Residents of Anoka no longer need to license their dogs or cats to the city or have them vaccinated against rabies, after city council unanimously approved changes to the ordinance on the town’s pets last month.
The amended order requires all dogs and cats in public areas to have an identification tag affixed to their collar with contact information for the owner or veterinarian. Previously, the city provided tags for licensed dogs and cats.
Other rules still apply, including the leash law and limits on the number of dogs or cats owned.
According to city staff, the purpose of the clearance was to identify and return pets to their owners and to ensure pets were vaccinated against rabies. But social media, owner-provided ID tags and microchip implants are more effective than licenses at locating lost pet owners, staff research has found.
State law does not mandate rabies vaccines, and city staff have learned that rabies is rare in dogs and cats in Minnesota.
The city has issued an average of about 170 licenses per year, generating revenues of about $ 1,600 per year, according to Police Chief Eric Peterson.
Elizabeth Barnett, board member, welcomed the change, saying it is “a plus to say … you can have your dog or cat responsibly, and we don’t need you as a city. charge a fee or charge yourself for it “.
Asked by Council member Brian Wesp on his thoughts about the change, Chief Peterson said he was initially worried, but is now comfortable with the amendment after speaking with his officers from the community services and with heads of other departments.
Peterson said community service workers say the majority of impounded animals do not have a city tag anyway.
Anoka’s decision to eliminate pet licensing follows a similar move by Ramsey, which removed the dog licensing requirement in March 2021.