The Town of Hanover does not have a specific individual assigned to the role of animal control officer. The members of the Police Department Patrol Division handle many situations related to animal control; for other situations we refer to our partners at New Hampshire Fish + Game.
Warnings When Dealing With Animals
We would caution people against having contact with animals that are not their own, even if they appear to be tame or someone's pet. While well-intentioned you may be placing yourself at serious risk when attempting to catch or control a stray animal. Stray animals may not have current vaccinations and while they may seem very friendly they may suddenly turn violent once you have them restrained. If you witness a stray dog please note the animal's description and location and report this to the Police Department. Do not attempt to capture or detain stray animals.
We would also remind residents that the bear population is growing and we are dealing with more cases of bears in garages, backyards, and even on porches and decks to get to trash containers or bird feeders. Please keep trash cleaned up and in a secure container and remove bird and other feeders that may attract bears to your property.
Reports of lost pets are routinely received and logged by the dispatch center in the event that a Patrol Officer happens to see the animal.
The Town of Hanover does not have a "leash law" requiring dogs to be on a leash when off their owner's property. Owners should however have control of their animals to prevent them from becoming a nuisance. This could be accomplished with voice commands or other means.
When a report of a stray dog is received an Officer is dispatched to the area to attempt to locate the dog. If the owner can be identified we attempt to reunite the owner and pet. If the owner can not be identified the animal is transported to the Upper Valley Humane Society in Enfield, NH. They can be reached at 603-448-MUTT.
While a Hanover Police Officer may respond to some calls related to "wild" animals, typically the NH Department of Fish and Game will handle these calls because they are specifically trained and equipped to deal with them. It is not uncommon to see animals such as deer, foxes, raccoons, skunks, and other wild animals in our neighborhoods. We also receive reports each year of moose in the downtown area and bear in the more rural areas. Wild animals are likely to be seen out at all times of day and depending on the time of year can appear "mangy". A wild animal out during the day with a mangy coat does not automatically suggest that the animal is rabid however residents are encouraged to call the dispatch center when an animal legitimately appears to be sick or in distress.
The NH Department of Fish and Game Dispatch Center can be reached on weekdays from 8 am to 4:30 pm at 603-271-3361.
From September 1 to December 5, they maintain longer hours (7 am to 7 pm) to deal with matters related to various hunting seasons.
We often get reports of Skunks, Racoons and other animals that are being destructive or a nuisance on private property. The Police Department offers several "Hav-a-hart" traps for loan to Hanover residents on a first come, first served basis. If you don't feel comfortable trapping the animal yourself, the NH Department of Fish and Game maintains a list of approved trappers and there are also several listed in the local yellow pages.
Please Don't Feed the Bears
We often receive calls from residents reporting bears in their yards. Bears often venture into more populated areas in search of food. Unsecure trash containers and bird feeders are two of the most common things that attract bears. Residents report bears and other wild animals in their garages, yards, or even right up on their porches and decks. This is true in both the rural and more populated areas of town.
We receive many complaints each year of trash containers and bird feeders that have been destroyed by bears looking for an easy meal.
Please secure all trash containers! Also, while feeding the birds is enjoyable, for the safety of your family and your neighbors, please remove all outdoor feeders that may attract bears into your yard or onto your deck.
If you see bear cubs in your yard, you can be sure that an adult bear is somewhere nearby. It is also common for a mother bear to tree their cubs while they search for food, leaving them for several days at a time. While it may seem that the cubs have been abandoned or are in danger because they are crying, please do not approach the cubs!
The NH Department of Fish and Game Dispatch Center can be reached on weekdays from 8 am to 4:30 pm at 603-271-3361. From September 1 to December 5 they maintain longer hours (7 am to 7 pm) to deal with matters related to various hunting seasons. Information is also available at the NH Department of Fish and Game website.