dog Dangerous
DELINQUENT DOG OWNERS MAY FACE ARREST WARRANTS
(September 12, 2014) Rehoboth’s Animal Control Officer Jane Foster issued a warning to dog owners during open public forum at Monday night’s selectmen’s meeting.
Dog owners who are delinquent in renewing annual dog licenses will be first receive a citation and fine. If licenses with proof of current rabies vaccination are not renewed, a warrant will be issued for the dog owner’s arrest.
“You will end up in court and you can be arrested,” said Foster.
Selectmen Skip Vadnais noted the issue of unlicensed dogs is taken very seriously by officials. If an unlicensed dog is collected by animal control, the animal will be cared for at the animal shelter behind the town office. Owners then face a fine for the annual license, a late fee, and shelter boarding fees. If they owner does not comply, an arrest warrant will be issued.
ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE NOW COMPLETE
(September 12, 2014) Rehoboth selectmen recently completed making appointments to the town’s new Animal Advisory Committee created in April.
The five-member committee, created to advise the selectmen on issues of animal welfare, includes two alternate members who can attend meetings but have no formal vote. Jane Foster, the town’s animal control officer will also play an active role working with the advisory committee.
As liaison with the committee, Selectman Skip Vadnais stated the group will be charged with addressing important issues and policies related to companion animals, farm animals and wildlife. The committee will advise selectmen with their recommendations.
The five members of the committee are: Koren Collins, Richard Cohen, DVM, Amy Hurd, DVM, Richard Panofsky, and Lynn Pray. The two alternate members are Elizabeth Botelho and Robin Seaman. The group will begin meeting soon.
SELECTMEN APPROVE WARRANT FOR UNLICENSED DOGS
(June 10, 2014) The Rehoboth Board of Selectmen last night voted to approve a warrant on unlicensed dogs in town. The period for renewing annual dog licenses has passed and the town’s Animal Control Officer Jane Foster has been charged with seeking out, catching and/or confining unlicensed dogs. Owners will then be required to pay the annual license fee as well as fines.
Selectmen reviewed ten full pages listing unlicensed dogs and urged owners to check with Town Clerk Laura Schwall to “see if you dog will be chased down.” Find dog license info here.
STAY AWAY FROM WILD ANIMALS
(June 7, 2014) Rehoboth’s Animal Control Officer, Jane Foster, has issued an appeal to residents not to approach or go near wild animals. According to a press release issued by the town, Foster says “there are many well-meaning residents in Rehoboth, but when it comes to foxes, raccoons, coyotes, skunks, turkeys, or even wild geese, these animals can be extremely dangerous.”
She emphasized they can carry “rabies, Lyme disease or other infectious diseases” that can threaten residents. “Contact with these animals can result in bodily injury or even death.”
Foster noted that despite good intentions, human interaction can be harmful for the animals, particularly babies who may wander. “Please don’t take baby animals, fawns for example, into your home. Just leave them for the mother deer to find,” she said. “The animal mothers will find their young.”
Residents are cautioned to keep distance from any wild animal on their property, especially if it is acting erratically. Do not approach and contact the Animal Control Officer at (508) 252-5421.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER PUT UNDER POLICE DEPARTMENT
(April 10, 2014) Selectmen at their meeting last Monday night announced their intent to place the position of Animal Control Officer under the authority and direct supervision of the Rehoboth Police Department.
According to Selectman Skip Vadnais, “this is the beginning of a long process” to update the town’s animal welfare services. Beginning with an information gathering process, Vadnais said officials will study operation of the animal shelter, the facility, staffing, compensation and other issues. The state, following multiple on-site inspections, has found the animal shelter and control function to be deficient in several areas.
“This is not a reflection on your performance,” said newly elected Selectman Dave Perry to Jane Foster, the town’s animal control officer. “This is about compliance with state bureaucracy.”
Vadnais, a local farmer, added the info gathering process will include looking at board of health obligations, law enforcement obligations and the “aggressive identification of offenders who don’t vaccinate their animals.”
Foster told selectmen she has no problem with the plan to put her job under the supervision of the police department. Residents will have the opportunity to vote on a new animal welfare bylaw, initiated by Lorraine Botts during her tenure as selectman, at the upcoming May town meeting.
RESIDENTS ASKED TO STOP DUMPING ANIMALS
(April 1, 2014) At last night’s meeting of the board of selectmen, Animal Control Officer Jane Foster reported finding two bags of dead animals dumped on Pine Street in Rehoboth. The trash bags apparently had been by the side of the road for a period of weeks before someone reported it to Animal Control thinking there were dead animals inside. According to Foster, she found dead goats inside the bags, and this wasn’t the first time someone has dumped dead domestic animals. “Whoever is doing this, please stop,” she said at the meeting. Foster advised residents to bury them on their own property. Dead animals left by the roadside must be buried at the expense of the town.
REHOBOTH CAT COLONY RESCUERS SEEK HELP
(March 27, 2014) Paws of Plainville, a volunteer, non-profit organization that rescued a large colony of thirty cats in Rehoboth last May, seeks donors to help pay for surgery on two Rehoboth cats remaining in their care.
The rescued “junkyard” cat colony, mostly kittens, was removed from bleak conditions and suffered from a variety of afflictions including malnourishment, FIV, FIP, ringworm and both external and internal parasites. Many cats were hospitalized for treatment and later adopted out to loving homes.
Two remaining cats, brothers Noodle and Breeze, both have luxating patella, an orthopedic condition that prevents their rear leg kneecaps from aligning properly. The condition is so severe, surgery is required to improve the quality of their lives and increase their adoptability.
“They have some so far from the lethargic, ringworm-ridden kittens that arrived at our shelter,” said Heather Molloy of Paws of Plainville. “Now they really need your support.”
A fundraising page at GoFundMe.com has been established to help Noodle and Breeze. All donations are tax deductible and can also be mailed to PO Box 2236, Plainville, MA 02762. Donors are asked to indicate their donation “Noodle and Breeze.”
ANIMAL WELFARE BYLAW
(March 11, 2014) Rehoboth selectmen last night discussed putting a proposed animal welfare bylaw on the town meeting warrant for May. Selectman Lorraine Botts, who first proposed an animal welfare bylaw almost a year ago, fought stern opposition from Selectman Skip Vadnais as late as last week. During the past year, he was vehemently against an anti-abuse bylaw that could be misinterpreted and impossible to enforce.
Since last week the two selectmen collaborated on language for the proposed bylaw to “guard against cruelty and inhuman treatment” of companion animals (dogs, cats, etc) and shared it last night with fellow selectmen. According to the suggested bylaw, pet owners found in violation would be subject to fines.
The town faces its own problems with regard to animal welfare. A follow-up visit recently to the Rehoboth Animal Shelter by Dr. Lorraine O’Connor from the MA Dept. of Animal Welfare identified continued “major concerns” with the shelter and its operation. Several months ago, the shelter was deemed to have serious structural and environmental problems including poor air quality and bad roof.
The recent visit identified additional problems including long-term residency of animals waiting adoption and record keeping at the shelter. Vadnais suggested the board of selectmen appoint a new animal control study committee to look into the various issues including how to improve the shelter to meet state standards. Both Vadnais and Botts volunteered to be members of the study committee if one was appointed.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER SENDS WARNING TO RESIDENTS
(March 4, 2014) Rehoboth’s Animal Control Officer Jane Foster, at last night’s selectmen’s meeting, warned residents to “stay away from strange furry things that don’t belong to you” as a preventive measure against injury including possible infection by rabid animals.
Foster strongly urges residents to resist trying to assist wounded animals including cats and dogs. “It is very dangerous for anyone to try and rescue an animal they don’t know,” she said, expressing her concern about a woman who anonymously brought an injured cat to a local animal hospital.
“She didn’t give her name and I’m worried about her as the injured cat (now quarantined) may have rabies,” emphasized Foster. Recently a cat brought to the shelter tested positive for rabies and was put down. If you see an injured animal, domestic or otherwise, please contact Animal Control at 508-252-5421, ext. 126.
For information about shelter hours or volunteering, please call 508-252-5421, ext. 3126.
ANIMALS FOR ADOPTION
(July 24, 2017) There are a number of cats and a dog at the Rehoboth Animal Shelter. The felines include a surprising number of grey kittens, very sweet, along with two mother cats and a stray calico. You can see more of them at PetFinder.
Suzette (below left) is a beautiful and affectionate calico cat. She must be a lost pet, and she loves attention. Suzette is spayed, vaccinated, and combo-tested negative.
Homer (left) is a friendly older dog who somehow found himself without a home. he is about 10-12 years old and has a good temperament. He is neutered, vaccinated, and tested negative for heart worm and Lyme disease. Homer does have some health issues including poor vision and a weak rear leg. He should live in a house where he can stay on one level.
Past Animal Control News
INFORMATION FOR DOG OWNERS - NEW TETHERING LAW
(August 30, 2016) Rehoboth dog owners should be aware there has been a change in state law on tethered (chained) dogs. The previous law allowed dogs to be chained outdoors 24 hours per day. The new law reduces tethered time to a total of five hours during a 24-hour period. The animal must be provided with food, water and shelter during those hours. Residents should call Interim Animal Control Officer Rob Johnson to report dogs that seem to be permanently chained outdoors. Call Rehoboth Animal Control at 508-252-5421, ext. 3126.
INFORMATION ON NEW LAW - PROTECTING ANIMALS TRAPPED IN CARS
(August 30, 2016) Interim Animal Control Officer Rob Johnson urges residents to learn about the new MA law that allows a passerby to break a car window to free an animal in extreme heat or cold. Anyone who breaks a car window MUST remain on scene until first responders arrive. If you see an animal trapped in a locked car, call Rehoboth Animal Control at 508-252-5421, ext. 3126.