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Township Dog Ordinance








The Town Board for the Town of Rockford, Wright County, Minnesota, hereby ordains:


Section 1:        Definitions.  For purposes of this ordinance, the terms contained in this section shall have the definitions given to them.


A.     “Running at large” or “ run at large” means permitting a dog stroll, wander, rove, or ramble at will and without constraint or confinement.


B.     “Owner” means any person, keeper, custodian or legal entity owning, harboring or keeping a dog.


C.     “Dangerous Dog” and “Potentially Dangerous Dog” have the meanings given by Minnesota Statues Section 347.50 subdivisions (2) and (3) respectively. 


Section 2.        Barking Dogs.  No owner shall keep or harbor a dog within the Town of Rockford, which barks, howls or cries on a constant basis or barks, howls or cries with such loudness and intensity as to be offensive to any person of reasonable tolerance and sensibility in the vicinity of the owner’s premises.  Any such dog is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and shall be impounded and may be destroyed.


Section 3.        Dangerous Dogs.  “Dangerous Dogs” and “Potentially Dangerous Dogs” are defined and regulated by Minnesota Statues Sections 347.50 through Sections 347.55.  With regard to “Dangerous Dogs” and “Potentially Dangerous Dogs”, the Township of Rockford recognizes Wright County as the “Animal Control Authority” within the meaning of Minnesota Statues Section 347.50 subdivision 7.  When the Township learns of such dogs, it will contact and inform the appropriate Wright County authority.  Should it become necessary for the Township to impound “Dangerous Dogs” or “Potentially Dangerous Dogs,” then the Township will provide notice and hold said dog(s) for seven (7) days as specified by Minnesota Statues Section 347.54, subdivision 2, or for such other period and upon such other terms as may later be required by law.


Section 4.        Running at Large Prohibited No dog shall be permitted to run at large within the Town of Rockford.


Section 5.        Leash and Control.  The restrictions imposed by the preceding Section 4 shall not prohibit the appearance of any dog upon the streets or public property when such dog is on a leash and kept under the control of the accompanying person, or when the dog is not on a leash, but is under the immediate and complete control of the person charged with its care, either by voice control or other device. 


Section 6.        Contract – Dog Catcher.  The Town Board is empowered to contract with a dog pound keeper, a dog catcher and any other officers, including police officers, necessary to enforce the provisions, terms and conditions of this ordinance. 


Section 7.        Five (5) Day Notice.  Any dog impounded under this provisions of this ordinance shall be kept in a pound for a period of at least five (5) days after a notice of such impounding has been posted in the Town Hall.  If the owner of the dog is known, then the Township shall make a reasonable effort to notify the owner of the impoundment.  All impounded dogs shall be fed and treated in a humane manner. 


Section 8.        Redemption of Dogs.  If within five (5) days the owner of such impounded dog shall pay all impound and boarding costs relating to such impounding, as specified in Section 10 below, then the owner shall be given possession of the impounded dog.  Upon the expiration of the five (5) days specified in Section 7 above any person may claim or redeem such impounded dog by paying the cost aforesaid. 


Section 9.        Unclaimed Dogs, Disposal.  If any dog impounded for violation of this ordinance has not been claimed or redeemed within the five (5) days provided in Section 7 above, the pound keeper or any other duly designated officer or agent of the town is hereby authorized and empowered to destroy said dog in a humane manner according to law or to surrender, without cost, the same to the local humane society. 


Section 10.      Cost of Impounding.  The costs for care of any impounded dog shall include the costs of the boarding fee, which the Township is required to pay to the pound keeper.  In addition an impound fee at a rate set from time to time by resolution of the Town Board and uniformly enforced shall be collected prior to the release of the impounded animal.  The impound fee increases cumulatively based on the number of violations of the ordinance. 

Section 11.      Safety of Person(s) Enforcing this Ordinance.  The dog catcher or any other duly designated officer or agent of the town is hereby empowered and authorized to kill any dog found in violation of this ordinance if said dog cannot be safely taken up and impounded. 


Section 12.      Interference with Officers.  It shall be unlawful for any unauthorized person to break open the pound or attempt to do so, or to take or let out any dogs there from, or to take or attempt to take from any officer or agent, any dog taken up by him in compliance with this ordinance or in any manner to interfere with or hinder such officer or agent in the discharge of his duties under this ordinance.


Section 13.      Penalty  Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not to exceed Seven Hundred Dollars ($700.00) and/or by imprisonment not to exceed ninety (90) days, or both. 


Section 14.      Repeal of Conflicting Ordinance.  Rockford Township Ordinance No. 85-1, dated September 24, 1985 is hereby repealed.


Section 15.      Effective Date.  This ordinance shall be effective upon passage and publication in the official Township newspaper.



Passed by the Town Board of the Town of Rockford this 14th day of July, 1998. 


Paul Beckey

Town Supervisor, Chairperson




Dawn Grossinger

Dawn Grossinger, Clerk/Treasurer


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