Contact Info

Animal Control
c/o Charlton Police Dept.
85 Masonic Home Road
Charlton, MA 01507
P: 508-248-2266
F: 508-248-1039

The Municipal Animal Shelter is located at 15 Old Town Road, Charlton, MA.

Office Hours




Animal Control Directory

Charlton ACOs are certified through the Animal Control Officers' Association of Massachusetts (ACOAM) Certification Course.

Ann Sellew
Animal Control Officer
Brent Sellew
Assistant ACO
Robert McGrath
Assistant ACO
Animal Control

2018 Dog Licenses

There are "ruff-ly" 2800 dogs in Charlton. We all know dogs can count and tell time so they must like numbers! Don't disappoint your furry mathematical genius - bring home a nice shiny new 2018 license number for each of your dogs!

Licenses may be obtained at the Town Clerk's Office during their regular business hours.
License before March 1 to avoid a $10 late fee per dog.

Any dog owner failing to obtain a dog license is subject to a $50 fine per dog per day by Animal Control.

Municipal Animal ShelterCharlton Animal Control Officers (ACOs) are appointed annually by the Board of Selectmen. ACOs are responsible for enforcement of State and local laws and regulations related to animal control. In addition, ACOs will oversee the care and control of domestic animals and, in some instances, wildlife. ACOs respond to dog, cat, and wildlife calls and can provide numerous valuable resources appropriate for each situation.

Dogs: Catch or pick up stray and/or injured dogs. Return to owner (if known) or impound. Issue warning letters, citations, and/or fines, when appropriate.

Cats: Work with residents who find stray cats by maintaining a lost and found list. Reunite with owner if possible. Assist owners with lost cats. Refer to other agency when appropriate.

Wildlife: Respond when needed to reports of injured wildlife. Transport sick or injured wildlife to an appropriate wildlife facility when necessary.

All Domestic Animals and Wildlife: Investigate complaints from the public and respond to each complaint according to the merit of the situation. Respond to reports of domestic or wild animals in distress/trapped in unusual places. Please note that a person or organization duly licensed in removing nuisance animals must be notified in situations that necessitate trapping. Work closely with the Animal Inspector on any suspected rabies exposure or other suspected infectious diseases.

Wildlife Notice: Charlton Animal Control has been receiving many calls regarding raccoons, skunks, foxes and other wildlife. ACOs assist only with sick or injured wildlife, when possible. It is ILLEGAL to relocate wildlife. If you require assistance with nuisance wildlife, please click here to contact a MA licensed Problem Animal Control Agent. Visit MA Department of Fisheries and Wildlife for specific wildlife information.

Charlton Lost and Found Pets List

Charlton Lost and Found Pets
Email your lost pet with photo to Animal Control or call 508-248-2266 with info for posting. If you recognize a found pet, please call us so that we can reunited it with its owner.
Lost Cat: Short haired black with white on chest, neutered male, named Nukkie. Missing from Saundersdale Road near Dresser Hill Road since November 26, 2017. Please call Charlton Animal Control at 508-248-2266 with any info or sightings.
Found Cat: Short haired orange tabby found on Gould Road by the Coptic Church on November 26, 2017. Please call Charlton Animal Control at 508-248-2266 to ID and/or claim.
Lost Dog: Pitbull named Zeus missing since November 16, 2017 from the MassPike Eastbound Rest Area - Route 20 side. Zeus is 10 month old male, wearing red collar and red chain. Please call Charlton Animal Control at 508-248-2266 with any info or sightings.
Lost Cat: Short haired orange cat named Bruce, 5 months old, male. Missing since October 17, 2017 from 60s area of Burlingame Rd. Please call Charlton Animal Control at 508-248-2266 with any info or sightings.
Lost Cat: Short haired white with tiger markings, spayed female, named Celest, missing from Flint Road near Burlingame Road since on our about October 16, 2017. Please call Charlton Animal Control at 508-248-2266 with any info or sightings.
Lost Cat: Short haired black and white, neutered male named Jackson missing from Muggett Hill Road since September 25, 2017. Please call Charlton Animal Control at 508-248-2266 with any info or sightings.
Lost Cat: Short haired black and white, spayed female, named Penny, wearing bright pink collar with a bell. Last seen September 14, 2017 on Partridge Hill Road / Potter Village Road. Please call Charlton Animal Control at 508-248-2266 with any info or sightings.
Lost Cat: Long haired brown tabby, spayed female, 15 years, named Sneaky. Last seen September 3, 2017 in the area of Pond Lane/Buffumville Dam/Old Webster Rd. Please call Charlton Animal Control at 508-248-2266 with any info or sightings.
Lost Cat: Short haired Brown Tiger, small female named Cheyenne missing since on or about September 3, 2017 from the Mass Pike Rest Stop Eastbound (Route 20 entrance). Please call Charlton Animal Control at 508-248-2266 with any info or sightings.

Dog / Kennel Licenses

Dog licenses and Kennel Licenses must be obtained annually at the Town Clerk’s Office or by mail using the Dog License Mail In Form or Kennel License Application. Kennel License Applicants Note: Charlton Animal Control has the right to inspect any kennel at any time per MGL Chapter 140 Section 137C. The dog license period is January 1 to December 31. The owner or keeper of a dog six (6) months old or over is required to obtain a dog license from the Town Clerk and the license must be attached to a collar or harness of said dog per MGL, Ch. 140, § 137.

When applying for a dog license the applicant must show proof, by a licensed veterinarian's certificate, that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies, as required by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 140, Sections 137 and 145B.

The Charlton Animal Control Bylaws may also be viewed in the Town Clerk'’s Office. Please be advised that Charlton has a 24 hour leash law.

Fees are:
Male: $20.00
Female: $20.00
Senior Citizen (65 and over): $17.00
Neutered Male: $10.00
Spayed Female: $10.00
Senior Citizen (65 and over): $8.00
A late fee of $10.00 will be added to license fees if you fail to license by March 1.
Any person seventy (70) years of age or older, upon proof of age, shall be exempt from the annual fee for one dog, per household, per year. The owner of a kennel license, age seventy (70) years of age or older, shall be excluded from this exemption. (Per Town’s acceptance of the provision of Mass. Gen. Law Chapter 140, Section 139 (c) at the May 20, 2013 Annual Town Meeting.)
Substitute Tag: $1.00
Transfer License: $1.00
Kennel fees are:
Four dogs or less $35.00
5-10 dogs $75.00
11-25 dogs $100.00
26 or more dogs $200.00
A late fee of $50.00 will be added to kennel license fees if you fail to license by March 1.

Dog owners who fail to license will be subject to a $50 failure to license citation per dog given by the Animal Control Officer. Failure to pay this citation within twenty-one (21) days from the date issued will result in a summons to District Court.

Please notify the Town Clerk if you no longer have your dog, if your dog has passed away, or if you have moved. Failure to do so may result in a failure to license citation.

Review all Charlton Animal Control Bylaws (as amended at May 20, 2013 Annual Town Meeting).

Articles and Brochures

Got Cats?
Hot Weather Tips
Cold Weather Tips
Charlton Animal Control Brochure
Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense

Adopting a Pet

Charlton Animal Control does not currently have an adoption program. Instead, we work with local shelters that accept our unclaimed dogs and cats into their adoption programs. The shelters do age appropriate vet work prior to putting the animals up for adoption. Charlton Animal Control will occassionally post animals available for adoption on our petfinder site as a courtesy and thank you to the assisting shelter. Contact information for the shelter that has the animal is provided so please read carefully. Visit your local shelters and thanks for adopting a homeless pet!

Donations to Charlton Animal Control

Friends of Charlton Animal Shelter is a 501c3 support group for Charlton Animal Control. FOCAS accepts monetary and material donations, holds events, clinics, and other fundraisers to fundraise for Charlton Animal Control. For more information, visit

Feral Cats/Kittens Resources

Semi-feral (semi-wild) or feral (wild) cats/kittens are domestic felines who are not friendly and living in the wild. They do not include friendly stray cats/kittens. They do include feral colonies, ie, a group of wild cats that live near dumpsters or other food sources, and barn cats who are accustomed to living outdoors on farms and catching mice and other small rodents. You should never attempt to pick up a cat/kitten that you think might not be friendly. Cat bites and scratches expose you to rabies and other diseases. Charlton Animal Control can help you determine if a cat is friendly or semi-feral/feral and which option would be best for the situation.

If you are aware of feral cat colonies in Charlton or if you are a barn owner with a feral cat or barn cat overpopulation problem there are two solutions:

1. Trap Spay/Neuter and Release (TNR). Call Charlton Animal Control for info.
2. Trap and Euthanize. For info: Charlton Animal Control (on case by case basis)

Charlton Animal Control has several traps available for residents use.

Lost and Found Pet Tips and Resources

The best way to ensure that your lost pet will find its way home is to always have a collar with identification tags affixed. The Charlton Dog Restraint and Regulation By-Law, Section 2. Licenses and tags requires that all dogs wear collars with license attached. Cats who are indoor/outdoor may wear a break-away collar with an ID tag. Another option for both dogs and cats is micro chipping. Microchips are small computer chips (about the size of a grain of rice) that are injected under the skin, typically between the shoulder blades. Each microchip has a unique ID number associated with it and the number corresponds to owner information on file with the microchip company. If your dog or cat is picked up as a stray, Charlton Animal Control, most local shelters, and many veterinarian offices have scanners that can read the chip and then contact the pet's owner. Talk to your vet or a local shelter about micro chipping.

If your pet is missing or if you find a stray pet, follow these steps:
  • Notify Charlton Animal Control immediately by calling 508-248-2266
  • Notify surrounding Animal Control Officers and local shelters
  • Place a lost or found ad in the local newspaper
  • Create a flyer, with a photo if possible, and post it around town
  • Go door to door with the flyer to see if the animal belongs to anyone
  • For lost dogs: Lost Dog Search
  • For lost cats: Cats in the Bag

If you think your pet has been stolen:

Low Cost Spay/Neuter, Vaccination, and Microchipping Programs

Please Spay/Neuter Massachusetts Animal Fund: Do you have a cat or dog that needs to be spayed/neutered? Check out the Massachusetts Animal Fund to see if you qualify for a voucher to have your pet fixed FREE. If you do, contact Charlton Animal Control at 508-248-2266 (or the Animal Control Officer in your town) and they can submit a voucher request on your behalf. For more info, visit Mass Animal Fund. Thank you for helping us stop pet overpopulation!

The following low cost spay/neuter and/or vaccination programs are available for cats and dogs. Some include heartworm/lyme testing for dogs and FELV/FIV testing for cats as well as microchipping. Please contact the appropriate organization for more information, pricing, and participating veterinarians:

1. Second Chance Animal Shelter, 508-637-1333 (North Brookfield, MA)
2. Worcester Animal Rescue League, 508-853-0030 (Worcester, MA)
3. Cat Mobiles MRFRS Low Cost Programs
4. PETCO, 508-721-2241 (Auburn, MA)
5. SpayUSA, 800-248-SPAY (National)
6. MSPCA SNAP 617-522-7400 (Boston, MA)
7. Friends of Animals, 800-321-7387
8. Concerned Citizens for Animals, (413) 565-5383 (Springfield, MA)

Re-homing Your Pet

We believe that pets are for life. But we also understand that there are times when you may need to rehome your cat or dog (or other small animal). Here are some tips if you need to find your pet a new home:
  • If your pet was adopted from a shelter, call that shelter and inquire about their return policy.
  • Contact local animal shelters and see if they can accept your pet into their adoption program. Most shelters have waiting lists so don't wait until the last minute to call.
  • Call your vet and see if they can help you place the pet.
Wildlife Resources

Charlton Animal Inspector - The Animal Inspector should be contacted if you find a wild animal that is behaving in an unusual or aggressive manner as it may be exhibiting signs of rabies. DO NOT try to catch or touch an animal that looks sick. The Animal Inspector will be able to assist residents by evaluating the situation and advising accordingly.

Mass Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

MassWildlife - Moving Wildlife is Illegal - Find out why moving wildlife is illegal, ineffective and harmful.

MassWildlife - Wildlife Rehabilitation - Wildlife rehabbers care for sick, injured or orphaned wildlife until they are healthy enough to be returned to the wild. For instructions on what to do if you find a sick/injured/abandoned wild animal, visit Wildlife Rehabilitators' Association of Massachusetts. The closest rehabilitator is Tufts University Wildlife Clinic, Grafton, MA, 508-839-7918.

MassWildlife - Problem Animal Control - According to the MassWildlife website, "PAC permits authorize the handling of skunk, muskrat, raccoon, weasel, red fox, gray fox, porcupine, Norway rat, mice, voles, red, gray and flying squirrel, opossum, chipmunk, rabbit, woodchuck, snapping turtle, moles, pigeon, house sparrow, starling and certain species of bats. Individuals with damage caused by beaver flooding must contact their local Board of Health for a determination and necessary permitting. Damage caused by migratory birds and other birds such as woodpeckers, which are protected under both state and federal law, require a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (413.253.2403)."

MassWildlife - Turtle Information and Conservation Tips

MSPCA's Intruder Excluder - An interactive guide for detecting and humanely resolving confluicts with unwanted household and garden visitors in three simple steps.

Turtle Rescue League - for all your turtle related questions!

Charlton has a 24 hour leash law.

An Act Preventing Animal Suffering and Death (S.2369) Effective Nov. 17, 2016 (Chapter 248 of the Acts of 2016). Addresses Thethering and Weather. Download Legal Update

Charlton Lost/Found Pets List

2017 Dog License are available in the Town Clerk's office or by mail in request. A late fee of $10.00 will be added to license fees if you fail to license by March 1. Any dog owner failing to obtain a dog license is subject to a $50 fine by Animal Control.

Rabies Alert: PLEASE keep your dogs and cats up to date on their rabies vaccinations! Rabies is deadly to animals and humans. The best solution is prevention. Second Chance Animal Shelter and PETCO both have regular low cost vaccination clinics. Keep your pets safe - vaccinate!

Cat/Dog FREE Spay/Neuter Voucher Program for qualified MA residents: Mass Animal Fund

Pit Fix: Second Chance Animal Shelter offers low cost spay/neuter for Pits. Call 508-637-1333 for an appointment.

Pit Fix: Worcester Animal Rescue League has a grant to spay/neuter Pits owned by folks who can't afford the cost of surgery. See if you meet the criteria to take advantage of this program!

Got Cats? Second Chance Animal Shelter has low cost spay/neuter programs!

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Forms and Documents

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