Overview

Saint Paul Animal Control Officers (ACO) handle more than 4,000 concerns about domestic and wild animals, working 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Their efforts help to ensure people are protected from animals, and animals are protected from people through education, investigations, and enforcement.

Field Services include:

  • Responding to complaints and conducting enforcement for violations of animal ordinances and statutes
  • Impounding stray and dangerous dogs
  • Investigating animal bites

Our officers do not respond to complaints about healthy stray cats or healthy wildlife. We respond to sick, injured, or aggressive wild and domestic animals as we are able.

Types of calls an ACO can respond to include:

  • Loose pets
  • Animal welfare
  • Animal nuisances

To report an injured or dangerous animal, call Animal Control directly at 651-266-1100. If you call after regular hours, please leave a voicemail and someone will return your call.

Saint Paul Animal Control (SPAC) does not respond to calls about wildlife behaving normally in outdoor spaces; however, it can respond to certain types of calls. To learn more, visit Wildlife in the City, here.

To report other concerns, please click here to use our online “Report An Incident” form.

Animal Bites and Declarations

Animal-to-Human Bites

  • Immediately wash with soap and water under a faucet for at least five minutes
  • Call your family doctor
  • People who have been bitten by animals should contact Saint Paul Police (call 911 or 651-291-1111) as soon as possible after the bite to file a report
    • Provide the following information:

      • Name and address of animal owner, if known
      • Description of animal
      • Area where the incident occurred
      • Address where animal may be found, if known
      • Consult your veterinarian for additional animal health care information.

Police begin the animal bite investigation by interviewing the victim, the animal owner (if known), and any witnesses.

  • Officers may take pictures of the injuries and scene and coordinate with Emergency Medical Services for transportation to a hospital.
  • A police report is sent to Animal Control so the biting animal can be quarantined, and the investigation completed.

Quarantine

This is a rabies control tool used to ensure that biting animals are not infected with the rabies virus. Animals that bite people are either euthanized and submitted to the State Laboratory for rabies testing or placed under a 10-day quarantine. This happens regardless of the animal's vaccination status at the time of the incident.

  • During quarantine, the animal must be closely monitored for signs of sickness.
  • Animal must be kept away from other animals and people other than the custodian.
  • Animals may be quarantined at the owner's home or at the Saint Paul Animal Control Center. If an animal is quarantined at SPASC the owner is required to pay for the costs of impoundment and care before reclaiming the animal.

After the animal has cleared quarantine, the victim is notified. The owner may be issued a citation and the biting animal may be determined to be a Dangerous or Potentially Dangerous Animal.

Animal-to Animal Bites

Owners of domestic animals that have been bitten by another animal (domestic or wild) should contact Animal Control to file an Animal Incident Report.

Quarantine is not required for domestic animal-to-domestic animal bites. Animal Control Officers will interview the owner of the victim animal, witnesses, nd the owner of the biting animal. Pictures of the victim and biting animal may be taken, and the officer may request veterinary records, if there is an injury. 

After the investigation is completed, the owner of the biting animal may be issued a citation and the biting animal may be determined to be a Dangerous or Potentially Dangerous Animal

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a deadly disease that all mammals, including people, can get. The rabies virus is present in the saliva of animals. When the skin is broken or punctured by a bite, the saliva can enter the blood stream of humans and other animals. If you are bitten by an animal carrying rabies, the disease may be passed on to you. A series of shots, given in the arm, are essential to prevent the disease in those exposed to rabies.

Protect Your Pet and Yourself Against Rabies

  • Cats, dogs, and ferrets should be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Wild animals, especially skunks, raccoons, and bats, should not be handled or disturbed.
  • Pets should be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard.
  • Do not touch strange dogs or cats.
  • Report all bites to the Police or Animal Control.

To learn more about rabies, visit this page, visit the Minnesota Department of Health rabies web page.

 

Last Edited: December 18, 2021