Delaware Office of Animal Welfare

Animal Control & Cruelty

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.

DAS officers will respond to calls concerning:

  • Animal cruelty and neglect
  • Dogs at large
  • Inadequate dog housing and care
  • Seriously injured/ill or endangered cats
  • Aggressive or dangerous animals
  • Animal bites to people
  • Animal-related emergencies
  • Assistance to police and law enforcement 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 regarding:

  • Nuisance wild animal issues
  • Injured wildlife
  • Barking dogs
  • Stray and outdoor cats (uninjured or healthy)
  • Sick or injured owned animals
  • Dead animals on the road
  • Stray livestock
  • Animals which an owner wishes to rehome or relinquish*

DAS is not a shelter or rescue, and therefore cannot accept pets that an owner wishes to surrender or stray or homeless cats.  For stray cat services, contact our shelter partner, the Brandywine Valley SPCA to learn about their community cat program.  To re-home a pet, you may also contact other local shelters and rescues for assistance, or learn more about re-homing your dog or cat