City of Lynn


Last Website Update:
April 16, 2020 4:17 PM

Welcome To The Lynn Animal Control Webpage | ISD

The primary function of the Animal Control Officer is public safety.  The Animal Control Officer enforces state and local regulations related to animals.  These duties include picking up stray dogs, licensing and vaccination enforcement, bite investigations, cruelty investigations, quarantines, barking complaints and kennel inspections.  These duties frequently require the Animal Control Officer to be out of the office.  To reach the ACO please follow the instructions below:  

List Animal Control Officer Contact Information
  Desk Phone (781) 477-4385
  Lynn Police (781) 595-2000
  Email | After Hours

Animal Control Department | Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I contact about picking up a dead animal?
 The Animal Control Officer will only collect dead animals from public property.  For animals on private property, the property owner is responsible to for removal. 

Will the Animal Control Officer remove a wild animal from my yard, home or building?
To remove a wild animal (e.g. squirrel, raccoon, etc.) from private property please contact a problem animal control agent (PAC) or exterminator.  State law prohibits trapping, moving or relocating problem animals without a license.  For more information please see    

Should I be concerned if I spot a nocturnal animal during daylight?
Although certain species are predominantly nocturnal, this is not always the case.  A mother with young may stay with them overnight to protect them and forage for food during the day.  Rabid wildlife will appear disoriented or “drunk,” often going in circles. 

What can I do about aggressive turkeys in my neighborhood?
Turkeys observe a social hierarchy wherein the stronger dominate the weak.  This may manifest as aggressive behavior towards humans.  For more information about living in close proximity to wild turkeys please see

Who do I contact about surrendering a homeless or unwanted cat or dog?
The Animal Rescue League of Boston will accept animal surrenders by appointment.  For more information please see

Dogs and cats also may be surrendered to MSPCA-Boston Tuesday through Friday from 2-5 p.m.  For additional information about no-kill shelters which may accept surrenders depending on capacity, please see   

How many dogs can a person have in their home?
 Lynn residents may have no more than three licensed dogs, except puppies may remain with their mothers for six months. Anyone housing more than three adult dogs needs to obtain a kennel license.  For more information please contact the City Clerk’s office.

Where do I license my dog and how much does it cost? Dog licenses may be obtained in the City Clerk’s office, Lynn City Hall, Room 201. 

Animal Control Department | Wildlife

If you have a problem with a wild animal in your home or property (e.g. chimney, attic, under decks or sheds, etc.) you must contact a licensed Problem Animal Control agent (PAC) or exterminator. 

State law prohibits trapping or relocating wild animals without a license because:

  • Capturing and releasing wild animals may spread disease(s) to new populations of animals;
  • Introducing a new animal to a populated environment often results in conflict and stress within the existing animal population, as well as hardship or death to the new animal;
  • Relocated animals often return in any event – squirrels, raccoons and other wildlife may reappear after translocations of 5, 10 or even 15 miles;
  • Relocation only transfers the problem to another area, particularly in the case of an animal accustomed to living in close proximity to humans;
  • Removing the animal is a temporary solution at best that does not address the root cause(s) attracting wild animals to the property.  

The following links contain additional helpful information on wildlife:

New Item Website Links

Animal Control Department | Animal Bites and Quarantines

State law requires the owner of any domestic animal (e.g. dog, cat, ferret, etc.) to notify the Animal Control Officer within 24 hours of an animal bite or scratch which has broken the skin.  Owners should be prepared to provide the name, address and phone number of the injured individual as well as current rabies certificates and (dog) license information. 

The Department of Animal Resources, Division of Animal Health, has established a state-wide rabies protocol that provides that any domestic animal that bites or scratches a person shall be ordered quarantined for a period of ten (10) days.  During quarantine the animal shall be securely confined and kept from contact with any other animal.  Animals may be released from quarantine only after a follow up investigation and approval by the ACO. 

Instructions for Animal Bite Victims

  1. Document all of the following (if possible):
    1. Animal’s breed and general description (size, weight, color);
    2. Owner’s name, address and telephone number;
    3. Animal’s rabies vaccination status;

  2. Visit your health care provider and follow his/her instructions regarding care for the wound.

  3. Contact the Animal Control Officer so that the animal may be quarantined. The ACO will update bite victims on the status of quarantined animals, including whether the animal has been deemed safe after ten (10) days. 


  • Increased pain or swelling
  • Redness, swelling or discharge from the wound
  • Fever in excess of 100°F (37.8°C)
  • Headache, confusion, bizarre behavior or seizure

For additional information about Animal Bites, Rabies and Quarantines please see these documents:

New Item Documents For Download (PDF)
  Rabies Protocol: Definitions
  Rabies Protocol: Management of Dogs & Cats Which Bite Humans
  Rabies Protocol: Management of Dogs & Cats Exposed to Other Domestic Animals
  Rabies Protocol: Management of Dogs & Cats Exposed to Wildlife
  Rabies Quarantine Transfer Policy

Animal Control Department | Missing and Stray Animals

Missing/Stray Cats | The City of Lynn does not have a leash law with respect to cats and generally the ACO will not pick up stray cats due to lack of facilities.  However, there may be extenuating circumstances – such as a very sick or injured cat, or abandoned kittens.  Under normal circumstances the ACO can provide information about rescues and/or shelters that accept surrendered cats. 

If you find a stray cat or lose your cat, you should contact the ACO who may know of someone looking for their cat or holding yours.   

Missing/Stray Dogs | If your dog is missing, please contact the ACO as soon as possible.  Your dog may have been picked up and kenneled temporarily at the North Shore Animal Hospital.  You must demonstrate proof of an active City of Lynn dog license, and all outstanding fines and charges related to kenneling must be paid before the dog will be released.

If you find a stray dog or lose your dog, you should contact the ACO who may know of someone looking for their dog or holding yours.   

Animal Control Department | Laws, Ordinances and Regulations

Licenses |
The city requires that all dogs be licensed annually. Although cats must receive required rabies vaccination they need not be licensed.  Licenses must be renewed April 1st of each year. To obtain a dog license please contact the City Clerk’s office, Lynn City Hall, Room 201. 

City Leash Law |
No owner or keeper of any dog shall permit such dog to run at large at any time.  Dogs shall be restrained by being kept indoors or in a yard sufficiently and safely enclosed or on a leash. Dogs are not allowed in Pine Grove Cemetery. There is no leash law for cats in the City of Lynn.

City Dog Park |
The Barkland Avenue Dog Park is located on Parkland Avenue, near the intersection with Richardson Road.  All dogs using the park must display a valid dog tag, proof of vaccination and city dog license and must be accompanied by a handler over 18 years old.  Children under age 10 are prohibited.  Food, whether for human or canine consumption, smoking and alcohol are prohibited within the park. 

Keeping Animals Within City Limits |
One must obtain a permit from the Inspectional Division to keep fowl (chickens, hens or pigeons), guinea pigs, rabbits, minks, or ferrets within city limits.  Additional regulations and limits apply. For more information, please contact Lisa Tobin, City Sanitarian, at (781) 598-4000.

Service Animals |
The American With Disabilities Act (ADA) recognizes dogs trained to perform work/tasks for persons with disabilities as service animals which must be permitted to accompany persons with disabilities into all areas of state and local government buildings, public accommodations and commercial facilities that are open to the public. 

  • Staff may not inquire about the nature of an individual’s disability, require medical documentation or proof of training/certification of the animal.
  • Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or service.
  • Service animals must be permitted in public areas of food establishments even if state or local health codes otherwise prohibit animals.
  • Persons with service dogs may not be isolated or treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees not assessed patrons without animals.  If patrons with pets are charged an additional deposit or fee, such fee may not be charged in the case of a service animal.
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