Animal & Pet Laws

Animal & Pet Lawsrsz_animals_pets_laws_license_adobestock_99299244


Willmar Police Officers, as well as Community Service Officers (CSOs), handle animal complaints.  Animal complaints can include but are not limited to, animals running at large, barking dogs, requesting a live trap for wild animals, animal neglect, etc.  Animal complaints can be reported by contacting the Willmar Police Department, at (320) 235-2244.

To report a missing pet, please contact the Willmar Police Department at (320) 235-2244.  You can also check with the Kandiyohi County Humane Society (Hawk Creek Animal Shelter) or local area pet clinics.

Animal Bites

If your dog bites someone, identify yourself and tell the victim whether your dog's rabies vaccination is current. Call the police department to report all animal bites. Your dog must be quarantined for 10 days. You must report to the Police or Health department if your dog gets sick, dies, or exhibits abnormal behavior during the quarantine period. After 10 days, your dog must be examined by a veterinarian, and a report of this examination given to the police. If your cat bites someone, you are required to report the bite to the Police and follow the same quarantine procedure as for dogs.

Municipal Code Sec. 4-58

Barking Dogs

Dogs may not bark, howl or cry more than three (3) minutes with less than one (1) minute of interrupting quiet. Owners may not allow their pets to become a nuisance.

Municipal Code Sec. 4-30, Municipal Code Sec. 4-28

Dogs or Cats Running at Large

Cats and dogs may not run loose. City ordinances prohibit people from allowing their animals to run at large, including cats. Each must be leashed, kenneled, or under the direct and effective control of the owner. 

Municipal Code Sec. 4-26


Dogs and cats found running at large may be impounded. Owners are responsible for all impound fees, which include pickup, daily boarding, medical attention, and licensing. 

Municipal Code Sec. 4-27


Most Animal laws are found in Willmar's Municipal Code

All Other Animals

The City of Willmar recognizes the desire to keep or maintain exotic, domesticated, and a variety of other animals, besides cats and dogs.  These animals are closely regulated within city limits. Different restrictions apply, depending upon the zoning within the city where these types of animals might be kept. All animals of this nature are regulated under Willmar Ordinance #1333.

General, Section 4.1-Section 4.25

Leash Laws & Cleaning Up Deposits

Pets must be restrained at all times when off the owner’s property.  In city parks, all domestic animals must be on a leash shorter than 15 feet.  City Ordinance requires you to carry equipment to clean up after your pet.  You must pick up and properly dispose of your animal's waste.

Municipal Code Sec. 11-79

Limit on Number of Dogs/Cats

You may not have more than three (3) adult pets in your household (dwelling unit), regardless of the number of residents living there.

Having four (4) or more domestic pets over six months of age would be considered a commercial kennel which needs to be located in an area where kennels are regulated by Willmar City Zoning Ordinance #1060 (66).  A kennel is described as any place where four (4) or more domestic pets over six months of age are kept, boarded, bred, offered for sale, excluding a veterinary clinic, which has special regulations.

Municipal Code Sec. 4-29

License & Permits

Does your Dog or Cat have a Willmar Animal License?

It shall be unlawful for any person to own a dog or cat four (4) months old or older in this City unless such dog or cat is licensed.

Any Willmar resident may obtain a one-year city dog or cat license by making an application to the City Clerk or an appointed agent, accompanied by the license fee and the evidence of vaccination required.

How much is it?

Type of Animal

Prior to January 15, 2018

After January 15, 2018

Dog or Cat, unspayed/unneutered



Dog or Cat, Spayed / Neutered



Agent Fees extra $2.00 per tag


No license will be issued that exceeds the expiration date of the rabies certificate or where it is known that there are more than three adult pets at one residence.

How can I apply for an animal license?

Cat license and Dog licenses are available from City Offices or your local vet.  All other animal permit applications are available at City Offices.




City Office Building

333 SW Sixth Street


Country Lake Veterinary

8577 County Road 1 NW, Pennock


Green Lake Pet Hospital

284 Lake Avenue North, Spicer


Hawk Creek Animal Shelter

250 28th Street SW


South 71 Vet Clinic

4119 Abbott Drive


Willmar Pet Hospital

705 Industrial Drive SW