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At the Heart of Lake Minnetonka

Section 741 - Licensing and Regulating the Keeping of Dogs




741.01            DEFINITIONS

Subd. 1           Owner

Any person, firm, partnership, or corporation owning, harboring, or keeping a dog or dogs.


Subd. 2   Kennel

Any person, partnership or corporation engaged in the business of breeding, buying, selling or boarding dogs; provided that such person, partnership or corporation customarily owns or boards more than three (3) dogs over six (6) months of age.


Subd. 3   Animal Shelter

Any premises designated by the City Council for the purpose of impounding and caring for dogs held under the authority of this ordinance.


Subd. 4           Officer

Any law enforcement officer of the City and persons designated by the City to assist in the enforcement of this ordinance.


Subd. 5           Running at Large

Running at large shall mean permitting any dog to go on or about the public streets, alleys, or other public or private places in the City except the premises of the owner or harborer thereof and except as hereinafter provided in Section 741.04


741.02            LICENSE REQUIRED


Subd. 1           License Required

No person shall own, keep, harbor or have custody of any dog over six (6) months of age without first obtaining a license therefor from the City Clerk or his agent.  Applications for license shall be made on forms prescribed by the City Clerk, which form shall set forth:  (1) the name and address of the owner, (2) the name and address of the person making application, if other than the owner, and (3) the breed, sex, and age of the dog for which a license is sought.  No license shall be issued to any person other than the owner except upon the written request of the owner.


Subd. 2           Two dog per household limit

No household or person shall own, keep, harbor, or have in custody more than two dogs except by special permit granted by the City Council.  All puppies shall be sold or otherwise disposed of within ninety (90) days after birth so as to reduce the number of dogs in any household to a maximum of two.



License shall be valid for a period of one (1) year commencing January 1 and expiring December 31 of the year issued; and shall be issued only upon payment of an annual fee to the City Clerk; *and tags shall be issued with each license and said tags shall be attached to the licensed animal.*  (*Amended June 11, 1985)  The sum payable for each such license shall be assessed on a per animal basis in an amount established by the council from time to time as specifically set out in the fee schedule, 402.01; of this code.


Subd. 1           Proof of Vaccination

Every application for a license shall be accompanied by a certificate from a qualified veterinarian showing that the dog to be licensed has been given a vaccination against rabies within the time hereinafter specified.  No license shall be granted for a dog which has not been vaccinated against rabies as provided in this section on such a date that not more than two years will have elapsed from the date of such vaccination to the time of the expiration of the license to be issued.  Vaccination shall be performed only by a doctor qualified to practice veterinary medicine in the state in which the dog is vaccinated.


741.04            LEASHING

No person having custody or control of any dog shall permit the same to be on any unfenced area or lot abutting upon a street, public park, public place, or upon any other private land except the premises of the owner or harborer thereof, without being effectively restrained by a leash or chain unless the dog is within ten (10) feet of the person having custody of it and is obedient to the command of that person; nor shall any dog be permitted to run at large within the corporate limits of the city; nor shall any person having the custody or control of any dog permit the same at any time to be on any street, public park, school grounds, or public place without being effectively controlled by a chain or leash not exceeding ten (10)  feet in length.


*741.05          DOG NUISANCES


Subd.1            It shall be unlawful for any owner to fail to exercise proper care and control of his animal(s) to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance.  It shall be considered a nuisance for any animal to bark excessively, continuously or untimely, to frequent school grounds, parks, or public beaches, to chase vehicles, to molest, annoy or bite any person if such person is not on the property of the owner or custodian of such animal, or to molest, defile or destroy any property, public or private.  Failure on the part of the owner or custodian to prevent his animals from committing an act of nuisance shall subject the owner or custodian to the penalty hereinafter provided.  The phrase 'to bark excessively, continuously or untimely' includes, but is not limited to, the creation of any noise by any dog which can be heard by any person, including a law enforcement officer or animal control officer, from a location outside of the building or premises where the dog is being kept and which noise occurs repeatedly over at least a five-minute period of time with one minute or less lapse of time between each animal noise during the five minute period.


Subd. 2           Dog Feces

Any person having the custody or control of any dog shall have the responsibility for cleaning up any feces of the dog and disposing of said feces in a sanitary manner.  It shall furthermore be the duty of any person having custody or control of any dog on a public property or on the private property of another to have in said person's possession suitable equipment for * Amended November 8, 1990 the picking up, removal and sanitary disposal of feces.


741.06            IMPOUNDMENT

Unrestrained dogs may be taken by any officer as hereinbefore defined and impounded in an animal shelter and there confined in a humane manner.  Impounded dogs shall be kept for not less than five regular business days unless reclaimed prior to that time by their owner as provided hereafter.


741.07            NOTICE OF IMPOUNDMENT

Within twenty-four (24) hours after taking a dog into custody, the animal supervisor shall, if the animal has an official tag, leave at the address shown on the certificate and registration a notice that the animal is in his custody and will not be disposed of if redeemed within the stated time, which time shall be not less than five (5) full days after such animal was taken into custody.  The date of the killing or selling of the dog shall be the sixth day after giving notice.


741.08            REDEMPTION

Any dog may be reclaimed from the animal shelter by its owner within the time specified in the notice by payment to the Clerk of the license fee, if not paid for the current year, with an impounding fee and a per diem boarding fee as set by the City Council from time to time.  In establishing the impounding fee, the Council may establish a schedule of fees based on the number of times a dog has been impounded.  Notwithstanding this section, the owner shall remain subject to all other penalties contained in this ordinance.



Any dog which is not claimed as provided in Section 741.08, within five regular business days after impounding, may be sold for not less than the amounts provided in Section 741.08 to anyone desiring to purchase the dog if not requested by a licensed educational or scientific institution under Minnesota law.  All sums received in excess of the costs and tax shall be held by the Clerk for the benefit of the owner and if not claimed in one year, such funds shall be placed in the general fund of the City.  Any dog which is not claimed by the owner or sold shall be painlessly killed and buried by the Poundmaster.



Notwithstanding the provisions of  741.06, if an animal is found unrestrained and its owner can be identified and located, such animal need not be impounded but may, instead, be taken to the owner.  In such case, however, proceedings may be taken against the owner for violation of this Ordinance.



Every female animal in heat shall be confined in a building or other secure enclosure, in such manner that such female animal cannot come into contact with another animal, except for planned breeding.



No owner shall fail to provide any animal with sufficient good and wholesome food and water, proper shelter and protection from the weather, veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering, and with humane care and treatment.  No person shall beat, treat cruelly, torment or otherwise abuse any animal, or cause or permit any dog fight.  No owner of a dog shall abandon such animal.



Any dog which bites a person shall be quarantined for such time as may be directed by the City Health Officer.  During quarantine the animal shall be securely confined and kept from contact with any other animal.  At the discretion of the Health Officer, the quarantine may be on the premises of the owner; however, if the Health Officer requires other confinement, the owner shall surrender the animal for the quarantine period to an animal shelter or shall, at his own expense, place it in a veterinary hospital.



Whenever the prevalence of rabies renders such action necessary to protect the public health and safety, the Council shall issue a proclamation ordering every person owning or keeping a dog to muzzle it securely so that it cannot bite.  No person shall violate such proclamation and any unmuzzled dog unrestrained during the time fixed in the proclamation shall be subject to impoundment as heretofore provided, and the owner of such dog shall be subject to the penalty hereinafter provided.



Upon sworn complaint to a court of proper jurisdiction that any one of the following facts exist:

(a)       That any dog at any time has destroyed property or habitually trespasses in a damaging manner on the property of persons other than the owner;

(b)       That any dog at any time has attacked or bitten a person outside the owner's or custodian's premises;

(c)        That any dog is vicious or shows vicious habits or molests pedestrians or interferes with vehicles on the public streets or highways;

(d)       That any dog is a public nuisance as heretofore defined; or that

(e)       Any dog is running at large in violation of this chapter; the presiding officer of said court shall issue a summons directed to the owner of said dog commanding him to appear before said court to show cause why said dog should not be seized by any police officer, or otherwise disposed of in the manner authorized in this Ordinance.  Such summons shall be returnable not less than two nor more than six days from the date thereof and shall be served at least two days before the time of appearance mentioned therein. Upon such hearing and finding the facts true as complained of, the court may either order the dog killed or order the owner or custodian to remove it from the City, or may order the owner or custodian to keep it confined to a designated place.  If the owner or custodian violates such order, any police officer may impound any dog described in such order.  The provisions of this section are in addition to and supplemental to other provisions of this chapter.


Subd. 1           Costs assessed to owner

Costs of the proceedings specified by this section shall be assessed against the owner or custodian of the dog, if the facts in the complaint are found to be true; or to the complainant, if the facts are found to be untrue.



Whenever an officer has reasonable cause to believe that a particular dog presents a clear and immediate danger to residents of the City because it is infected with rabies (hydrophobia) or because of a clearly demonstrated vicious nature, the officer, after making reasonable attempts to impound such dog, may summarily destroy said dog.


741.17            KENNELS

No person, firm or corporation shall maintain in this City a kennel without securing a license therefor from the City Council.  The license fee shall be as set by the City Council from time to time and specifically set out in the fee schedule  402.01 of this code.



The City Council may from time to time appoint such persons as may be necessary to assist the police officers of the City in the enforcement of this Ordinance.  Such persons shall have police powers insofar as is necessary to enforce this Ordinance, and no person shall interfere with, hinder or molest them in the exercise of such powers.


741.19            NON-RESIDENTS

The sections of this Ordinance requiring a license shall not apply to non-residents of the City, provided that dogs of such owners shall not be kept in the City longer than thirty (30) days without a license and shall be kept under restraint.


741.20            PENALTY

Any person, firm, or corporation found guilty of violating any provision of this Ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Official Site of the City of Tonka Bay, Tonka Bay, Minnesota