City Code

9.31: Regulation of Domestic Animals.

1.000 Running at Large.
  1. Definition. "Running at Large" shall mean off the premises of the owner or keeper and not under the control of a person by leash, cord or chain of not more than ten (10) feet in length.
  2. Prohibition. It is unlawful for any person owning, harboring or keeping any dog or cat to allow or permit, whether knowingly or unknowingly, such dog or cat to run at large within the City; provided that the provisions of this prohibition shall not apply to any dog or cat confined within a building, structure or enclosed vehicle if such confinement is otherwise lawful and with the consent of the owner of the building, structure or vehicle; or to any dog or cat owned or kept by an employee or agent of the City while such dog or cat is being employed in the enforcement of this section.
2.000 Licenses.
  1. License Required. It is unlawful for any person owning, harboring or keeping any dog to keep any such dog, which dog is more than six (6) months of age, within the City without first having obtained a license therefor from the City. (Ord. of 10-12-92).
  2. License Fees; Terms.
    1. Two (2) Year License. In the event the dog to be licensed has been vaccinated with a vaccine which assures a twenty-four (24) month immunization against rabies from the date of licensure, the license fee for such dog shall be established by resolution of the City Council. Each license issued for such fee shall expire two (2) years after the date of issuance. The fee for a duplicate license shall be established by resolution of the City Council. (Ord. of 10-12-92; Ord. of 1-13-97; Ord. of 10-13-2003).
    2. One (1) Year License. In the event the dog to be licensed has been vaccinated with a vaccine which assures less than twenty-four (24) month, but at least twelve (12) month immunization against rabies, the license fee shall be established by resolution of the City Council. Each license issued for such fee shall expire one (1) year after the date of issuance. (Ord. of 10-12-92; Ord. of 1-13-97; Ord. of 10-13-2003).
  3. Records. Upon payment of the license fee and presentation of a certificate of vaccination as required by subdivision 7 herein, the City Clerk shall issue to the applicant a metal tag containing the license number, and shall keep a record of such license, which record shall include the name and address of the owner or keeper of the dog licensed, the name and description of the dog licensed, and the date of issuance of the license.
  4. Transfer; Refund. Any license issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be issued for the dog described in the license record maintained by the City Clerk, and shall not be transferable to any other dog. Once such license is issued, the City Clerk shall not make any refund of the license fee for any reason.
  5. Attachment. The owner or keeper of any dog, which dog is required by the provisions of this section to be licensed, shall cause the metal license tag issued by the City to be affixed to such dog.

(Ord. of 10-12-92; Ord. of 1-13-97)
3.000 Impounding.
  1. Authority; Notice. The poundmaster shall impound any unlicensed dog found within the City, or any dog, cat, chicken, or animal found running at large. Within forty-eight (48) hours after impounding any licensed dog, the poundmaster shall mail a written notice to the owner or keeper of such dog at the address given by such owner or keeper at the time the dog was last licensed by the City. Such notice shall set forth a description and the license number of the dog, and the date and approximate place the dog was apprehended. No such notice shall be required with respect to any apprehended dog not having attached thereto a current license tag issued by the City.
  2. Disposition. In the event an impounded dog, cat, chicken, or animal is not claimed by the owner or keeper within five (5) days after the impoundment or, in the event notice of such impoundment is given to the owner, within five (5) days after such notice is mailed, the poundmaster shall, in a humane manner as prescribed by the City Council, dispose of such dog, cat, chicken, or animal.
  3. Redemption; Fees. Any impounded dog, cat, chicken, or animal shall be housed and fed in a humane manner, either in the City pound or in any other animal shelter approved by the City. Any such dog, cat chicken, or animal may be redeemed from the City pound by the owner upon payment of the fees provided herein; provided that such redemption shall be made within the five (5) day holding period as set forth in paragraph B of this subdivision. Before any impounded dog, cat, chicken, or animal shall be released from the pound to the owner thereof, the owner shall pay to the City the daily pound boarding fee, as determined by the City Council by resolution, for each day during which such dog, cat, chicken, or animal shall have been kept within the pound or other approved shelter, together with an impoundment fee, which impoundment fee shall be as follows:

    First impoundment $15
    Second impoundment $30
    Third impoundment $45
    Fourth impoundment $60
    Fifth and each subsequent impoundment $75

    In the event any dog impounded does not have attached thereto a current license tag issued by the City, the impoundment fee as set forth above shall be increased five dollars ($5).

    Any impounded dog which is required to be licensed shall be released to the owner thereof upon the presentation of a current license tag issued for each such dog, a receipt for such license for the current year, and upon payment of the fees required herein.

    In the event the owner of a chicken resides in the City and the chicken is to be kept on a property within the City of Mankato, the poundmaster shall first determine if a license has been issued per Section 9.61 of the Mankato City Code before releasing the chicken to owner.
4.000 Annoyances.
  1. Barking. It is unlawful for any person to keep or harbor within the City any dog or cat which by loud or frequent barking, yelping or howling causes serious annoyance to any other person.
  2. Waste. It is unlawful for any person owning, keeping, harboring or controlling any dog or cat to permit or allow such dog or cat to discharge or deposit on any property in which such person has no proprietary interest, any feces or other waste matter. In the event any such dog or cat does discharge or deposit such matter in such a location, and the owner, keeper or person in control of such dog or cat is present, such person shall immediately remove and lawfully dispose of such matter.
5.000 Interference with Pound.
It is unlawful for any unauthorized person to enter the City pound with the intent to remove or release any dog or cat therefrom without the authority of the City, or to remove or release from or attempt to remove or release from any agent of the City any dog or cat impounded by such agent in compliance with the provisions of this section, or to in any manner interfere with or obstruct such agent in the discharge of the duties of such officer.
6.000 Counterfeit Tags.
It is unlawful for any person to counterfeit or attempt to counterfeit any tag for which this section provides.
7.000 Rabies.
  1. Vaccination Required. Any dog or cat, over six (6) months of age, kept or permitted to enter or remain within the City shall be vaccinated against rabies. It is unlawful for any person owning, harboring or keeping any dog or cat to keep or harbor such dog or cat within the City unless such dog or cat has been vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian.
  2. Vaccination Certificate; License. Before any license required by this section shall be issued, the applicant shall present a vaccination certificate, signed by a licensed veterinarian, which certificate shall state that the dog or cat has been vaccinated against rabies. Every dog or cat over the age of six (6) months shall be vaccinated with a vaccine which shall assure at least a twelve (12) month immunization from the date of immunization and shall be re-vaccinated to keep such animal immunized against rabies.
  3. Confinement. In the event any animal, cat or dog is suspected to have rabies; or reasonable grounds exist for suspecting such animal to have to have been exposed to rabies; or if any animal, cat or dog has been bitten by another animal suspected of having rabies, the owner or keeper of such animal, cat or dog shall cause, at the expense of such owner or keeper, such animal to be confined and isolated for a period of ten (10) days in a suitable veterinary hospital located in the City, the City Pound, or such other facility as may be approved by the City. Upon ascertaining that an animal, or dog or cat is rabid, the owner or keeper thereof shall notify the Police Department or Health Department that such animal, dog or cat is rabid, whereupon the department notified shall cause such animal to be destroyed.
  4. Removal. It is unlawful for any person suspecting or having reasonable grounds to suspect that any animal, dog or cat has rabies, to remove such animal beyond the limits of the City without first having obtained the written permission of the Health Officer.
8.000 Restraining Animals on Roadway Portion of Boulevards and Sidewalks
It is unlawful for any person, not authorized by the City, having control or charge of any animal, except a dog or cat, to permit such animal to enter upon or cross any boulevard or sidewalk within the City or any other City park or property except for the roadway portion of any public street.
9.000 Contracts.
The City may contract with one (1) or more licensed veterinarians to perform the duties of poundmaster set forth in subdivision 3 of this section.
  1. Duties. Such contracts shall provide that the veterinarian or veterinarians shall provide adequate, sanitary facilities for the impoundment of dogs and cats that have been impounded by the City. The contract shall specify the duties of the veterinarian and shall require the veterinarian to perform all the duties listed in subdivision 3 with the exception that the veterinarian shall not be required to impound dogs and cats found running at large or without a license as set forth in paragraph A of subdivision 3. The veterinarian, however, shall be required to collect all fees set forth in subdivision 3, post the appropriate notices, and send the appropriate notices required by subdivision 3. Any veterinarian acting pursuant to a contract authorized hereunder shall have the authority to issue licenses and license tags for dogs and cats and shall collect the fees for such licenses and all redemption and pound boarding fees required by section 9.31.
  2. Compensation. The agreement shall provide for the rate of compensation to be paid to the veterinarian for the impoundment of animals and the collection of license and redemption fees. Any such agreement shall be nonexclusive and shall be approved by the Council. The fees set forth therein shall constitute the boarding fee rate applicable in subdivision 3 of this section.
  3. License Contracts Only. Contracts may also be entered into with licensed veterinarians solely for the purpose of authorizing them to collect fees for, and to issue for the purpose of authorizing them to collect fees for, and to issue dog licenses and tags on behalf of the City. Such agreements shall comply with the provisions of paragraph D of this subdivision.
  4. Accounting. Any fees collected by licensed veterinarians on behalf of the City shall be accounted for and remitted to the City Finance Director, less such collection fees and storage charges are as allowed pursuant to the contract.
  5. Charges. Any contract entered into hereunder shall specify the daily charge for impounding animals and shall provide that the City shall not be responsible for charges incurred beyond a holding period that includes five (5) business days of impoundment. No animal shall be released to its owner unless all impoundment, boarding and license fees have been paid.
  6. Adoption. After the redemption period by the owner has expired, any animal held by a veterinarian pursuant to the contract, may be released to an adoptive owner not related by blood or marriage to the original owner of the animal who does not live in the same building as the original owner. No such release shall be accomplished until the animal has been licensed and vaccinated. Further, the veterinarian may not charge the new adoptive owner for the release of the animal any release fee beyond the charges of licensing and vaccinating other than a charge based upon the daily charge for holding the animal based upon the number of days, not to exceed ten (10), that the animal has been held by the veterinarian in addition to the days for which the veterinarian has received reimbursement from the City or a flat adoption fee as approved by the City in its contract with the veterinarian.
  7. Hours. The veterinarian's offices shall be open for not less than four (4) consecutive hours each business day and shall be open for at least five (5) business days per week except in the event of a legal holiday.
  8. Records. The veterinarian shall maintain records that will allow for verification of compliance with the requirements of law as well as the charges imposed upon the City pursuant to the contract and the receipt of fees thereunder from owners of animals.
  9. Law. Any contract will be subject to modification in the event of a change in applicable laws of the State of Minnesota imposing greater duties upon the poundmaster that those in effect at the time the contract was entered into.

(Ord. of 5-10-82; Ord. of 12-23-85)
10.000 Potentially Dangerous and Dangerous Dogs
  1. Definitions. 
    1. Owner.  “Owner” means any person keeping, harboring, or having charge or control of, or permitting any animal habitually to be or remain on, or be lodged or fed within, such person’s house, yard or premises, excluding veterinarians or kennel operators temporarily maintaining on their premises, for a period of 30 days or less, animals owned by others.
    2. Attack.  “Attack” shall mean the deliberate action of a dog, whether or not in response to a command by a person, to bite, to seize with its teeth or to pursue any human, animal or inanimate object, with the intent to destroy, kill, wound, injure or otherwise harm the object of its action.
    3. Proper Enclosure.  “Proper Enclosure” means securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure, suitable to prevent the entry of children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen or structure shall have secure sides and a secure top and shall provide protection from the elements for the animal.  A proper enclosure does not include a porch, patio, or any part of a house, garage, or other structure that would allow the animal to exit of its own volition, or any house or structure in which windows are open or in which door or window screens are the only obstacles that prevent the animal from exiting.
  2. Potentially Dangerous Dogs
    1. Declaration of a Potentially Dangerous Dog.  A City animal control officer or other law enforcement official shall determine that a dog is a potentially dangerous dog if the animal has:
      1. Without provocation, inflicted bite(s) on a human or domestic animal on public or private property;
      2. Without provocation, chased or approached a person upon the streets, sidewalks or other public or private property, other than the dog owner’s property, in an apparent attitude of attack; or
      3. Has a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack without provocation, causing injury or otherwise threatening the safety of humans or domestic animals.
    2. Notice of Declaration to Owner.  Upon a determination by an animal control officer or other law enforcement official that a dog is potentially dangerous, the City shall serve a Notice of Potentially Dangerous Dog on the owner of such dog.  Notice shall be served upon the owner of the dog personally or by certified mail.  Service upon any owner is effective as to all owners.
    3. Registration.  No person may own, possess, keep, harbor, maintain or otherwise have a potentially dangerous dog in the City unless the dog is currently registered as provided in this section.  Registration must be completed with fourteen (14) days from owner’s receipt of Notice of Potentially Dangerous Dog.
    4. Certificate of Registration. The City Clerk shall issue an annual certificate of registration to the owner of the potentially dangerous dog if the owner presents sufficient evidence that:
      1. Fee.  Payment has been made for the annual Potentially Dangerous Dog registration fee 
      2. Proper Enclosure.  An owner of a potentially dangerous dog will keep the dog in a proper enclosure that has been inspected and approved by the City. 
      3. Tag.  A potentially dangerous dog must have a standardized, easily identifiable tag identifying the dog as potentially dangerous and containing the uniform potentially dangerous dog symbol required by the City affixed to the dog’s collar at all times.
      4. Surety Bond or Policy of Liability Insurance.  An owner of a potentially dangerous dog will obtain a surety bond issued by a surety company authorized to conduct business in this state in of at least $50,000, payable to any person injured by the potentially dangerous dog, or a policy of liability insurance has been issued by an insurance company authorized to conduct business in this state in the amount of at least $50,000, insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog. 
  3. Dangerous Dogs
    1. Declaration of a Dangerous Dog.  A City animal control officer or other law enforcement official shall determine that a dog is a dangerous dog if the animal has:
      1. Without provocation, inflicted substantial bodily harm on a human being on public or private property;
      2. Killed or caused substantial bodily harm to a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner’s property; or
      3. Been previously found to be potentially dangerous, and after the owner has notice that the dog is potentially dangerous, the dog aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans or domestic animals.
    2. Notice of Declaration of Dangerous Dog to Owner.  Upon a determination by an animal control officer or other law enforcement official that a dog is dangerous, the City shall serve a Notice of Dangerous Dog to the owner of such dog.  Notice shall be served upon the owner of the dog personally or by certified mail.  Service upon any owner is effective as to all owners.
    3. Registration.  No person may own, possess, keep, harbor, maintain or otherwise have a dangerous dog in the City unless the dog is currently registered as provided in this section.  Registration must be completed with fourteen (14) days from owner’s receipt of Notice of Dangerous Dog.
    4. Certificate of Registration. The City Clerk shall issue an annual certificate of registration to the owner of the dangerous dog if the owner presents sufficient evidence that:
      1. Fee. Payment has been made for the annual Dangerous Dog registration fee.
      2. Proper Enclosure.  An owner of a potentially dangerous dog will keep the dog in a proper enclosure, that has been inspected and approved by the City. 
      3. Warning Symbol.  All owners of dangerous dogs within the city shall display in a prominent place on their property a warning symbol approved by the Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety to inform children that there is a dangerous dog on the property.  In addition, a similar symbol is required to be posed on the proper enclosure of such animal.
      4. Tag.  A dangerous dog must have a standardized, easily identifiable tag identifying the dog as dangerous and containing the uniform dangerous dog symbol required by the City affixed to the dog’s collar at all times.  The tag shall be of design approved by the Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety.
      5. Surety Bond or Policy of Liability Insurance.   An owner of a dangerous dog will obtain a surety bond issued by a surety company authorized to conduct business in this state in of at least $50,000, payable to any person injured by the dangerous dog, or a policy of liability insurance has been  issued by an insurance company authorized to conduct business in this state in the amount of at least $50,000, insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog.
      6. Microchip Implant.  All owners of dogs declared dangerous, shall cause the dog to be implanted with a microchip for identification and provide the City animal control officer with the name of the microchip manufacturer and the serial identification number of the implanted microchip. 
    5. Neutering/Altering.  Upon the designation of a dog as dangerous, the animal control officer may require the owner to cause the dog to be sterilized at the owner’s expense and provide the City animal control authority with proof thereof, including the name, address and telephone number of the veterinarian who performed the procedure, within thirty (30) days of the date the dog was determined to be dangerous.
  4. Leash and Muzzle. An owner of a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog shall keep the dog, when not confined in a proper enclosure, muzzled and restrained by a substantial leash not longer than four (4) feet and under the physical restraint of a responsible person. 
  5. Exemption.  A dog shall not be declared a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog if the threat, injury, or damage was sustained by a person: 
    1. Who was committing, at the time, an unlawful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog;
    2. Who was provoking, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog or who can be shown to have repeatedly, in the past, provoked, tormented, abused, or assaulted the dog; or
    3. Who was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
  6. Law Enforcement; exemption.  The provisions of this section do not apply to dogs used by law enforcement officials for police work.
  7. Appeal of the Potentially Dangerous or Dangerous Dog Designation.  Within fourteen (14) days after receipt of a notice of a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog declaration, an owner may request a hearing to appeal the designation.  The request must be in writing and filed with the City Clerk.  The written request must state the owner's specific object to the designation and be accompanied by payment of $250.00 to be used to off-set the costs of the hearing.
  8. Appeal Hearing Procedure.
    1. Setting Hearing Date.  In the event that an appeal is filed with the City Clerk, a hearing shall be scheduled within two weeks of the date the request for appeal is received. 
    2. Notice of Hearing Date.  In the event that an appeal is filed, a notice shall be mailed to the owner stating the date, time, place and subject of the hearing.
    3. Designated Hearing Officer.  The City Manager or a designated hearing officer shall convene a hearing at which time the dog owner shall have an opportunity to present evidence and testimony to support the appeal of the potentially dangerous or dangerous dog designation.  The hearing officer may receive evidence and testimony from the animal control officer or law enforcement official and other parties who wish to be heard.  
    4. Written Recommendation.  Upon receiving the evidence and testimony, the hearing officer shall make a written recommendation to the city council which may confirm, or rescind the potentially dangerous or dangerous dog designation. 
    5. Requirements of Owner Pending Appeal. During a pending appeal, an owner of a declared potentially dangerous or dangerous dog shall comply with the following requirements.
      1. Proper Enclosure.  An owner of a declared potentially dangerous or dangerous dog, pending appeal, will keep the dog in a proper enclosure that has been inspected and approved by the City.  
      2. Leash and Muzzle.  An owner of a declared potentially dangerous or dangerous dog, pending appeal shall keep the dog, when not confined in a proper enclosure, muzzled and restrained by a substantial leash not longer than four (4) feet and under the physical restraint of a responsible person. 
  9. Confiscation.
    1. Seizure.  The animal control officer or any law enforcement official shall immediately seize any potentially dangerous or dangerous dog if, after fourteen (14) days after the owner has notice of the designation, and the owner has not filed an appeal of the designation, and:
      1. The dog is not validly registered under this section;
      2. The dog is not maintained in the proper enclosure;
      3. The dog is outside the proper enclosure and not under physical restrain of a responsible person as required under this section;  or
      4. The owner does not secure the proper surety coverage or liability insurance as required under this section.
    2. Reclamation.  An owner may reclaim a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog seized under the section, by paying impounding and boarding fees and presenting proof to the City that the requirements of this section have been met. The City may dispose of a dog that is not reclaimed within ten (10) days and the owner is liable to the City for costs incurred in confining and disposing of the dog.
  10. Destruction of Dog in Certain Circumstances.  A dog that has previously been declared a potentially dangerous dog or a dangerous dog that inflicts substantial or great bodily harm on a human being on public or private property without provocation may be destroyed in a proper and humane manner by the animal control officer.  The animal control officer may not destroy the dog until the dog owner has had the opportunity for a hearing as prescribed by this section, subdivision 10H.  Upon a determination following appeal that destruction is appropriate, the owner of the dangerous dog shall pay the costs incurred in confiscation, boarding and destruction.
  11. Fees. The City may charge the owner an annual fee, in addition to any regular dog license fees, to obtain a certificate of registration for a potentially dangerous or a dangerous dog under this section.  Fees may also be charged for signs and tags that are designated as the official symbol of a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog. 
  12. Notice of Dog’s removal.  An owner of a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog must notify the animal control officer, in writing, of the death of the dog or its transfer to a new owner or jurisdiction within thirty (30) days of the death or transfer.  The owner will provide to the animal control officer, the name, address and telephone number of the new  owner, or address where the dog will reside in the new jurisdiction.  An animal that has been removed from the City pursuant to this provision may not reenter the city.
  13. Notice to Property Owner.  A person who owns a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog and who rents property from another where the dog will reside, must disclose to the property owner prior to entering the lease agreement and at the time of the lease renewal, that the person owns a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog that will reside at the property.
  14. Penalties.  In shall be unlawful for the owner of a potentially dangerous dog or a dangerous dog to fail to comply with the requirements and conditions set forth in this section.  A violation of any provision of this section of the Mankato City Code shall be a misdemeanor. 

(Ord. of 08-13-2007, Ord. of 08-27-2012)