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Frequently Asked Questions about Animal Control


My neighbor’s dog barks continuously when they are not home.  What should I do?

  • Animal Control will respond to reports of barking dogs.  City ordinances will be enforced. 
  • When the Animal Control Officer arrives, the officer will park in the area of the complaint and monitor for barking.  If the dog barks continuously, the Animal Control Officer will try to make contact with the owner.  If no one is home, a business card will be left at the residence requesting the home owner contact animal control.
  • The Animal Control Officer will work with the owner to ensure the barking dog does not become a neighborhood problem.  If the contact with Animal Control does not resolve the issue, the owner will be cited.

There is a dog running loose in my neighborhood.  What can be done about this?

  • City ordinances require all domestic animals (dogs, cats, etc.) to be leashed when not on their owner’s property.  Many city ordinances penalize a person who owns, harbors, or keeps a domestic animal that runs at large.
  • If you see a dog running loose, please contact Animal Control by calling 9-1-1.  If the animal is picked up it will be transported to an animal shelter.

My dog was picked up by Animal Control.  Now what?

  • Domestic animals are brought to a temporary shelter operated by Hillcrest Animal Hospital, located in Maplewood.
  • You can check with the shelter directly to see if your dog or cat is impounded by calling 651-484-7211.
  • There are fees and procedures to follow in order to have your pet returned.

My child was bit by my neighbor’s dog.  What should I do?

  • Seek medical attention first, if needed.  Then contact the Animal Control Officer by calling 9-1-1. 
  • A Deputy or an Animal Control Officer will respond to take a report.  As part of the report, vet records are collected.  The situation may require the animal to be quarantined for ten days.
  • At the end of the ten days, Animal Control will check the dog to ensure it is healthy and then follow-up with the bite victim.  Depending on the severity of the bite, the dog may be declared potentially dangerous or dangerous after one incident.
  • This is another reason why it is best to report dog bites to law enforcement. 

We have a stray cat in the neighborhood.  Does Animal Control pick up cats?

  • Yes, Animal Control will pick up cats.  By city ordinance cats, like dogs, must be leashed if not on the owner’s private property.  Cats that are picked up by Animal Control are transported to the shelter.
  • Feral cats are the offspring of lost or abandoned pet cats or other feral cats who are not spayed or neutered.  Unlike stray cats that are accustomed to contact with people and are tame, feral cats are not accustomed to people and are typically too fearful and wild to be handled.   Feral cats do not easily adapt, or may never adapt, to living as pets in close contact with people.
  • The Sheriff’s Office Animal Control services do not include trapping feral cats.

There is an injured wild animal in my yard.  Will Animal Control pick it up?

  • Please contact Animal Control by calling 9-1-1.  A deputy or Animal Control Officer will respond to address the problem.
  • Injured small wildlife determined to have a chance of survival are brought to the Minnesota Wildlife Rehab Center in Roseville. Severely injured deer and wildlife will be euthanized.

I have a raccoon that keeps getting in my garbage or bird feeder.  Can animal control help me?

  • Animal Control does not respond to wild animal calls unless there is a public safety threat. 
  • Animal Control does not remove wildlife simply because it is on your property.  The use of licensed professional pest control companies are recommended by most cities in Ramsey County for the removal of problem wildlife.
  • If you live trap an animal do not take it to some other part of town and release it, as this could potentially spread disease.

There is an injured bird in my yard.  Will Animal Control pick it up?

  • Animal Control is unable to assist with injured birds unless they are birds of prey, such as owls, hawks, and eagles.
  • Please contact the University of Minnesota Raptor Center at 612-624-4745 if you find an injured bird of prey.
  • Animal Control does not pick up birds for West Nile virus testing.

Where are animals picked up by Animal Control taken?

  • Domestic animals are brought to a temporary shelter operated by Hillcrest Animal Hospital(1320 East County Road D, Maplewood, MN 55109. Phone: 651-484-7211).
  • Injured small wildlife with a good chance of survival are brought to the Minnesota Wildlife Rehab Center in Roseville.  Injured birds of prey are brought to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center.
  • Severely injured deer and wildlife will be euthanized.

What is the best advice of Animal Control for stray dogs?

  • Have an ID on your dog so you can be found when the dog is lost.  The Sheriff’s Animal Control Officer would rather bring your dog home than to the impound shelter.

Why do some dogs become strays?

  • Some dogs like to explore more than others.  Adventuresome dogs see an open gate as an invitation to see new territory; unfortunately they don’t always understand the risks and dangers they may face while out on their own without supervision.
  • Help your dog by working with your children to keep gates and doors closed.

What is the number one complaint received by Animal Control?

  • Barking dogs.  The object of animal control laws is to not let animals disrupt our neighborhoods.  Pay attention to your dog’s barking and work toward solutions.

More Information

For more information, please see Animal Control services or contact the Public Safety Services Division at 651-266-7300.

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Reporting an Animal Control Problem

To report a problem please call:

9-1-1 for emergencies

Non-emergency dispatch 651-767-0640

When reporting an animal control problem or concern, the following information is helpful:

  • Your name and phone number
  • Location of the complaint
  • Description of the complaint
  • Description of the animal
  • Possible animal owner information


Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office
Minnesota's First Law Enforcement Agency - Established 1849

Sheriff Matt Bostrom