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  • Animal Control

    In Massachusetts, every city and town is required to have an Animal Control Officer. This officer is always responsible for dog issues; the law gives the town animal control the responsibility for dealing with stray and lost dogs. Depending upon the town, the officer may or may not be able to deal with issues about cats. But the local Animal Control Officer is always an important point of contact. S/he can provide a wide range of information and referrals to other animal resources in your area.

    In some towns, Animal Control may be part of the police department. In other cases, Animal Control may be part of another city department like Inspectional Services. You can find the Animal Control listing for your city or town in a phone book along with the other listings for your town offices. Or, call your local police department or city hall for the information.

    SABERAlert Program
    (Safe Animal: Broadcast Emergency Response)

    The SABER Alert Program is an alliance between animal care and control professionals, animal control officers, animal hospitals and veterinarians, rescue organizations, shelters, and other Massachusetts humane professionals, in an effort to assist the public by activating an immediate and urgent notification that a dog, someone's pet, has either been lost, found or possibly stolen.
    The goal of a SABER Alert is to quickly stimulate an entire state database of animal affiliates to assist in the search for, the safe recovery of, and the reunion of the dog with its owner.
    The SABERAlert, which was designed on the principles of the Amber Alert, issues not only issues in response to "missing" but also "found" dogs. SABERAlert was launched in late 2007 and has been a great success in reuniting families with their beloved pets. Saber was the name of the first dog, a German Shepherd, who was reunited with his family by means of this system, and it now stands for Safe Animal: Broadcast Emergency Response.

    Program Activation Guidelines

    Deni Goldman, creator of the SABERAlert, designed these activation guidelines in order to achieve a consistent network across the Commonwealth and to minimize delays in reuniting dogs with their owners.
    -       A dog must be missing or found for at least 48 hours before a SABERAlert will be issued. This timeframe allows for localized mutual aid services, since most missing dogs are found within the first 48 hours of being reported missing - close to or within the communities in which they reside.
    -       However, a SABERAlert will issue immediately if there is sufficient evidence indicating foul play (i.e. theft of the dog).
    -       To ensure the effectiveness of a SABERAlert, the reporting party  must provide sufficient descriptive information including, but not limited to; the dog's breed, color, markings, description of collars, microchip and tag information, age, approximate weight, temperament, the dog's name, and the location and time last seen. A photo of the dog is very valuable if available and thus should be included in the email.
    Persons with information about SABERAlert cases or wishing to submit a SABERAlert issue request please contact:

    Deni Michele Goldman