Chapter 200. Animals

Sec. 200.01. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates:

Animal shall mean any individual member of any of the species of birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, arachnids, crustaceans or mammals except homo sapiens.

Animal control supervisor shall mean the animal control supervisor of the City of Saint Paul or designee.

Dog shall mean any male or female of any breed of domesticated dog.

Environmental health officer shall mean the environmental health officer or inspector of the City of Saint Paul.

Owner shall mean the license holder or any other person or persons, firm, association or corporation owning, keeping or harboring an animal. Any person keeping or harboring an animal for five (5) consecutive days shall, for the purposes of this chapter, be deemed to be an owner thereof.

Running at large shall mean any animal which is not either:

(1) Effectively contained within a fenced area on private property; or

(2) Effectively restrained, by chain or leash, to private property with the consent of the property owner; or

(3) Effectively restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding six (6) feet in length.

(Code 1956, 329.01; Ord. No. 17493, 4, 9-22-87; C.F. No. 97-287, 1, 4-9-97)

Sec. 200.02. License required.

No person shall own, harbor, keep or maintain in the City of Saint Paul any dog over three (3) months of age without a license. Such license shall be available for purchase at the Saint Paul Animal Control Facility and at the Office of License, Inspections and Environmental Protection (LIEP). Veterinarians who provide a service for dogs may also act as deputy license vendors. Procedures for the issuance of such licenses shall be established by LIEP. Such establishments shall be required to inform their clients that the City of Saint Paul requires that all dogs be licensed. A license is required if the dog is owned, harbored, kept or maintained for three (3) consecutive days or more, except that no license shall be required for dogs whose owners are temporarily within the city, nor to dogs brought into the city for the purpose of participating in any dog show. Any properly identified service dog which aids persons who are totally or partially blind or deaf or have physical or sensory disabilities shall be issued a dog license at no charge upon providing proof of certification of training as a service dog.

(Code 1956, 329.02; C.F. No. 95-524, 1, 6-7-95; C.F. No. 95-525, 1, 6-7-95; C.F. No. 97-287, 2, 4-9-97)

Sec. 200.03. Fee.

The annual license fees required for each dog, whether it be male or female, spayed or unspayed shall be established by ordinance as specified in section 310.09(b) of the Legislative Code. If the owner of the dog is sixty-two (62) years of age or older, the annual license fee payable for each dog shall be fifty (50) percent less than the standard fee. A lifetime dog license shall be available to those owners who have their dog(s) tagged with a microchip. Fees for such licenses shall be established by ordinance as specified in section 310.09 (b) of the Legislative Code. Any owner with a lifetime dog license shall vaccinate the dog against rabies according to the requirements in section 199.02 and must be prepared to provide proof of rabies vaccination as identified in section 199.03.

(Code 1956, 329.02; Ord. No. 16883, 2-11-82; C.F. No. 95-518, 1, 6-7-95; C.F. No. 97-287, 3, 4-9-97)

Sec. 200.04. Application.

Application for such license shall be made to the animal control supervisor. Said application shall require the owner, among other information required by the animal control supervisor, to supply the name, age, breed, sex, color and markings, and rabies vaccination shots, if any, of each dog sought to be licensed. In addition, when the owner has been convicted of a violation of section 200.12(a), relative to the dog sought to be licensed, the application shall require proof of public liability insurance in the minimum amount of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00).

(Code 1956, 329.02; Ord. No. 17493, 5, 9-22-87; Ord. No. 17531, 1, 1-14-88)

Sec. 200.05. Dog tags; duplicates; records, etc.

Upon payment of the license fee, the animal control supervisor shall issue to the owner a license certificate and a metallic tag for each dog so licensed. The tag shall have stamped thereon the year for which it was issued and the number corresponding with the number on the license certificate. Every owner of a dog required to be licensed shall be required to provide such dog with a collar to which the license tag must be affixed, and the collar with tag attached must be worn by such dog at all times. In the event a dog tag is lost or destroyed, a duplicate shall be issued by the animal control supervisor upon presentation of the receipt for the license fee paid for the current year and the payment of a fee as specified in section 310.18 of the Legislative Code. Dog tags shall not be transferred from one (1) dog to another, and no refunds shall be made on any dog license fee for any reason. The animal control supervisor shall keep a record of all dog licenses issued, with the name and residence of the person to whom issued and the number designated upon the metal tag furnished therewith.

(Code 1956, 329.03--329.06; Ord. No. 17531, 2, 1-14-88; C.F. No. 95-518, 2, 6-7-95)

Sec. 200.06. Running at large.

The license holder, owner or keeper of any canine shall be responsible for the effective restraint of such canine and shall not permit the canine to run at large. Any canine which is not effectively contained within a fenced area, or any canine which is on any unfenced area or lot abutting a street, alley, public park, public place or upon any other private land without being effectively restrained by chain or leash from moving beyond such unfenced area or lot, or any canine on any street, public park, school grounds or public place without being effectively restrained by chain or leash not exceeding six (6) feet in length, shall be deemed to be running at large. A second violation of this section within one (1) year shall be punishable by a fine of at least fifty dollars ($50.00), but not more than three hundred dollars ($300.00). Invisible (underground electric) fences may be used as a secondary restraint only, and is not an acceptable replacement for a chain, leash or properly fenced in area.

(Code 1956, 329.08; Ord. No. 17432, 1, 1-22-87; Ord. No. 17493, 6, 9-22-87; Ord. No. 17821, 1, 4-18-91; C.F. No. 96-802, 1, 8-7-96)

Sec. 200.07. Impoundment; release.

It shall be the duty of the environmental health officer or any of his duly authorized assistants, or any peace officer, or any person duly authorized in writing by the environmental health officer, to capture, seize and deliver to the environmental health officer, or the keeper of a public pound, or to any suitable place to be approved by the environmental health officer, any dog found running at large within the City of Saint Paul contrary to the provisions of this chapter and any dog found within the City of Saint Paul unlicensed or not wearing the metal tag provided for in this chapter in violation of the provisions of this chapter. All dogs conveyed to the dog pound shall be kept, with kind treatment and sufficient food and water for their comfort, at least five (5) days after the impounding thereof, unless sooner reclaimed by their owners as herein provided. In case the owner of any dog shall desire to reclaim him from the dog pound, such dog may be released from the dog pound upon payment by such owner of the sums required by section 200.08. Said payments shall be made to the animal control supervisor, in return for which the owner shall receive from the animal control supervisor a receipt showing that the license fee has been paid, and a regular license and tag for such dog shall be issued upon presentation of such receipt to the license inspector. If the owner of the dog seized or impounded under the provisions of this chapter does not resume possession of said dog by compliance with the foregoing provisions within five (5) days after the seizure or impounding thereof, said owner shall forfeit all right of property in such dog.

(Code 1956, 329.09; C.F. No. 97-287, 4, 4-9-97)

Sec. 200.08. Pound fee, etc.

Any dog captured and impounded under the provisions of this chapter shall be released only on the payment of a pound fee, plus an additional board charge for each day or fraction of a day during which the dog is impounded. If the impounded dog is unlicensed, in addition to the impounding and boarding fee, the dog shall not be released without the payment of the prescribed license fee. The designated fees under this chapter shall be established by ordinance as provided in section 310.09(b) of the Legislative Code.

(Code 1956, 329.10; Ord. No. 17363, 1, 6-12-86; C.F. No. 95-518, 3, 6-7-95; C.F. No. 95-1458, 1, 1-3-96)

Sec. 200.09. No interference with officer, etc.

It shall be unlawful for any person to molest or in any way interfere with any peace officer, animal control supervisor, Ramsey County humane officer, park ranger, or any duly authorized assistants, or with any duly authorized agent or any person authorized by the environmental health officer, while engaged in performing work under the provisions of this chapter.

(Code 1956, 329.12; Ord. No. 17363, 2, 6-12-86; C.F. No. 97-287, 5, 4-9-97)

Sec. 200.10. Seizure; presumption.

(a) Any unlicensed dog and any dog running at large is hereby declared to be a public nuisance. The environmental health officer is authorized to employ, subject to the approval of the council, such additional temporary animal control officers as necessary to capture and hold such dogs and to pay temporary animal control officers on a fee basis.

(b) Any person may seize, impound or restrain any dog which he may find running at large in the City of Saint Paul and hold such dog for the animal control supervisor or deliver such dog to the city pound.

(Code 1956, 329.14; C.F. No. 97-287, 6, 4-9-97)

Sec. 200.11. Cleaning up litter.

(a) The owner of any dog or any person having the custody or control of any dog shall be responsible for cleaning up any feces of the animal and disposing of such feces in a sanitary manner.

(b) It is unlawful for any person owning, keeping or harboring a dog to cause or permit said dog to be on property, public or private, not owned or possessed by such person without having in his/her immediate possession a device for the removal of feces and depository for the transmission of excrement to a proper receptacle located on the property owned or possessed by such person.

(c) It is unlawful for any person in control of, causing or permitting any dog to be on any property, public or private, not owned or possessed by such person to fail to remove feces left by such dog to a proper receptacle located on property owned or possessed by such person.

(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the ownership or use of any properly identified service dog which aids persons who are totally or partially blind or deaf or have physical or sensory disabilities, dogs when used in police activities by the city, or tracking dogs when used by or with the permission of the city.

(e) Any person violating this section shall be punished by a fine of ten dollars ($10.00) or five (5) hours of public lands fecal clean-up. Any person who is found guilty of subsequent violations of this section shall be punished by a fine of at least twenty-five dollars ($25.00) but not more than fifty dollars ($50.00).

(f) Any peace officer, animal control officer, park ranger, or any duly authorized assistant, or any duly authorized agent, or any person authorized by the environmental health officer should be responsible for issuing the tags.

(Code 1956, 329.15; Ord. No. 17363, 3, 6-12-86; C.F. No. 97-287, 7, 4-9-97)

Sec. 200.12. Dangerous animals.

(a) Attack by an animal. It shall be unlawful for an owner to fail to restrain an animal from inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily injury to any person or other animal whether or not the owner is present. Violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed seven hundred dollars ($700.00) or imprisonment for not to exceed ninety (90) days, or both. This section shall not apply to an attack by a dog under the control of an on-duty law enforcement officer or to an attack upon an uninvited intruder who has entered the owner's home with criminal intent.

(b) Destruction of dangerous animals. The environmental health officer shall have the authority to order the destruction of dangerous animals.

(c) Definitions.

(1) A dangerous animal is an animal which has:

a. Caused bodily injury or disfigurement to any person on public or private property; or

b. Engaged in any attack on any person under circumstances which would indicate danger to personal safety; or

c. Exhibited unusually aggressive behavior, such as an attack on another animal; or

d. Bitten one (1) or more persons on two (2) or more occasions; or

e. Been found to be potentially dangerous and/or the owner has personal knowledge of the same, the animal aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans or domestic animals.

(2) A potentially dangerous animal is an animal which has:

a. Bitten a human or a domestic animal on public or private property; or

b. When unprovoked, chased or approached a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public property in an apparent attitude of attack; or

c. Has the known history of propensity, tendency or disposition to attack while unprovoked, causing injury or otherwise threatening the safety of humans or domestic animals.

(3) Proper enclosure. Proper enclosure means securely confined indoors or in a securely locked pen or structure suitable to prevent the animal from escaping and to provide protection for the animal from the elements. 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 barriers which prevent the animal from exiting. Such enclosure shall not allow the egress of the animal in any manner without human assistance. A pen or kennel shall meet the following minimum specifications:

a. Have a minimum overall floor size of thirty-two (32) square feet.

b. Sidewalls shall have a minimum height of five (5) feet and be constructed of 11-gauge or heavier wire. Openings in the wire shall not exceed two (2) inches, support posts shall be one-and-one-quarter-inch or larger steel pipe buried in the ground eighteen (18) inches or more. When a concrete floor is not provided, the sidewalls shall be buried a minimum of eighteen (18) inches in the ground.

c. A cover over the entire pen or kennel shall be provided. The cover shall be constructed of the same gauge wire or heavier as the sidewalls and shall also have no openings in the wire greater than two (2) inches.

d. An entrance/exit gate shall be provided and be constructed of the same material as the sidewalls and shall also have no openings in the wire greater than two (2) inches. The gate shall be equipped with a device capable of being locked and shall be locked at all times when the animal is in the pen or kennel.

(4) Unprovoked. Unprovoked shall mean the condition in which the animal is not purposely excited, stimulated, agitated or disturbed.

(d) Designation as potentially dangerous animal. The court or environmental health officer shall designate any animal as a potentially dangerous animal upon receiving such evidence that such potentially dangerous animal has, when unprovoked, then bitten, attacked, or threatened the safety of a person or a domestic animal as stated in subparagraph (c)(2). When an animal is declared potentially dangerous, the environmental health officer shall cause one (1) owner of the potentially dangerous animal to be notified in writing that such animal is potentially dangerous.

(e) Evidence justifying designation. The court or environmental health officer shall have the authority to designate any animal as a dangerous animal upon receiving evidence of the following:

(1) That such an animal has, when unprovoked, then bitten, attacked, or threatened the safety of a person or domestic animal as stated in subparagraph (c)(1).

(2) That such animal has been declared potentially dangerous and such animal has then bitten, attacked, or threatened the safety of a person or domestic animal as stated in subparagraph (c)(1).

(f) Authority to order destruction. The court or environmental health officer, upon finding that an animal is dangerous hereunder, is authorized to order, as part of the disposition of the case, that the animal be destroyed based on a written order containing one (1) or more of the following findings of fact:

(1) The animal is dangerous as demonstrated by a vicious attack, an unprovoked attack, an attack without warning or multiple attacks; or

(2) The owner of the animal has demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to control the animal in order to prevent injury to persons or other animals.

(g) Procedure. The court or environmental health officer, after having determined that an animal is dangerous, may proceed in the following manner:

(1) The environmental health officer shall cause one (1) owner of the animal to be notified in writing or in person that the animal is dangerous and may order the animal seized or make such orders as deemed proper. This owner shall be notified as to dates, times, places and parties bitten, and shall be given fourteen (14) days to appeal this order by requesting a hearing before the environmental health officer for a review of this determination.

a. If no appeal is filed, the orders issued will stand or the environmental health officer may order the animal destroyed.

b. If an owner requests a hearing for determination as to the dangerous nature of the animal, the hearing shall be held before the environmental health officer, who shall set a date for hearing not more than three (3) weeks after demand for said hearing. The records of the Office of License, Inspections and Environmental Protection shall be admissible for consideration by the environmental health officer without further foundation. After considering all evidence pertaining to the temperament of the animal, the environmental health officer shall make such order as he/she deems proper. The environmental health officer may order that the animal control supervisor take the animal into custody for destruction, if such animal is not currently in custody. If the animal is ordered into custody for destruction, the owner shall immediately make the animal available to the animal control supervisor and failure to do so shall be a misdemeanor.

(2) Nothing in this section shall prevent the environmental health officer from ordering the immediate destruction of a rabies-suspected animal pursuant to section 200.11 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code.

(3) Any person who harbors an animal after it has been found by the environmental health officer to be dangerous and ordered into custody for destruction shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(4) The environmental health officer may apply to the district court of Ramsey County for subpoenas for hearings under paragraph (1)b. above.

(h) Stopping an attack. If any police officer or animal control officer is witness to an attack by an animal upon a person or another animal, the officer may take whatever means the officer deems appropriate to bring the attack to an end and prevent further injury to the victim.

(i) Notification of new address. The owner of an animal which has been identified as dangerous or potentially dangerous must notify the environmental health officer in writing if the animal is to be relocated from its current address or given or sold to another person. The notification must be given in writing at least fourteen (14) days prior to the relocation or transfer of ownership. The notification must include the current owner's name and address, the relocation address, and the name of the new owner, if any.

(Code 1956, 329.16; Ord. No. 17493, 7, 9-22-87; C.F. No. 95-470, 1, 5-31-95; C.F. No. 96-802, 2, 8-7-96; C.F. No. 97-287, 8, 4-9-97)

Sec. 200.121. Dangerous animal requirements.

(a) Requirements. If the court or environmental health officer does not order the destruction of an animal that has been declared dangerous, the court or environmental health officer shall, as an alternative, order any or all of the following:

(1) That the owner provide and maintain a proper enclosure for the dangerous animal as specified in section 200.12(c)(3); and

(2) Post the front and the rear of the premises with clearly visible warning signs, including a warning symbol to inform children, that there is a dangerous animal on the property as specified in Minnesota Statute 347.51; and

(3) Provides and shows proof annually of public liability insurance in the minimum amount of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00); and

(4) If the animal is a dog and is outside the proper enclosure, the dog must be muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash (not to exceed six (6) feet in length) and under the physical restraint of a person sixteen (16) years of age or older. The muzzle must be of such design as to prevent the dog from biting any person or animal, but will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration; and

(5) If the animal is a dog, it must have an easily identifiable, standardized tag identifying the dog as dangerous affixed to the dog's collar at all times as specified in Minnesota Statute 347.51; and

(6) Provides and shows proof of microchip identification as required in section 200.16; and

(7) All animals deemed dangerous by the environmental health officer shall be registered with Ramsey County within fourteen (14) days after the date the animal was so deemed and provide satisfactory proof thereof to the environmental health officer.

(8) If the animal is a dog, the dog must be licensed and up to date on rabies vaccination. If the animal is a cat or ferret, it must be up to date with rabies vaccination.

(b) Seizure. Animal control shall immediately seize any dangerous animal if the owner does not meet each of the above requirements within fourteen (14) days after the date notice is sent to the owner that the animal is dangerous. Seizure may be appealed to district court.

(c) Reclaiming animals. A dangerous animal seized under subsection 200.121(b) may be reclaimed by the owner of the animal upon payment of impounding and boarding fees, and presenting proof to animal control that each of the requirements under subsection 200.121(b) is fulfilled. An animal not reclaimed under this section within fourteen (14) days may be disposed of as provided under section 200.12(f), and the owner is liable to animal control for costs incurred in confining the animal.

(d) Subsequent offenses. If an owner of an animal has subsequently violated the provisions under section 200.12 with the same animal, the animal must be seized by animal control. The owner may request a hearing as defined in section 200.12(f). If the owner is found to have violated the provisions for which the animal was seized, the environmental health officer shall order the animal destroyed in a proper and humane manner and the owner shall pay the costs of confining the animal. If the person is found not to have violated the provisions for which the animal was seized, the owner may reclaim the animal under the provisions of subsection 200.121(c). If the animal is not yet reclaimed by the owner within fourteen (14) days after the date the owner is notified that the animal may be reclaimed, the animal may be disposed of as provided under section 200.12(f) and the owner is liable to the animal control for the costs incurred in confining, impounding and disposing of the animal.

(C.F. No. 95-470, 2, 5-31-95; C.F. No. 97-287, 9, 4-9-97)