Emergency Calls After-hours: Emergency calls after-hours consist of animal bites, injured [stray] animals, loose livestock, wildlife in a occupied building, or any call where the well-being of a citizen or an animal is at risk.
Adoption Procedure and Fees: Adoptions are handled on a first come, first served basis. The fees are as follow:
|Spay/Neuter Fee||Spay/neuter fee is based on sliding scale, depending on the animals weight.||
For photographs of some of the animals we have on hand, please go to the Friends of the Shelter website.
Redemption Fees: The redemption fees for dogs consist of a $10.00 impoundment fee, and a $8.00 per day board fee. If the animal isn’t currently registered at the time of impoundment then a spay/neuter deposit will be assessed. This fee is based on a sliding scale depending on the animals [for dogs only] weight.
The redemption fees for cats consist of a $10.00 impoundment fee, and a $8.00 per day board fee. If the animal isn’t currently registered at the time of impoundment, there is an additional spay/neuter fee assessed. The fee is $25.00 for males and $35.00 for females.
Lost Pets: If you have lost your pet it is important that you come to the Shelter to see if it has been impounded. Due to the owner’s description not matching the officer’s description, staff will not provide this information over the telephone. Stray animals are held 5 days, which must include 1 Saturday.
Found Animals: If you have found an animal with a city registration tag, you may contact the shelter and the owner’s name will be provided. It is recommended that animals found without any form of identification be delivered to the Shelter, or the citizen may board the animal and run a found ad in the local newspaper.
License Requirement for Pets: The City Code of Ordinances requires all dogs and cats 3 months or older to be vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian and registered with the City. Registration tags may be purchased at any of the local veterinarian clinic offices.
A Ban on Pit Bulls or other Breeds: The City of St. Joseph does not ban the owning of any breed of dog. The City does have a vicious dog ordinance [Section 5.89} that addresses the aggressive behavior of any dog.
Spay/Neuter Assistance: The Shelter does offer spay/neuter financial assistance to qualified pet owners.
Leash Law: City Ordinance requires that dogs be kept secured to the owner’s property, or when off of the property on a leash not longer than 6 foot. If an animal is observed off the owner’s property Animal Control & Rescue may impound it.
Cat Nuisance Complaints: Cats that are causing real estate or personal property damage may be trapped with the use of a live-box trap from Animal Control & Rescue. An Animal Control Officer must witness the damage and obtain a statement from the complainant, prior to the Shelter loaning a trap. There is a $50.00 damage deposit required, upon returning the trap in the same condition it was when borrowed, the $50.00 deposit is refunded.
If the complainant knows who the owner of the cat(s) is, the owner may receive a summons for allowing their cat to cause a nuisance.
Barking Dog Complaints: Upon receiving a barking dog complaint a letter is sent to the dog owner’s residence. The owner is given notice of the complaint and advised that if the problem isn’t resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction that they may be issued a summons to appear in Municipal Court. If the problem isn’t resolved and the complainant is willing to document the date and times the dog is barking [for approximately 3 days] and also willing to testify in court, the owner may be issued a summons.
Odor and Waste Complaints: The City Code of Ordinances requires that animal waste be removed from a yard, kennel, pen or run every 48 hour. The waste should be stored in an airtight container to prevent the attraction of insects, and removed from the premises once a week.
If a nuisance exists due to the owner’s failure to remove the waste, or because of a large number of animals in a small enclosure, the complainant may sign a complaint against the animal owner. The owner may then be summons to appear in Municipal Court.
Animal [Licensing] Registration Program: All dogs and cats three (3) months of age or older are required to vaccinated for rabies by a veterinarian and registered with the City. The registration fee is; $5.00 for spay/neutered animals and $15.00 for unaltered animals. Registration tags may be obtained from any Veterinarian Clinic, City Hall finance department, or the Animal Shelter. Registration tags expire 1 year from the date of purchase, or when the rabies vaccination expires, whichever comes first.
Animal Bites: All animals involved in bites to human beings are required by city ordinance and state law to confined for a ten (10) day observation period at either the Animal Shelter or an approved veterinarian clinic or boarding facility in the City. If the animal was shedding the rabies virus at the time of the bite, it will show signs of rabies within the ten (10) day period.
Live-trap Procedures: The Animal Shelter will make available for loan, live humane box traps. These traps may be used for nuisance cats [with approval of the Shelter Manager] and nuisance wildlife. There is a $50.00 damage deposit required. There is a limited number of traps available so the severity of the problem may take priority.
Complaints Handled by Priority: Complaints received by the Animal Control & Rescue Shelter are handled by priority. Complaints concerning citizens being at risk of injuries [by an aggressive animal] or exposure to a diseased animal are given top priority. Animals being mistreated or at high risk of abuse or injury are also given top priority. All other complaints are investigated based on the severity of the risk to the public or the animal.
Fee for Unwanted Animals: For
City residents there
is a $10.00 handling fee for each unwanted
animal surrendered to the Shelter by its
owner. For residents living outside the City limits in Buchanan County, and non-residents of Buchanan County, there is a $40.00 handling fee.
Handling Fee for Stray Animals: For City residents there is no fee for bringing stray animals to the Shelter. For residents living outside the City limits in Buchanan County, and non-residents of Buchanan County, there is a $40.00 handling fee, plus a $10.00 per day board fee for stray animals.
Breeders and Litter Permit: If you own an intact dog or cat and allow that animal to breed you are required to obtain a breeders permit from the Animal Control & Rescue Shelter, prior to the welping of the puppies or kittens. The breeders permit cost $20.00. If you fail to obtain the breeders permit and are in possession of a litter of puppies or kittens you are then required to obtain a litter permit from the Animal Control & Rescue Shelter. The cost of the litter permit is $100.00.
Abandonment of Unwanted Animals: It is a violation of City Ordinance and State Law to abandoned any animal. Conviction of this crime can result in a fine from $1.00 to $500.00, and a jail sentence from 1 day to 6 months.