What We Do
We promote the health, safety and welfare of the people, pets and wildlife of New Canaan.
Animal Control is a section of the New Canaan Police Department and is governed by two entities:
203 594 3510
Sean Godejohn, Animal Control Officer
New Canaan Police Department
174 South Avenue
New Canaan, CT 06840
The town maintains a small shelter at the NC Transfer Station where roaming and stray dogs are safely housed, (impounded) until reunited with their owners or placed for adoption. Should your dog be impounded, the redemption fee is $15.00. After 24 hours with us, there is an additional $25.00 daily boarding fee. If your dog is not licensed, we may require you to obtain a town license prior to releasing your dog.
There are no laws that require roaming cats to be impounded, therefore, only sick or injured cats are handled by Animal Control. If you are missing your cat, we do keep a log, so please call us. Micro-chip your cat to ensure you can be located quickly if it is found. Remember that roaming cats are prey for coyotes.
Licensing Your Dog
The State of Connecticut Department of Agriculture requires that you obtain an annual license for your dog, six months or older. You will need a current rabies certificate and proof your dog has been neutered. The license fee is higher if your dog is not neutered. To license your dog, please visit the Town Clerk's Office
Spencer's Run Dog Park
New Canaan offers a 1.5 acre off-leash fenced area for dogs to run and play with other canine friends. The park is located by the Lapham Road entrance to Waveny Park. The dog park is open 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset and open to all who register.
You can register your dog(s) for the dog park with the New Canaan Parks & Recreation office, located in Waveny Mansion at 203 594 3600.
Once you have registered for the dog park, we request that your dog have 3 tags- Rabies, Town License, and Spencer's Run, while in the park.
Animal Control will monitor the park routinely to ensure compliance. We hope everyone will follow the rules and enjoy the park.
Rabies is a virus that any warm blooded animal can get, if not vaccinated. Transmission can occur by coming in contact with the saliva of an infected animal. You cannot tell if an animal is rabid by looking at it. Only testing of brain tissue of a suspect animal is confirmation.
Never go near or touch, a sick or injured wild animal.
Orphaned animals can be rescued with professional guidance.
Contact Animal Control, at 203 594 3510, or the Police Department, at 203 594 3500, for assistance. If you do come in contact or are bitten by a wild animal, WASH the affected area immediately. Use gloves to handle your pet if it came in contact with a sick or injured animal. Animal Control or Police Officers will humanely euthanize the sick animal and arrange for testing when direct contact is determined.
We can assist with routine wildlife questions and concerns, with the understanding that we share our town with a large variety of creatures such as, but not limited to: Bat, Bear, Birds of Prey, Bobcat, Coyote, Deer, Fisher, Fox, Muskrat, Opossum, Otter, Raccoon, Skunk, Snake, Snapping Turtle, Squirrel, Turkey, and Woodchuck.
Nuisance wildlife, e.g. bats, raccoons, and squirrels in your attic, can be resolved humanely by hiring a reputable Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator. (NWCO) Ask questions about how to prevent animals from getting into your dwellings, and ask what happens to the animals when they are removed. Bats found inside your home should be removed by a NWCO and it will be determined if the bat should be submitted for testing. Information on local NWCO's can be found online HERE
Our top three predators are Bear, Bobcat, and Coyote. We request you report sightings to our office. Small dogs and cats are at risk with Coyote. Please never leave your small dog out alone especially at dusk & dawn. Do not leave food outside at any time. Fruit trees attract wildlife as do bird feeders. It is recommended that fallen fruit be cleaned up and bird feeders be taken in at night. These animals are not nocturnal and live throughout town; including downtown.
Today's Big Question: How Far Will Predators Go?
Predator Hazing Guidelines
Hazing is a method that uses deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourages an undesirable behavior or activity. Hazing can help maintain our predators fear of humans and deter them from neighborhood spaces such as backyards and playgrounds.
Using a variety of different hazing tools is critical because our predators can habituate to individual items, sounds, and actions.
- Yell and wave your arms while approaching the predator
- Use noisemakers (e.g. your voice, whistles, air horns, bells, soda cans filled with pennies or dead batteries, pots and pans banged together)
- Use projectiles (e.g. sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls, rubber balls)
- Try other repellents (e.g. hoses, water guns with vinegar water, spray bottles with vinegar water, pepper spray, bear repellent, or walking sticks