Living With Your Pet in Minneapolis
The information and links below provide an overview of the most common city ordinances related to the care and keeping of pets in Minneapolis. Please note, this information is not intended to be all-inclusive. Pet owners are responsible for a comprehensive understanding of any ordinances impacting their pets and for compliance of such ordinances. Please contact Minneapolis Animal Care & Control for any questions or for additional information. Your cooperation and compliance means a safe, happy pet-owning experience for you, your pet, and the community.
Minneapolis Pet Licensing Requirements
If you own a dog, cat or ferret that is older than four months, the law states that you must have your pet licensed. You can read more about Minneapolis pet license requirements here. Licenses are available through Minneapolis Animal Care and Control.
Why license your pet? Pets with licenses are more likely to get home to you when they are found. If your pet is injured, licensure makes it more likely that your pet’s medical history can be found. When a pet is licensed, everyone knows that it has received its rabies vaccinations. Plus, if your pet runs away or is lost and Minneapolis Animal Care and Control find it, it gets a free ride home!
Rabies Vaccination Requirements
By law, all cats, dogs, and ferrets owned in Minneapolis must have a pet license. One requirement of pet licensure is a certification by the owner that the pet has been vaccinated against rabies. Because of this requirement, it's the law that all cats, dogs, and ferrets in Minneapolis have their rabies vaccinations up to date.
Collar & Tags – Don’t Leave Home Without ’em!
Dogs and cats must wear a collar or harness when the animal is in the public. License tags, rabies tags and a personal ID tag should be affixed to the collar to help expedite recovery should your pet go missing.
Multiple Animal Permit for Four or More Pets
If you choose to own four or more animals (dogs, cats, ferrets or rabbits), you will need a multiple animal permit from Minneapolis Animal Care & Control which requires written consent of your neighbors within 100 feet of the property. This is not a hard process to navigate, but it does take some time. You can read more about multiple animal permits here.
Take Me Out to the Dog Park…But Don’t Forget Your Permit!
Minneapolis has seven dog parks where your canine companion can run and play without having to be tethered by a leash. These off-leash areas have permitting requirements to ensure the safety of your pet. If you LIVE in Minneapolis, your pet must be licensed with Minneapolis Animal Care & Control, which requires a certification by the owner that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies. If you live in another city, you can still use the off-leash parks, but you need to show proof of a current rabies vaccination before getting the permit. You can read more about off-leash dog parks here.
Keep Pets from Running-at-Large
Pets running at large can face many dangers and become a nuisance to others. Securing and supervising your pet is the best prevention.
- Dogs may be restrained to private property by leash, fence, or tether. A dog may only be loose in fenced, private property authorized by the property owner. Be sure the fence height is of adequate height, construction, and condition to prevent escape.
- Tethers at least three (3) times the length of the animal can be used to secure dogs to the owner or custodian’s property but must not allow the animal to become tangled, prevent access to shelter and water or access to any area other than owner/custodian’s property. Dogs may only be tethered outside when an adult is present at the residence.
- Dogs must be on leash or restrained on any city owned property including streets, an alley, public parks, school grounds, or other public place except areas officially designated for off-leash activities by the City of Minneapolis' Park & Recreation Board.
- No animal may be tied to any tree, shrub, post, or pole in any public place within the city.
- Female dogs and cats in heat must be confined so that it cannot come in contact with another dog or cat.
Pick Up After Your Pet
Let's face it, poop happens! Owners or custodians of animals are responsible for removal and sanitary disposal of feces both on their personal property and public space. In any public spaces, owners or custodians are required to be in possession of suitable equipment for pick up, removal, and disposal of feces. Keeping yards and publicly shared spaces free of feces reduces the chances of disease transmission and makes use more enjoyable and safe for everyone.
Pets may not be left unattended in any public space. While some cat owners allow their domesticated cats outdoors, measures must be taken to ensure the cat does not create a nuisance and that the cat has adequate care and shelter. Cats allowed outdoors are susceptible to many dangers--fast moving cars, predatory wildlife, parasites, acts of cruelty, and more. Keeping your cat indoors helps them stay safe and healthy.
Feral cat colonies are permitted in the city as long as there is a registered Feral Cat Colony Caretaker affiliated with a Feral Cat Sponsor Organization approved by Minneapolis Care & Control. Detailed care requirements and recordkeeping are required to ensure appropriate care is provided the cats and the colony does not present a nuisance to residents or businesses, a public health risk or compromise natural wildlife habitats. Feral cat colonies cannot be managed within one-half (½) mile of the edge of any public lands encompassing a creek, river, or body of water of six (6) acres or more in size.
State statutes require that any dog kept outdoors must be provided a durable enclosure to sufficiently protect them from moisture, heat, wind, sun, and cold.
Keeping of chickens, turkeys, ducks, and pigeons on residential property requires a permit. You can read more about fowl permits here.
Last updated Oct 22, 2018