Police Department, Policy and Procedures on Animal Complaints

The purpose of this section is to provide guidelines for the handling of animal complaints.  Providing citizen’s calls for service for animal control issues generally comes under the responsibility of the police department.  There are times when the animal control officer is not available to handle calls related to dogs or other animals.  In such situations, police officers are obligated to take action when reasonably necessary.

Nuisance Complaints of Dogs Running at large or In Custody:

Communications will collect pertinent information such as the name of complainant, location of problem, and nature of problem.  This information is generally passed on to the animal control officer for follow-up.  If the dog is vicious and a danger to others, a police officer should be assigned, in addition to the animal control officer.

Officers are to respond to dog complaints by obtaining details of the complaint, advising the complainant of how to deal with the situation (may require a complaint being signed  against the dog owner or having the animal control officer contact the complainant later).

If the animal is in custody, the on-call animal control officer is to be called to take the dog into custody.  If this person is not available, an on-duty police officer will be responsible for handling the call.

Police officers are not required to chase after dogs that are not in custody, unless the dog is dangerous.  The placing of dogs into patrol vehicles should be avoided as the animal control vehicle should be used to transport animals.

If the complainant knows the location of the owner, or residence of the animal, this information is to be given to the responding officer for follow-up investigation on the complaint.  If the owner is not available at the time and the dog is not taken into custody, information is to be referred to someone who can follow-up on the complaint in reasonable time.

Owners of dogs/cats taken into custody should be notified if know so they can retrieve the animal.

Complainants should be notified of the disposition or action taken on their complaint.

Barking Dog Complaints:

Officers are to respond to barking dog complaints by obtaining details of the complaint and taking appropriate action such as contacting the owner of the barking dog.  The officer is to advise the complainant of how to deal with the situation including signing a complaint being against the dog’s owner if the problem persists.

Dog and Cat Bites:

When a person is bitten by a cat or dog where the skin is broken and the animal is not owned by them, officers are to investigate the incident.  If the animal responsible for the bite does not have up-to-date rabies vaccination or if it is unknown as to the disposition of vaccination, the animal is to be taken into custody and quarantined.  The animal can be left with the owner during the quarantine period if the complainant agrees and if the owner appears responsible for insuring that the animal is watched and does not exhibit any health problems for the next ten days.  The owner is responsible for reporting back to the investigating officer after the ten day period.

Any animal which appears to be vicious and a danger to others may be required to be removed from the city or destroyed in accordance with city ordinances.

Non-Licensed/Non-Vaccinated Dogs/Cats:

Dogs and cats taken into custody by the police department are required to have current rabies vaccination and be licensed.  The animals are not to be returned to the owner(s) until arrangements are made to conform to this requirement.


Animals taken into custody may be brought to the LEC temporarily or taken to an impoundment facility that has a contract or agreement with the Mandan Police Department.

Impounded animals will be held at the impound facility in accordance with the agreement between the police department and the impound facility.  

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