Animal Control

The Bristol Animal Shelter impounds stray dogs and sick or injured cats only. Persons wishing to surrender an animal must contact a private humane agency.

All complaints must be filed either through the Bristol Police Department or the Bristol Animal Shelter. 

Animal control does not respond to wildlife complaints – any and all wildlife complaints must be handled by the Department of Environmental Management.

An Animal Control Officer is available at the shelter during the posted hours, with the exception of all major holidays. If the ACO isn’t at the shelter during the posted hours, then he or she is either on a call or on patrol and should return at the estimated time posted on the clock which is located on the front door of the facility.

Animal Control is available 7 days a week 24-hours a day.
If you have an emergency, please contact the Bristol Police Department at 401-253-6900.


Please call for an appointment for adoptions.

In order to adopt an animal from the shelter, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid form of I.D. Adoption applications are filled out at the shelter only, and only after you have met and interacted with the animal.

All animals available for adoption can be viewed on PetFinder.


The shelter is always accepting donations.

Following is a list of items always in need:

  • Canned cat food
  • Canned dog food
  • Dry cat food
  • Dry dog food
  • Bedding (dog beds, old sheets and blankets, and old towels)
  • Cat and dog toys

Monetary donations can be mailed to:
The Bristol Animal Shelter
395 Metacom Avenue
Bristol, RI 02809

Lost & Found

To report a lost or found pet in Bristol, please contact the shelter at 401-253-4834. After speaking with an Animal Control Officer, please contact the Friends of the Bristol Animal Shelter.

Please include as much of the following as possible:

  • Recent photo of pet
  • Name of pet
  • Gender
  • Breed
  • Description of the fur; long or short haired, color, or any identifying markings
  • Is he/she neutered or spayed
  • Is he/she wearing a collar; if yes, color
  • Are there any tags on the collar; if yes kind and do they contain your contact information
  • For cats: is he/she declawed; if yes, fronts only or fronts and backs
  • Last seen location; make sure to include as much info as possible: street names, direction of travel, town/city, and state
  • Length the pet has been missing
  • Any additional information you feel may be relevant
  • Way to contact you if someone sees the pet or has them; we recommend phone number or email address

The following is a list of additional ways to help you find your missing pet:

  • Call local shelters and vet offices and report your pet missing.
  • Check with your neighbors for sightings and notify them of your missing pet. Especially in the winter time, if you are missing a cat, have your neighbors check their garages and sheds.
  • Place posters of your pet with your contact information and the shelter’s contact information around your neighborhood.
  • Call your local paper and have them post your missing pet in the lost and found section of the classifieds.
  • Post your missing pet on Facebook to Rhode Island Lost Pets.

Spay / Neuter Clinics

Salmon River is a mobile vet clinic. They travel through out Rhode Island to various shelters where they hold their clinics. For more information, pricing, and to schedule an appointment, please contact them directly by calling 401-793-0092.

Sylvan Animal Clinic is a low cost spay/neuter clinic for cats and dogs, located in Fall River, Massachusetts. For more information, pricing, and to schedule an appointment, please contact them directly by calling 508-679-6122.

Town Ordinances

  • Abandonment: The owner of the keeper of a dog or cat who moves from his place of residence and leaves behind such animal shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  • Barking Dogs: No person shall keep any dog, which by habitual howling, yelping, or barking, disturbs the quiet of any person residing in the neighborhood.
  • Canine Waste Removal: It shall be a violation for any person to fail to remove and dispose of any feces left by his dog on any private property and to not have on their persons a means or removal.
  • Confinement of Dogs in Heat: It shall be a violation for any female dog in heat to be at large or restrained out of doors.
  • Dog at Large: All dogs must be kept under physical restraint at all times, i.e.…leash or behind a fence.
  • Dog License: Every dog in the town of Bristol shall be licensed yearly. Proof of rabies vaccination is required. A license must be renewed every April. A license can be obtained through the Bristol Town Hall.
  • Feral Cat Populations: It shall be a violation for any person to maintain or keep feral cats or back yard feeder cats without having such cats rabies vaccinated and spayed/neutered. For assistance with feral cat populations, please contact PawsWatch at 401-253-0719.
  • Fines: A fine of $50 will be levied for each first violation of any of these ordinances. Second violations carry a $100 fine, and third or subsequent violations carry a $250 fine.
  • Sanitary Conditions: It shall be a violation for any person not to provide a maintained area, adequate shelter, and an adequate lead, no less than 15 feet, and adequate food and water for his dog.
  • Vaccinations: It shall be unlawful for any person to own any dog or cat over 3 months of age that has not been inoculated against rabies.

Contact Us

The Animal Control Officer is on duty during the posted hours with the exception of all major holidays.

If the ACO is not at the shelter, he/she is either responding to a call or on patrol and will return shortly.

Animal Control is available 24/7. In the event of an emergency, please contact the Bristol Police Department at 401-253-6900.

Address: 10 Minturn Farm Road, Bristol, Rhode Island 02809

Animal Shelter Business Hours

Sunday – Saturday
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

** Staff will make every effort to accommodate appointment requests during our Hours of Operation **

Public Visiting Hours

The shelter is open during the posted visiting hours to anyone who wishes to adopt, make a donation, or socialize with the animals. Please call the Animal Shelter to make an appointment beyond the normal Public Visiting Hours.

Sunday: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM.
Monday: Closed* (*Unless otherwise specified)
Tuesday – Friday: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM.
Saturday: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

Non-Emergency Number: 401-253-4834
Emergency Number: 401-253-6900

Animal Control Division