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City residents need to license their dogs

Since summer it's becoming more of a problem in River Falls. More stray cats and dogs are rounded up, processed with a vet and then taken across the border to Minnesota's Goodhue County Humane Society in Red Wing.

The increasing workload of pet control falls in the lap of the River Falls Police Department. Community Services Officer Janna Grassel is given this task, but she is only part time and has other duties to fulfill.

Until a few years ago, the city contracted with the Pierce County Human Society to handle strays. But that animal shelter, located in the town of River Falls, closed after health and sanitation violations.

According to Police Sgt. Jon Aubart, part of the problem in River Falls could be reduced if more dog owners licensed their animals. These can be obtained at the front desk of City Hall.

For instance, the price of a dog license is $10 if the animal has not been neutered or spayed; for a neutered or spayed dog, the annual license is $5.

Proof of current rabies vaccination is required to get a license.

The city does not require cats to be licensed.

Grassel says that unlicensed dogs and stray cats are subject to impoundment. Owners may also be fined. A citation for an unlicensed dog is $76.20.

In addition, there are costs associated with reclaiming an impounded pet from the Goodhue County Human Society.

Notices of impounded pets are posted in the police station and City Hall lobbies, and at the Humane Society of Goodhue County. They can also be found by going online at

For more on this story, please check the Jan. 13 print edition of the River Falls Journal.