The Poop Patrol is composed of Jersey City residents who are committed to keeping their neighborhoods clean. They respond to reports of dog poop in their local area and help to uncover the identities of offenders so they can be ticketed by the Animal Response Team (ART). If you're interested in becoming a member of the Poop Patrol, fill out the form below.
How do I report Dog Poop Offenders?
In order for a summons to be issued the ART needs to have both the name and address of the offender. Because most dogs are walked close to home, we ask for local neighborhood help in identifying those who fail to pick up. If you see someone ready to walk away from their dog poop:
Ask them for their name.
Ask them to pick up the poop. If they do not:
Discretely take a photo of them and their dog.
Watch to see what house they go into. Note their address and see if there's a name on the bell or mailbox.
Record the date and time.
Report as much information as you can to the ART, who will inform your local Poop Patrol member.
Why is Dog Poop so Bad?
Dog waste (poop) is full of bacteria and parasites that can severely sicken other animals and humans, and even lead to permanent injury or death.
Rain does not "wash away" dog poop! It simply spreads the bacteria to new places, putting more people at risk
The bacteria and parasites in dog poop can stay infectious and continue to make people sick for up to 18 months
Rats are attracted by and eat dog poop, spreading disease and worsening pest issues
Flies breed in dog poop and carry that waste onto food and other surfaces, sickening people in their homes
Streams, rivers, and other bodies of water are severely polluted when dog poop runs into them
For the health and safety of our entire community and environment you must pick up after your dog and dispose of the waste in a public garbage can or at home.
Yes, I Wish to Join the Poop Patrol!
By submitting the following application I commit to monitoring my neighborhood for dog poop, sharing official Liberty Humane Society (LHS) Animal Response Team (ART) Poop Patrol materials, and being a respectful advocate for clean streets. If approved, I will be invited to join the Poop Patrol private Facebook group, where I will receive specific complaint information and areas in need of investigation. I pledge to respectfully engage with this group and members of the public at all times. I understand that Poop Patrol members have no direct authority to enforce municipal violations, but that information I provide may be used by the LHS ART to prosecute offenders, if substantiated.
Licensing your dog allows cities to collect important information about the animals living within their borders, and ensures that those animals are vaccinated against rabies. It also helps cities plan for future investment in pubic amenities like dog runs and parks, track population changes, and alert animal owners in the event of an emergency.
Jersey City and Hoboken require all pet dogs over the age of 7 months to be licensed with the city. The fees from animal licenses are used to pay for local rabies prevention initiatives. You can be ticketed for not licensing your animal, which is why all dogs should wear their license tag on their collar.
Download and print the Jersey City license application here, or complete the online JC dog license application here. You can download and print the Hoboken license application here.
It is illegal to torment, cause bodily injury to, or kill (outside of hunting regulations) any living creature. Animals cannot be fought, confined without adequate access to food and water, or transported in an inhumane way. Wild animals, including those on private property, may not be indiscriminately trapped, relocated, or euthanized. Mice and rats are the only animals who can legally be controlled via lethal means at any time by the public.
If you witness an act of animal cruelty, call your local police department immediately and ask to speak with the Municipal Humane Law Enforcement Officer.
Interpreting Animal Cruelty Laws
Phew. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, most situations involving alleged animal cruelty are much less clear-cut. They typically revolve around the quality of care a domestic animal is receiving from its owner, or the conditions in which it is living. These complaints are handled on a case-by-case basis by the Animal Response Team and can be submitted online here.
Animal Abandoned or At-Risk of Abandonment
Abandoning a domestic animal is a crime. Tying a dog to a fence, leaving a pet behind during a move, or dropping the animal off at a vet’s office or shelter are all forms of animal abandonment. If you believe someone is at-risk of abandoning or has abandoned a pet, call the Animal Response Team immediately. Have a description of the animal, the time and place of abandonment, and information about the owner ready when you call.
Animal Left Outside or Confined/Chained for Extended Periods of Time
In the state of New Jersey it is illegal to leave a dog, cat, or other domestic companion animal unattended and without shelter outside in temperatures less than 32 degrees or greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you witness an animal outside in these conditions call your local Police Department for help. Be prepared to describe the conditions the pet is housed in and if any shelter is provided. No matter the temperature, dogs may not be tethered outside overnight. It is not illegal to tether a dog in a yard, but there are additional care requirements. Call the Animal Response Team if you have concerns about a pet who is kept in this way.
Animal Left Unattended In a Vehicle in Hot or Cold Weather
If the animal appears to be in distress, call your local Police Department immediately. In hot weather, temperatures inside the vehicle can quickly become dangerous, even with windows cracked open. Call immediately.
Too Many Animals in a Home
Jersey City does not have a limit on the number of animals a person can own, but all animals need to be humanely cared for in a dwelling that is safe to live in. When the number of animals a person owns exceeds their ability to care for them, conditions deteriorate. Animals may breed in the home, making the situation worse. If these conditions become severe enough they may constitute a health hazard, the home itself may be deemed unfit for habitation, and the owner could be charged with animal cruelty. If you see or smell signs of animals who may be living in a situation like this, call the Animal Response Team. Residential complaints are often the first sign there is a problem, and it’s better for everyone to address these situations as soon as possible.
Animal in Poor Health Not Receiving Veterinary Care
It is the responsibility of each pet owner to provide reasonable medical care to their animals. That means ensuring freedom of movement through proper grooming, sufficient nutrition, pain management, and treatment of illness or disease. There are different opinions regarding what constitutes reasonable medical care. If you see an animal who you believe to be suffering from lack of care, call the Animal Response Team to discuss the situation.
From falcons to herons to groundhogs and opossums and snakes, Jersey City, Bayonne and Hoboken are home to thousands of different types of beneficial creatures, many of whom make a sudden (and dramatic) appearance during the spring and summer months, both during the day and at night. Everyone is out and about finding food, building nests, having babies, and teaching their young to survive--so the chances are pretty good you'll have a wild encounter. And that's really cool!
Common Backyard Wildlife:
Groundhogs (AKA: Woodchucks)
Less Common, but present in Hudson County:
These creatures are our neighbors, but they're the kind of neighbors who prefer to be left alone.As cities further expand into undeveloped areas, wild animals are forced into closer contact with humans. In order to keep a healthy distance between us and allow these urban animals to do their jobs, we need to avoid drawing them to our property. Leaving out garbage, pet food, or other leftovers provides wildlife with an easy buffet and encourages them to get closer to humans. That’s not good!It is normal for wildlife to seek out food, water, and shelter wherever they can find it. If you have these elements in your yard, alley, or home, you will attract wild animals to your doorstep.To keep wildlife away from your property you must remove the items that are attracting them. This is the only way to ensure the wildlife will stay away.
Cover garbage cans with tight lids (raccoons have little hands!)
Take in dog or cat food
Cover compost piles
Make sure garages and outbuildings are closed and secured
Repair holes or openings in porches/foundations/attics
Hang bird feeders out of reach of other animals
Install a light or make noise in areas where wild animals may nest
Call the Animal Response Team if a wild animal is sick, injured, or appears to be dangerous.
If you think you see a wild animal in distress, take a deep breath, wait 20 minutes and go look again. Baby birds learning to fly sometimes (often) fall down! That's ok. Unless they show signs of physical injury they are often best left to figure things out for themselves. If they are still where you left them after 20 minutes call the Animal Response Team; they will walk you through next steps.
You should not assume that wild animals out during the day or who are seen in public spaces (like playgrounds) are dangerous. Wild animals often look for food during daylight hours, even if they are generally more active at night. If you see a wild animal who is drooling, not moving, appears physically injured, or is showing signs of aggression- this is grounds for concern. Keep your distance and call the Animal Response Team.
Ok. That’s all well and good, but there is a (skunk/groundhog/raccoon/opossum) in my yard and I don’t like it (or I’m afraid of it). Will you come and take it away?
No. Wild animals are protected per NJ State law. They have a right to live in our cities. If a wild animal is routinely visiting your yard or home it is because there are resources there that support them. These animals should be avoided and their food or shelter source should be taken away. Then they will leave. If that animal is causing damage to your home or property you may call a private “pest removal” company who may trap and euthanize the animal for a fee. This is not a service the City will provide for you.
Who sets these rules about wildlife?
The New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife oversees wildlife management in the state. Their mission is to preserve New Jersey’s rich variety of fish and wildlife at healthy levels, protect the habitats on which they depend, and educate residents so as to foster a positive human/wildlife coexistence. The Division also investigates and prosecutes those who violate wildlife regulations.
I think I found an injured baby bird!
Breathe. Have a cup of coffee. Come back and look for the bird again. If it is still there, check for a few things: 1. Does it have feathers? 2. Is it hopping or trying to fly? 3. Is there another bird nearby who is making noise or flying around the baby? If so, this bird is most likely a fledgling, an adolescent bird whose parents are teaching it to fly. They don’t always get it right away; let them be and keep predators (cats and dogs) away. If the bird has a visible injury (bleeding or dragging its feet or wings), call the Animal Response Team.
If the bird does not have feathers or they are just appearing to “sprout”, the baby has likely fallen from a nest. Look up. Can you see the nest? It may be in a tree or on a house. Can you see the parents flying back and forth from the nest to the baby on the ground? If you can find the nest, put the baby back. If you can’t or the baby appears to be physically injured, call the Animal Response Team.
Please do not attempt to feed or care for injured baby birds. If they cannot be placed back in the nest they need to be transported to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for specialized care.
There is a Wild Animal in My Shed/Garage/Attic/Basement!
It happens. These spaces are dark, quiet, and warm—ideal living quarters for wildlife. The simplest way to get them to leave is to open all doors and windows to the outside, turn on a light and/or a radio, and leave the space. When you return they should be gone and you can fix the opening they used to get inside. If there is no clear opening to the outdoors you will need to set a humane trap and let the animal go outside. Your property manager or building owner is usually responsible for and can facilitate this.
There is a Wild Animal in My House!
Ok. Don’t panic! Both of you just want to be left alone, so let’s make that happen.
First, identify what the animal is. Close all doors and windows leading to other parts of the house, open all doors and windows that lead outside, and turn the lights on. This will tell the animal it’s time to leave. If the animal is a raccoon, call the Animal Response Team.
Second, re-enter the room after about 20 minutes. The animal should be gone. Close all exterior doors and windows and check for any babies or nests that may have been left behind. If babies are present, call the Animal Response Team.
Third, fix the opening the animal used to get inside. If they got in once, they will get in again!
If the animal is inside a wall or a space where it cannot leave on its own it will need to be humanely trapped and moved back outside. This is usually handled by your property manager or building owner. Call them and explain the situation.
Raccoons (or other animals) Are in My Garbage!
Raccoons love garbage! So do opossums and rats. It’s a feast for them! Do not approach them when they are eating. Turn on an outdoor light if you have one; this will discourage them from staying long. When they are finished and have left, collect and re-bag all garbage, and make sure you place it in a can with a secure lid. If you don’t have a secure garbage can keep your garbage inside until trash day. Remember, raccoons are smart, determined, and have little hands! This does not make them dangerous, but it does make them persistent. It is essential that you seal your garbage in covered cans to avoid attracting raccoons and other scavengers.
If an animal gets stuck inside your garbage can while eating (it happens!), stand behind the can and tip it over so the animal can get out. Make sure you tip it away from you and towards where you want the animal to go. You can also use an object to push the can over.
My Dog Keeps Getting Sprayed By Skunks!
Yes. Dogs are nosy and curious. They will naturally approach skunks or other wild animals to investigate (or hunt) them. A skunk cornered in this way will spray to protect itself. This is not the skunk’s fault. The skunk is just trying to do its thing.
The best way to avoid surprising a skunk and being sprayed is to keep your distance and make noise. Bang on your back door before letting your dog out into the yard to give skunks or other wildlife a chance to run away. If you’re walking your dog on a leash don’t let them approach skunks or other unknown animals (this is an important safety precaution as well!). Most wildlife is active around dusk and dawn, so pay particular attention if you are out with your dog during these times. You WILL see skunks, but if you pay attention you and your dog won’t get sprayed.
Animal Response Team Contact Information (Report law violations and animal bites here)
If your pet or a pet in your care is experiencing a medical emergency, you must contact a private emergency veterinary provider.
LHS's team of dedicated Animal Control Officers and Investigators is the main point of contact for all stray animal concerns in our service areas, and is responsible for everything from call dispatch, to animal assessment, to public education and resources. A "stray" animal is a domestic or wild animal whose owner is not known.
The Animal Response Team serves Jersey City and Hoboken. If you live outside of these areas you need to contact your municipal Health Department or Police Department for assistance in reaching your animal services provider.
Contact the Animal Response Team Anytime If:
You have found an injured or sick stray animal (this includes wildlife)
You have found and confined a stray domestic animal
You are witnessing possible animal cruelty or neglect
There is a stray animal who appears to be dangerous
There is a wild animal in your living space that cannot escape
The above situations are considered animal emergencies. If you are not experiencing an animal emergency please contact the ART during business hours (Mon-Sat, 8am-4pm, excluding holidays).
Contact the Animal Response Team During Business Hours (8am-4pm Mon-Sat) If You:
Wish to report a nuisance complaint (barking dog, off-leash dog, unlicensed dog, poop)
Are requesting information about feral or outdoor cats
Are seeking an update about a complaint you made
Wish to speak to an Animal Response Team member
Have seen a deceased dog on public property
Have found a deceased stray dog or cat on your property
Deceased cats and wild animals on public property are picked up by the Department of Public Works during business hours.
For Jersey City call: 201.547.4900. For Hoboken call: 201.420.2375.
1. Browse available pets online. 2. If you see a pet that may be a good fit for you or if you know what kind of pet you would like to adopt, submit an application online. 3. After your application is submitted, an adoption counselor will call you to answer all your questions.
We look forward to helping you add a new member to your family.