Delaware Office of Animal Welfare



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 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Animal welfare officers are on duty from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends. On-call officers respond to emergency calls after hours.

DAS Area of Jurisdiction

Delaware Animal Services enforces animal welfare laws statewide with the following exceptions:

  • City of Dover  – Dover Police Dept. handles dog control, animal cruelty and rabies control within Dover city limits
  • 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

Contact Information:

  • Delaware Animal Services – New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties – 302-255-4646
  • City of Newark – Newark Police 302-366-7111
  • City of Dover – Dover Police 302-736-7111
  • 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 animals
  • Potential Human Exposure to Rabies – animal bites to people
  • Animal-related emergencies
  • Assistance to police, fire or other agencies

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:

  • Nuisance wild animal issues
  • Injured wildlife
  • Stray livestock
  • 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.