The position of Animal Control Officer is funded part time and designed to handle all basic domesticated, and most wild animal complaints. The ACO works 21 hours per week or about 7 hours per day, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Due to the part time nature of the position, the schedule of the officer's availability will fluctuate somewhat between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. This however does not diminish the City's responsibility, ability and desire to immediately handle animal complaints that are of an emergency nature. Non-emergency calls will be evaluated and a police officer will be dispatched if the need to address the issue warrants immediate action, such as a barking dog in the middle of the night. We encourage citizens to call the police department at 284-4535 to report all animal complaints.
All canines in the City of Saco over the age of 6 months are required to be registered no later than December 31st of each year. Registration tags must be worn by the canine at all times. Information about registration fees and fines may be found on the City Clerk's section.
Common Laws and Regulations
Running at Large: Canines while on a public way or place shall be under restraint, meaning it is controlled by leash, or under direct voice control of a person and obedient to that person's commands.
Barking or Howling Canines: No person shall own, keep or harbor any canine which by loud, frequent or habitual barking, howling or yelping shall disturb the peace of any person or persons.
Proper Shelter: No person owning or responsible for confining or impounding any animal shall fail to provide the animal with proper shelter, protection from the elements, food, water and humanely clean conditions.
Number of Canines Limited: It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to keep or harbor within the City more than 3 canines over 4 months on January 1st in or about the premises, house, barn or any other building, or in or about all buildings on any one premise occupied by any one family, and the keeping or harboring of canines aforesaid is hereby declared to be a nuisance. This does not apply to those holding a valid kennel license issued by the City of Saco.
Remember to be a good neighbor and take care of your pets.
Wild Animals: The Animal Control Officer only deals with domesticated animals-household pets, etc. Nuisance wild animal complaints are handled on a case by case basis but are generally the responsibility of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries. Wild animals that are acting in an unusual or aggressive manner should be reported to the Police Department for an immediate response by a patrol officer.
Most wild animal problems center around two issues: food and shelter. Removing the means of entrance around house foundations, under porches and crawl spaces, etc, will deprive smaller animals, such as skunks, raccoons or squirrels a place to nest, and they will look elsewhere.
Removing sources of food is more humane than conditioning animals to expect food when they show up around your home. Nature equips wild animals quite well to find food, and we recommend that you allow nature to work.
Most stray cats are not feral. They have homes, but will obviously remain around your home if you feed them. If you still feel that a stray cat near your home has been abandoned, feel free to discuss the matter with the animal control officer.