Regulatory Services

Minneapolis Animal Care
& Control

212 17th Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55411

911 for Emergencies (Animal Attacks)

Call 311 (non-emergency issues)

612-673-MACC (6222)
Fax: 612-673-6255


Keep your dog safe by following City laws and properly using collars, and training aids

Collar size

Minneapolis Animal Care & Control handles a lot of cases where an owner gets a new puppy and keeps the animal outside. Either because the person doesn't interact frequently with the growing dog or because of common neglect, the collar becomes too tight and begins to cut into the dog's neck. Each year, MACC officers must remove animals from homes when a dog's collar has become embedded in its neck and must be surgically removed. Not only is the dog taken away, but the owner is subject to an investigation and criminal charges of neglect.

The solution

Please test your pet's collar periodically and prevent this form of abuse. You should be able to slip two fingers easily under the collar of the dog. Some pet owners have pets with thick necks and keep the collar snug so it doesn’t slip off. If this is the case, a harness should be used instead of a collar. A harness secures your dog’s body instead of its head, so a thick neck isn't an issue.

Choke chains vs. collars

Some people keep their pet in a choke chain instead of a collar. Choke chains and other training aids are only to be used when you are actively training the animal.

A pet that is left alone wearing a choke chain is in real danger of choking to death. If a dog becomes entangled or catches the collar on something, its overriding instinct is to pull away. This will tighten a choke chain and can make the dog choke itself. In some cases, the dog will lose consciousness and stop pulling, allowing the chain to relax and the dog to catch its breath and survive. Unfortunately, we often see dogs that have died from jumping over an obstacle or catching the choke chain or pinch collar. These animals struggle until they suffocate and die.

The solution

Use a collar or a harness instead when leaving the dog tied up outside. Only use a choke chain or a training collar when you are holding on to the end of the leash. (Even when you are training a dog, consider a pull collar such as a "Gentle Leader." These collars are extremely effective and they are humane.)

Leaving Your Dog Outside

Remember that dogs are social animals and need companionship. Using ropes, chains or any form of a tether and leaving a dog alone outside can make for an unsociable or destructive dog.

It is also against City Ordinance to leave a dog tethered outside when no one is home. Tethers also must not be over five (5) pounds in weight and must be at least three (3) times the length of the dog as well as allow the dog to reach proper shelter from the elements.

Dogs can only be tethered on the private, residential property of their owner; they cannot be tethered outside a business or public space for any amount of time. Dogs tethered on their owner's property cannot be able to reach public property such as sidewalks, or alleys.

The solution

If you need to put your dog outside, please make sure you understand the ordinance section below and other laws such as State Statute 343.40 Doghouses, which specifies the requirements for a doghouse and 343.29 Exposure of Animals, which requires protection for an animal from weather that could threaten its health.

Please contact Minneapolis Animal Care & Control at 311 or (612) 673-3000 if you need any help or guidance in clarifying the rules and regulations about pets.

Last updated Dec 13, 2018



Contact us

Email updates

Find a service

About this site

For employees

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.
TTY users can call 612-263-6850.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 

Animal Care & Control  ©1997-2020 City of Minneapolis, MN


311 call center

311 TTY relay service

City of Minneapolis Facebook City of Minneapolis Twitter City of Minneapolis YouTube ChaNNEL Minneapolis 311 Watch Minneapolis City Council TV City of Minneapolis LinkedIn

Minneapolis, City of Lakes logo