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Municipal Code

Chapter 9. Licenses and Permits

Sec. 9-51. Dog and cat licensing and regulation.

(1) Individual animal licenses. Every owner of a dog, cat or other animal, except livestock, more than five months of age on January 1 of any year shall annually, at the time and in the manner prescribed by law for the payment of personal property taxes, pay his dog, cat or animal license tax and obtain the license therefor. Any dog, cat or other animal who becomes five months of age after January 1 but before October 1 shall require a license for that year. No such license shall be issued without proof of compliance with the rabies control provisions in subsection (3) of this section. The word "owner" when used in this section includes every person who owns, harbors or keeps a dog, cat or other animal.

(2) Fees. The license fees are as follows:

  1.  Neutered male dog - $8.00                                                                   
  2. Neutered male cat or other animal - $6.00
  3. Un-neutered male dog - $16.00
  4. Un-neutered cat or other animal - $12.00
  5. Spayed female dog - $8.00
  6. Spayed female cat or other animal - $6.00
  7. Un-spayed female dog - $16.00
  8. Un-spayed female cat or other animal - $12.00
  9. Late fee - $5.00

(3) Rabies control. Requirements for rabies control shall be as follows:

  1. No person shall keep, house, harbor, maintain or permit any dog, cat or other animal over the age of five months, except livestock, to be maintained within the corporate limits of the city unless such dog, cat or other animal has been vaccinated against rabies. The owner of any dog, cat or other animal housed, kept, maintained or harbored within the corporate limits of the city shall be responsible to ensure that the dog, cat or other animal is effectively immunized against rabies at all times.
  2. Any person violating subsection (3)(a) of this section may be required to forfeit not more than $100.00, together with the costs of prosecution, and upon default of the payment of such forfeiture and costs, may be imprisoned in the county jail until such fine and costs are paid, but not to exceed ten days for each such offense.
  3. The finance director shall not issue any dog, cat or other animal license or collar tag pursuant to § 174.07 Wis. Stats. until such time as the finance director has been presented evidence that the dog, cat or other such animal sought to be licensed has been vaccinated and is effectively immunized against rabies.

(4) Animal pound. The board of public works shall provide a suitable enclosure as a dog and animal pound, which shall be accessible to city residents. The board shall provide a cage or other suitable enclosure to convey such dogs and animals to the pound when necessary.

(5) Procedure for complaints. The police department shall answer and record all complaints or reports of dogs, cats or other animals doing damage or running at large, and shall refer such complaints to the animal control officer who shall investigate such complaints or reports as soon as possible, and use all reasonable effort to impound the dogs, cats or other animals complained of. In the absence of the animal control officer, the assistant animal control officer or the police department shall investigate all complaints. Such complaints need not be formal, or in writing, nor shall any appearance in court be required. A record of the date of impounding any dog, cat or other animal shall be kept by the animal control officer, with a description of the dog, cat or other animal and the license number of such dog, cat or other animal.

(6) Notice and disposition of impounded animals. Notice and disposition of impounded animals shall be in accordance with the following:

  1. Notification. The Marshfield Police Department shall notify the owner of any licensed dog, cat or other animal impounded, either personally or by United States mail if his/her name and address is known or can be ascertained, and if such owner be unknown or cannot be ascertained, the Marshfield Police Department shall give notice to the local newspaper and to the radio, giving a description of the dog, cat or other animal, citing where it is impounded and the condition of its release. If, after seven days after such notice, the owner does not claim the dog, cat or other animal, the city shall attempt to find a suitable home for such animal or dispose of it in a humane manner. The Marshfield Police Department shall keep a record of every dog, cat or other animal given away or otherwise disposed of describing the dog, cat or other animal with reasonable certainty of identification and listing the name and address of the party to whom delivered or the manner otherwise disposing of the dog, cat or other animal.
  2. Release of animal. Release of an animal shall be in accordance with the following:
    1. To owner or representative. The animal control officer or the pound to which an animal is delivered may release the animal to its owner or a representative of the owner if the owner presents a release slip from the police department containing the following information: his or her name and address; evidence that the animal is licensed; evidence that the animal is vaccinated against rabies, or evidence from a licensed veterinarian that prepayment has been made for the rabies inoculation of the animal; evidence that the owner has paid the boarding fees and any impoundment fee imposed for the animal.
    2. To person other than owner. The animal control officer or the pound to which an animal is delivered may release the animal to a person other than the animal's owner if the person presents a release slip from the police department containing the following information: his or her name and address; evidence in the form of a written statement agreeing to license the animal and to have the animal vaccinated against rabies unless evidence is presented that the animal is already licensed and vaccinated; evidence that a fee of $5.00 for the animal has been paid. No animal shall be delivered to any person other than the owner unless the owner is unknown or does not claim the animal within seven days after the animal is delivered to the animal control officer or the pound.

(7) Fees and costs of city. In the event the owner is located and notified personally or by mail, he shall pay to the city the sum of $20.00 plus the costs for boarding such dog, cat or other animal, such sum to be paid to the finance director or police department within ten days of such notification.

(8) Bitten persons. In case any person shall be bitten or lacerated by any dog, cat or other animal running at large, it shall be immediately reported to the police department, and such dog, cat or other animal shall be seized and confined as promptly as possible and observed by a licensed veterinarian or at the animal pound, to be held awaiting the orders of the physician treating the person bitten or lacerated. The care of any licensed dog, cat or other animal so held shall be paid by the owner thereof, and the care of an unlicensed dog, cat or other animal by the owner or custodian thereof, if found, and if not, by the city. The recommendations of the physician shall determine whether such dog, cat or other animal shall be released or destroyed.

(9) Animal control officer. The council shall have the authority to employ an animal control officer who shall be responsible for enforcing all state statutes and city ordinances pertaining to animal control. This position shall have the powers and duties of a police officer, while so employed and defined in this section, and shall be paid adequate and reasonable compensation as may be determined by the council. Insurance and equipment deemed appropriate shall be determined and provided by the council. This position shall be under the supervision of the mayor and the chief of police, subject to penalties.

(10) Penalty. Any person convicted of a violation of this section, except for subsection (3)(a) of this section, shall be punished as follows:

  1. For a first offense, by a forfeiture of not less than $25.00 nor more than $100.00, plus the costs of prosecution, or in default of the payment of such forfeiture and costs, by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than five nor more than ten days.
  2. For a second or subsequent offense, by a forfeiture of not less than $50.00 nor more than $200.00, plus the costs of prosecution, or, in the default of the payment of such forfeiture and costs, by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than ten days nor more than 15 days for each such offense.

(Code 1982, 12.04; Ord. No. 1090, 1, 10-28-2006; Ord. No. 1211, 1, 9-27-2011)