The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Chapter Number 93, Animals



            General Provisions

            93.01   Definitions

            93.02   Animal units


            93.15   Inoculations

            93.16   License fee

            93.17   Unlicensed animals

            93.18   Counterfeit tags


            93.30   Running at large prohibited

            93.31   Leashes

            93.32   Clean up

            93.33   Number of animals

            93.34   Barnyard animals

            93.35   Intimidating an animal

            93.36   Annoying animals

            93.37   Vicious dogs

            93.38   Female animals

            93.39   Business restrictions

            Administration and Enforcement

            93.50   Impounded animals

            93.51   Notification

            93.52   Holding facility

            93.53   Tranquilizer guns

            93.54   Liability for damages

            93.55   Biting animals; impoundment

            93.56   Quarantine expenses

            93.57   Pathological examination

            93.58   Report of bites

            93.59   Report of veterinarian

            93.99   Penalty


  • 93.01 DEFINITIONS.

            For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

            ACO. Animal Control Officer.

            ANIMAL. A domestic dog or cat or dog kind.

            CAT. Both male and female and includes any animal of the domestic feline kind.

            DANGEROUS ANIMAL. An animal which has caused damage to property or injury to a person or other animals, or which animal, by its actions, exhibits a propensity for imminent danger to persons or other animals.

            DOG. Both male and female and includes any animal of the dog kind.

            OWN. To have a property interest in or to harbor, feed, board, keep or possess.

            OWNER. A person who owns an animal hereby regulated.

(Prior Code, § 56.01)

  • 93.02 ANIMAL UNITS.

            (A)      General.  The city determines impact by using animal units, and the following table shows the animal unit for each species.

                                    Animal                                                                        Unit

                        One dairy cow                                                            1.4 animal unit

                        One slaughter steer or heifer                                      1.0 animal unit

                        One horse                                                                    1.0 animal unit

                        One swine                                                                   0.4 animal unit

                        One sheep, goat, dog                                                0.2 animal unit

                        One duck, turkey, cat                                                  0.02 animal unit

                        One chicken                                                                0.01 animal unit

            (B)       Maximum animal units allowed.

                        (1)       Dogs and cats may be kept as pets as long as they do not equal or exceed the threshold of one animal unit on parcels of under two acres.

                        (2)       On parcels of 2.0 to 4.5 acres, one animal unit is allowed.

                        (3)       On parcels of 4.51 to 9.0 acres, five animal units are allowed.

                        (4)       For parcels larger than 9.0 acres, nine animal units plus one unit per acre beyond nine acres, to a maximum of 30 per quarter/quarter section or government lot. If an individual owns more than one quarter/quarter or government lot that may be considered in the general area, that property may be used in calculating the total animal units allowed at the rate of 20 animal units per quarter/quarter section or government lot, even if all the animals are kept on a single parcel.

(Ord. 04-02, passed 5-6-2002)



            No license or tag shall be issued by the City Administrator for a dog or cat which has reached the age of six months unless the applicant shall present a current certificate from a veterinarian certifying that the dog or cat to be licensed has been inoculated with a permanent type chick embryo rabies vaccine.

(Prior Code, § 56.05)

  • 93.16 LICENSE FEE.

            The annual license fee shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the City Council for each altered (spayed or neutered) animal and for each unaltered animal. All licenses shall expire on December 31 of each year.

(Prior Code, § 56.08)


            The ACO or his or her assistant shall impound any dog or cat found unlicensed, without a metal tag attached to his or her collar or running at large, and they are empowered and instructed to enter upon any private premises where they have reasonable cause to believe there is an unlicensed or untagged dog or cat or while in pursuit of a dog or cat running at large.

(Prior Code, § 56.09)


            It shall be unlawful to counterfeit or attempt to counterfeit the tags provided for in this chapter for licensing or take from any dog or cat a tag legally placed upon it with intent to place it upon another dog or cat. Tags shall not be transferable and no refunds shall be made for any reason.

(Prior Code, § 56.14)  Penalty, see § 93.99



            It shall be unlawful for the dog or cat of any person who owns, harbors, or keeps a dog or cat, to run at large. A person, who owns, harbors, or keeps a dog or cat which runs at large shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Prior Code, § 56.02)

  • 93.31 LEASHES.

            The restriction imposed by § 93.30 shall not prohibit the appearance of any dog or cat upon streets or public property when such dog or cat is on a leash which is not longer than six feet and is kept under control of the accompanying person, nor shall it restrict any dog or cat to the premises of its owner, but no dog or cat shall be permitted to enter upon any public park, playground or bathing beach area at anytime or upon the school yard or premises of any public or private school during school days, even when on a leash.

(Prior Code, § 56.03)

  • 93.32 CLEAN UP.

            It is required that an owner who walks his or her animal within city limits, on property other than his or her own, will be responsible for all feces pick-up.

(Prior Code, § 56.04)


            No person shall exceed the number of three animals per dwelling unit.  This section shall not apply to a licensed kennel.

(Prior Code, § 56.06)


            It shall be unlawful for any person, persons, firm or corporation to keep, maintain, stable, yard or fence any cow, bull, steer, calf, ox, goat, sheep, horse, stallion, mare, mule, swine, chicken or other non-domestic or barnyard animal within the platted area of the city.

(Prior Code, § 56.07)  Penalty, see § 93.99


            It shall be unlawful and a violation of this section for any person to molest or intimidate a dog or cat.

(Prior Code, § 56.13)  Penalty, see § 93.99


            (A)      Habitual barking.  It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or harbor a dog which habitually barks or cries.  Habitual barking shall be defined as barking for repeated intervals of at least five minutes with less than one minute of interruption.  The barking must also be audible off of the owner’s or caretaker’s premises.

            (B)       Damage to property.  It shall be unlawful for any person’s dog or other animal to damage any lawn, garden, or other property, whether or not the owner has knowledge of the damage.

            (C)       Penalty. Any person found guilty of violating the terms and provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Prior Code, § 56.15)  Penalty, see § 93.99

  • 93.37 VICIOUS DOGS.

            No person shall keep or suffer to be kept on his or her premises occupied by him or her within the city, nor permit to run at large, any dog of a ferocious or vicious disposition or habit.  Whenever it shall reasonably appear that any dog has bitten one or more persons or animals, such dog shall be deemed a vicious dog and it shall be lawful for any police officer or ACO to forthwith kill or destroy any such animal.

(Prior Code, § 56.16) 


            Except for controlled breeding purposes, every female animal in heat shall be kept confined in a house or secure enclosure provided by the owner or in a veterinary hospital or boarding kennel in such manner that such female animal cannot come in contact with other animals.

(Prior Code, § 56.24)


            (A)      If the landowner is operating any type of business involving animals, a conditional use permit is required.

            (B)       No animals may be penned within 200 feet of a neighboring dwelling and any well, except up to five domesticated dogs or cats shall be permitted. PENNED is defined as the confined feeding, breeding, raising or holding of animals. This provision does not apply if the animals are pastured in an area of ten acres or more.

            (C)       The keeping of amounts greater than 1,000 poultry or small animals or more than 250 swine shall require a conditional use permit.

            (D)      Where any parcel contains five or more units of swine or poultry, enclosed quarters or fencing shall be provided at not less than twice the required setback for the zone district unless the provision in division (B) of this section results in a greater setback.

            (E)       All required state and federal permits shall be obtained for the keeping of animals.

            (F)       Animal waste must be disposed of in an environmentally sound manner, and in no case shall runoff from waste discharge directly into a lake, river, unsealed well or wetland. The construction of an animal waste system is encouraged and may be required by the Planning Commission or the Planning Director.

(Ord. 04-02, passed 5-6-2002)



            (A)      All animals conveyed to the pound shall be kept, with humane treatment and sufficient food and water for their comfort, at least five regular business days, unless the animal is a dangerous animal in which case it shall be kept for seven regular business days, and except if the animal is a cruelly-treated animal in which case it shall be kept for ten regular business days, unless sooner reclaimed by their owners or keepers as provided by this section. In case the owner or keeper shall desire to reclaim the animal from the pound, the following shall be required, unless otherwise provided for in this code or established from time to time by resolution of the City Council:

                        (1)       The description of the animal by specie, breed, sex, approximate age and any other distinguishing detail;

                        (2)       The location at which the animal was seized;

                        (3)       The date of seizure;

                        (4)       The name and address of the owner of said animal;

                        (5)       The name and address of the person the animal is transferred to, if not the owner.

            (B)       The releasing fee for impounded animals is as set by the Mesabi Humane Society.  If the animal is unclaimed, such animal shall be humanely destroyed and the carcass disposed of.  After the five day holding period the impounded animal may be released to the Mesabi Humane Society for adoption.  Adopting individuals must apply for and obtain a city license.

(Prior Code, § 56.10)


            Upon impounding of any animal, the owner shall be notified by the most expedient means, or if the owner is unknown, written notice shall be posted for five days at the City Hall and at the pound describing the animal and the place and time of taking.

(Prior Code, § 56.11)


            It shall be unlawful for any unauthorized person to break open the holding facility or attempt to do so, to take or let out any dogs or cats therefrom or to take or attempt to take from any officer any dog or cat taken up by him or her in compliance with this section or in any manner to interfere with or hinder such officer in the discharge of his or her duties under this section.

(Prior Code, § 56.12)  Penalty, see § 93.99


            For the purpose of enforcement of this section, any peace officer or animal control officer (ACO) may use a so called tranquilizer gun or other instrument for the purpose of immobilizing and catching an animal. The tranquilizer gun will be used only in extreme circumstances.

(Prior Code, § 56.17)


            If a dog or cat, without provocation, attacks or injures the person or property of any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be in any part of the city, the owner of the animal shall be liable for damages to the person so attacked or injured to the full amount of the injury or damage sustained to his or her person or property.

(Prior Code, § 56.18)


            Any animal impounded for biting persons shall be impounded for observation for a minimum of ten  days.  Animals impounded for biting may be quarantined on the premises of the owner for the ten day observation period upon certification by a licensed veterinarian that the dog has been inoculated against rabies within the past three years and is otherwise healthy.  In instances of home quarantine, the owner shall be responsible for keeping the dog contained within the house or, if outside, on a chain at all times.  The city and/or the ACO shall have access to the animal at any reasonable time for study and observation of rabies symptoms.  In the event that the animal is a stray or when the owner of the animal is not known, such quarantine shall be at the holding facility or a veterinary hospital.

(Prior Code, § 56.19)


            All expenses of the quarantine period shall be the responsibility of the animal’s owner. The animal may be reclaimed by the owner if free of rabies and upon payment of fees as set forth in this section and upon compliance with all applicable provisions.

(Prior Code, § 56.20)


            When an animal under quarantine and diagnosed as being rabid or suspected by a licensed veterinarian as being rabid dies or is killed, the ACO shall immediately send the head of such animal and rabies data to the State Health Department for pathological examination and shall notify all persons concerned of the results of such an examination.

(Prior Code, § 56.21)

  • 93.58 REPORT OF BITES.

            It is the duty of every physician and medical practitioner to report to the Chief Law Enforcement Official the names and addresses of persons treated for bites inflicted by animals, together with such other information as will be helpful in rabies control.

(Prior Code, § 56.22)


            It is the duty of every licensed veterinarian to report to the Chief Law Enforcement Official his or her diagnosis of an animal observed by him or her as a rabies suspect.

(Prior Code, § 56.23)

  • 93.99 PENALTY.

            Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine as set forth in § 10.99.

(Prior Code, § 56.25)

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