Officer Ryan Rose and his K-9 Partner Chase want to provide some information on dog bites and some useful tips on animal bite prevention.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, and more than 800,000 receive medical attention for dog bites.
Any dog can bite: big or small, male or female, young or old. Even the cuddliest, fuzziest, sweetest pet can bite if provoked. Remember, it is not a dog's breed that determines whether it will bite, but rather the dog's individual history and behavior.
Here are some helpful tips for animal bite prevention.
- Dog owners should always use a leash when in public.
- Don't approach a strange dog, especially on or near its territory.
- Always ask a dog owner if it is okay to pet their dog. Never assume it is okay.
- Try to avoid eye contact; some dogs will perceive it as a challenge and may react aggressively.
- Don't run if threatened by a dog. Back away slowly.
- If a dog moves toward you, stop and wait before backing away again.
- Use a large object to put between you and the dog, such as a bike or a garbage container.
- If you cannot find an object to put between you and the dog, grab an object to allow the dog to bite, such as a coat or stick.
- If you can't avoid an attack, and the dog puts you off your feet, roll into a ball and protect your head with clenched fists.
- Don't leave young children unattended with dogs.
- If your dog growls or snaps at friends or family members, it may be trying to establish dominance and may bite next time. See a veterinarian or other professional about correcting this behavior.
- Use extreme caution when attempting to help an injured animal. If it is not your own, call the police for assistance.
- Use caution when approaching animals that are eating or have a litter of puppies.
- Don't try to pick up or handle strange cats, no matter how friendly they look.
- Don't attempt to handle wild animals. Most will bite.
- Report all animal bites and loose or aggressive dogs to the Inver Grove Heights Police by calling 911.
Lost Dog or Cat?
For information regarding a lost or missing animal call the IGH PD at 651-450-2525 during business hours. After hours call Dakota County Dispatch at 9-1-1.
Animals are taken to the South Saint Paul Animal Hospital when an owner can't be found. SSP Animal Hospital can be reached by phone at 651-455-5897.
Dog License & Rabies Vaccination Requirements
Effective May 1, 2019, the city no longer requires a dog to be licensed. However, we do require all dogs to be vaccinated for rabies. Anyone found to have a dog that isn’t vaccinated or has an expired vaccination will be subject to a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Additional ordinances related to dogs
The City Council approved the following updates to ordinances related to dogs:
- Dogs can be off leash on the owners’ property, in the owners’ vehicle, or in the off-leash areas of the Heritage Village Dog Park (requires a pass).
- Dogs can be in any city park, trail or public sidewalk as long as they are on a leash that is sixteen feet (16’) long or less at all times
- Dogs are not allowed on athletic fields (i.e. soccer fields/courts) and can’t be inside a fenced athletic field
- Owners of dogs in a manufactured home park must keep their dog(s) on a sixteen feet (16’) leash at all times when the animal is outside
- Dogs in common areas of apartments, condominiums, cooperatives, and town homes shall be kept on a leash not greater than sixteen feet (16’) in length and under restraint at all times.
- Any person having custody or control over any dog or cat on any property within the City, other than the property of the dog or cat's owner, must have in his or her immediate possession a device for picking up and disposing of dog or cat feces, and must pick up and dispose of any and all feces in a sanitary manner.
To file a complaint or ask a question regarding animal control, please contact the IGH PD at 651-450-2525 during regular business hours. After hours call Dakota County Dispatch at 911.
If you have been bitten by a dog, call 9-1-1 and ask an officer to be dispatched to you. The officer will see that you are provided with medical attention, take a report, and walk you through the next steps.
Other Animal Regulations
Animal control regulations are part of the Inver Grove Heights City Code, Title 5, Chapter 4. IGH PD responds to animal control complaints and issues. In general, the City does not respond to issues related to wild animals. Please contact the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at 651-296-6157 for tips or help regarding problems with wildlife.
Concerned about an animal being abused or neglected?
A report can also be filed online at: https://ahs.i-sight.com/external/case/new.
IGH PD responds to pet and domestic animal control complaints and issues. In general, the city does not respond to issues related to wild animals.
For concerns about wild animals, please contact the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at 651-296-6157 for tips or help regarding problems with wildlife.
Found a dead animal on the side of the road? Contact the Public Works Streets Division at 651-450-4309.
Tips to Prevent Coyote Problems
Like many other suburbs, Inver Grove Heights has experienced coyote sightings and other related activity. Coyotes are scavengers and opportunistic hunters that will range wherever necessary to find food. They will eat many different types of animals, which may include domestic pets of various sizes. IGH PD encourages citizens to take these simple precautions to ensure the safety of their pets:
- Don't leave pet food or garbage outside.
- Don't intentionally feed coyotes.
- Don't leave dogs or cats outside unattended for long periods of time.
- Pets should be leashed and attended when walking in any recreational area.
- If confronted by a coyote, persons should shout or make some other loud noise to frighten the animal away.
- Per city ordinance, no citizen can discharge a firearm within city limits.
- Citizens should call 9-1-1 and report any aggressive coyote behavior.
- For more information about coyotes, visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) coyote information web page.
Beginning January 1, 2023, the IGH PD no longer oversees permits for bowhunting in the City of Inver Grove Heights.
On September 12, 2022, the City Council approved an ordinance and a bowhunting area map, allowing for bowhunting within designated areas within City limits on lots of a certain size or larger. A copy of the bowhunting area map can be found here.
If a resident sees what they believe to be a violation of the City's bowhunting ordinance, they should call 911 to report it.