Animal Control FAQ

Animal Control Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about dogs and cats within the city of Mankato

Help us help you by not leaving pets alone in vehicles, especially during hot weather. Doing so can place them in a dangerous situation, and it's against state law. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, even with windows cracked open, the temperature in a vehicle can rise by 30 degrees within 20 minutes. The longer a pet is in a car, the higher the temperature goes. If a pet cannot leave the vehicle, it's recommended to leave the pet at home. See other resources for pet owners. 

Anyone observing an animal left in a vehicle is asked to call 911. For more information, contact staff at 507-387-8590.

Can dogs and cats leave its owner's property without a leash?

Dogs and cats must be on a leash no longer than 10-feet long when not on its owner's property for the public’s safety as well as the animal’s safety.

Can I let my dog or cat roam?

Dogs and cats must be on a leash (no more than 10-feet long) when off their owner’s property. Additionally, it is unlawful to allow a dog or a cat to leave the owner's (or keeper's) premises without a rabies identification tag attached or a microchip implanted. Owners who continue to let pets run freely are subject to citation.

Do dogs and cats need to be licensed?

No. Dogs and cats more than six months old (that reside in Mankato longer than 60 days) must be registered with the city of Mankato. There is no cost. Information required: name, address, telephone number, rabies tag number, microchip and any other descriptive information.

Register online; at the Animal Impound, 903 Mound Avenue; Mankato's Public Safety Center, 710 South Front Street; or at the Intergovernment Center, 10 Civic Center Plaza. For more information, call 311 or 507-387-8600.

How many dogs and cats can I have?

Each residential household may have up to four dogs unless a resident obtains a hobby kennel license, which allows up to four additional dogs. There is no restriction on the number of cats a household may have. If interested in more information about a hobby kennel license, call 311 or 507-387-8600. Apply for a hobby kennel license online.

Note: Dog owners who have more than four dogs as of October 15, 2014 may keep these dogs without obtaining a hobby kennel license. If one of the dogs passes away, ownership is transferred, or the dog leaves for another reason, the dog cannot be replaced until below four dogs, or a hobby kennel license is obtained.

How is a dog declared "potentially dangerous"?

When city staff receives a report of activity by a dog that fits the criteria outlined above, an investigation is conducted. If the investigator believes the dog is potentially dangerous a notice is given to the owner declaring the dog as potentially dangerous. The owner does have a right to a hearing within 14 days.

What can be done about animal annoyances?

To report an animal causing a nuisance, call 911.

Dogs or cats that make noise (such as barking, howling or crying) for more than five minutes, or intermittent noise that lasts longer than one hour and is plainly audible outside property limits anytime of day or night are considered annoyances.

Does my dog or cat need a rabies vaccine?

Yes. Dogs and cats (more than 12 weeks old) living in Mankato must have a current rabies vaccination because of the risk this
disease poses to the public. Any vaccination given elsewhere and current for longer than two years will only be recognized for those two years to ensure public safety.

What is a "potentially dangerous" dog?

The Mankato City Code and Minnesota state law regulates dogs declared as "potentially dangerous" or "dangerous."

"Potentially dangerous" means a dog who:

  • bites a person or animal without being provoked--this can be on public or private property; or
  • chases or approaches any person in an attitude of attack without being provoked--this can be on public or private property; or
  • is known to have the tendency to attack without being provoked--this can be on public or private property.

What restrictions are placed on a dog declared "potentially dangerous"?

The dog must be registered with the city. Registration includes payment of fees, and proof of liability insurance

  • dog must wear a tag with universal symbol of potentially dangerous dog
  • any cage or fenced enclosure must be approved by the city
  • animal must be in the approved cage/enclosure or inside the residence at all times unless muzzled and on a leash no longer than four feet; and when on the leash the dog must be controlled by a responsible adult.

What is a "dangerous" dog?

A "dangerous" dog:

  • causes a person to suffer substantial bodily harm without being provoked--this can be on public or private property; or
  • killed or seriously injured a domestic animal (such as dog, cat, cow, goat etc) when not on owners property and without being provoked; or
  • if already declared “potentially dangerous” aggressively bites, attacks, or is a danger to humans or other animals.

How is a dog declared potentially dangerous?

When the city receives a report of activity by a dog that fits the criteria outlined above, an investigation is conducted. If the investigator believes the dog is dangerous a notice is given to the owner declaring the dog as dangerous. The owner has a right to a hearing within 14 days.

What restrictions are placed on a dog declared "dangerous?"

  • The dog must be registered with the city--registration includes payment of fees, and proof of liability insurance
  • Dog must wear a tag with universal symbol of dangerous dog
  • Owner must display an approved warning symbol on their property--a similar symbol must be on any enclosure
  • Any cage or fenced enclosure must be approved by the city
  • Dog must have a microchip implanted for identification
  • The dog may be required to be neutered/altered
  • Animal must be in the approved cage/enclosure or inside the residence at all times unless muzzled and on a leash no longer than four feet. When on the leash the dog must be controlled by a responsible adult.

What happens if the owner does not follow the rules?

The city can seize the dog. If the dog is seized the owner must pay impoundment fees and prove they are in compliance with requirements.

Can the dog be required to be destroyed?

Yes. If the dog is already declared to be either "potentially dangerous" or "dangerous" and seriously injures a person without being provoked whether it's on public or private property.

Before a dog is destroyed, the owner is notified and has an opportunity to an appeal hearing. If there is no appeal, or the appeal determines that destruction is the right thing, the animal will be put down in a humane manner. The owner is responsible for all cost of impoundment, boarding and euthanasia.

What happens if the dog is removed from the city or dies?

The owner must notify the city in writing of any death, transfer to new owner or being taken to a new jurisdiction. If the dog is transferred to another jurisdiction it may not be returned to the city of Mankato.

I want to rent but have a dog that is declared "potentially dangerous" or "dangerous."

The owner of the rental property must be notified before renewing or entering into a lease. Simply notifying a landlord is no guarantee of acceptance or being allowed to remain in a lease.

What is the Minnesota state law that regulates dogs declared as "potentially dangerous" or "dangerous?"