The role of the Delaware Animal Services (DAS) is to enforce state codes, rules, and regulations related to companion animals, and to investigate animal neglect and cruelty cases for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of Delaware’s human and animal residents.
Delaware Animal Services operates 7 days a week, 365 days per year. Summer hours of service are 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends. On-call officers will respond to life-threatening emergencies only after hours. Due to staffing limitations, we cannot pick up stray dogs or other routine calls after hours. These calls will be handled the next day.
DAS Area of Jurisdiction
Delaware Animal Services enforces animal welfare laws statewide with the following exceptions:
- City of Newark – Newark Police Dept. handles dog control, animal cruelty and rabies control within Newark city limits
- Livestock/Farm Animals – Animal Cruelty of Livestock/Farm Animals and Stray Livestock – contact Delaware Department of Agriculture.
- Delaware Animal Services – New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties – 302-255-4646
- City of Newark – Newark Police 302-366-7111
- Department of Agriculture – 302-698-4500
Our officers respond to calls regarding:
- Animal cruelty and neglect
- Stray dogs and dogs at large
- Aggressive or dangerous dogs
- Potential Human Exposure to Rabies – animal bites to people
- Animal-related emergencies
- Assistance to police, fire or other agencies
- Kennel license and inspections
In addition to enforcing laws, our officers serve as educators in the field to teach pet owners how to treat and properly care for their companions. Often, we provide referrals to local animal welfare programs or resources to people who want to provide for their pets but lack the information or resources to do so.
We do NOT respond to calls about:
- Injured or nuisance wildlife
- Barking dogs
- Stray and outdoor cats
- Sick or injured owned animals
- Dead animals on the road
- Animals which an owner wishes to re-home or relinquish*
*DAS is not a shelter or rescue, and therefore cannot accept stray or homeless cats, or pets that an owner wishes to surrender. You may contact local shelters and rescues for assistance, or learn more about re-homing your dog or cat.
The state contracts with the Brandywine Valley SPCA (BVSPCA) to provide sheltering services for all stray, homeless and abused animals picked up by DAS. To learn more about BVSPCA, click here.