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All animals involved in bites to human beings are required by city ordinance and state law to be confined for a ten (10) day observation period at either the Animal Shelter or an approved veterinarian clinic or boarding facility in the City. If the animal was shedding the rabies virus at the time of the bite, it will show signs of rabies within the ten (10) day period.
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The redemption fees for dogs consist of a $10.00 impoundment fee, and a $8.00 per day board fee. If the animal isn’t currently altered at the time of impoundment, then a spay/neuter deposit will be assessed. This fee is based on a sliding scale depending on the animals (for dogs only) weight.
The redemption fees for cats consist of a $10.00 impoundment fee, and a $8.00 per day board fee. If the animal isn’t currently spayed or neutered at the time of impoundment, there is an additional spay/neuter fee assessed.
If you have lost your pet, it is important that you come to the Shelter to see if it has been impounded. Due to the owner’s description not matching the officer’s description, staff will not provide this information over the telephone. Stray animals are held for 5 days, which must include 1 Saturday.
If you have found an animal with a city registration tag, you may contact the shelter and the owner’s name will be provided. You can take the pet to a veterinary clinic or the animal shelter to have it scanned for a microchip. Our community has an active lost and found pets Facebook page which has been successful in reuniting many pets with their owners. You can bring the found animal to the animal shelter during business hours or call the shelter to ask if an officer can pick him up for you. The shelter does not accept pets from outside the St. Joseph city limits.
All dogs and cats three (3) months of age or older are required to vaccinated for rabies by a veterinarian and registered with the City. The registration fee is: $5 for spay/neutered animals and $15 for unaltered animals. Registration tags may be obtained from any Veterinarian Clinic, City Hall finance department, or the Animal Shelter. Registration tags expire 1 year from the date of purchase, or when the rabies vaccination expires, whichever comes first.
Upon receiving a barking dog complaint, a letter is sent to the dog owner’s residence. The owner is given notice of the complaint and advised that if the problem isn’t resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction that they may be issued a summons to appear in Municipal Court. If the problem isn’t resolved and the complainant is willing to document the date and times the dog is barking [for approximately 7 days] and also willing to testify in court, the owner may be issued a summons.
The City Code of Ordinances requires that animal waste be removed from a yard, kennel, pen or run every 48 hours. The waste should be stored in an airtight container to prevent the attraction of insects and removed from the premises once a week. If a nuisance exists due to the owner’s failure to remove the waste, or because of a large number of animals in a small enclosure, the complainant may sign a complaint against the animal owner. The owner may then be issued a summons to appear in Municipal Court.
For City residents there is a $10 handling fee for each unwanted animal surrendered to the shelter by its owner. Unwanted animals from outside the city limits are not accepted.
For city residents, there is no fee for bringing stray animals to the Shelter. Stray animals from outside the city limits are not accepted.
If you own an intact dog or cat and allow that animal to breed you are required to obtain a breeder’s permit from the Animal Control & Rescue Shelter. The breeders permit cost $20. If you fail to obtain the breeders permit and are in possession of a litter of puppies or kittens, you are then required to obtain a litter permit from the Animal Control & Rescue Shelter prior to the whelping of the puppies or kittens. The cost of the litter permit is $100.
It is a violation of City Ordinance and State Law to abandon any animal. Conviction of this crime can result in a fine from $1 to $500, and a jail sentence from 1 day to 6 months.