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Ask the Chief: Keep pets under control at all times

Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman

"Ask The Chief" allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.

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Q: I am wondering what I should do about other people's unleashed or uncontrolled dogs. While walking my dogs, many times there are other dogs in people's yards that are running loose, have no owners with them and also usually don't have tags. Other times I have had encounters with kids walking a dog that they are unable to control and get dragged by the dog.

Do you suggest that a person take a photo of the dog and report it? Or if the dog is in a yard, should I take down the address? Or what should I be doing in these situations? I am afraid I am going to get bit one day.

A: Yes, report it immediately to the Police Department non-emergency number 651-385-3155 and dispatch will have an animal control or patrol officer respond to address your concern. Be prepared to provide your name and contact information, the specific location of the dog, include the pet owner's name and address and a description of the pet.

There is NO exception for dogs that have never attacked before or are well-behaved. Pets must be under control of the owner/person accompanying the animal.

As a Red Wing pet owner, your responsibilities under Red Wing City Code include:


Subd. 2. Running at Large Prohibited. It is unlawful for the owner of any dog and cat to permit such animal to run at large. Any dog or cat shall be deemed to be running at large with the permission of the owner unless it is on a durable leash or chain secured to an object which it cannot move and on the premises of the owner, or on such leash or chain and under the control of an accompanying person of suitable age and discretion, or confined within a motor vehicle, or confined within a building, fence (electronic wireless fences are not allowed) or other enclosure of construction sufficient to prevent the dog or cat from escaping.

Subd. 3. License Required. It is unlawful for the owner of any dog or cat, six months of age or more, to fail to obtain a license therefor from the City of Red Wing Animal Control Unit or its designee.

Licensing: All dogs and cats within the city of Red Wing must be licensed and registered with the Humane Society.

Dogs must have current rabies inoculation tags obtained from the veterinary clinic affixed to their collars at all times.

It is unlawful for the owner to retain a dog or cat that has been declared dangerous unless there have been sanctions placed on the dog or cat and the owner is complying with the requirements set forth by ordinance.

Pets may not interfere with any peace officer or other animal control agency affiliated with the city of Red Wing Police in the performance of their duty to enforce ordinances.

Fail to keep dog from barking, howling or whining, or cat from emitting loud or unusual noises for a continuous period of more than five minutes with less than one minute of interruption.

Safety tips by the U.S.A. Humane Society:

1. Put as much space as possible between you and the other dog. If you're walking and see another dog approaching, change your path by crossing the street. If there is a fence or car that you can put between you and the other dog, do it.

2. One of the more frightening things you can encounter on a walk with your dog is another dog off-leash. Try to keep your dog calm put yourself or an object between the dogs to prevent an attack.

3. Resist the impulse to scream and run away.

4. Remain motionless, hands at your sides, and avoid eye contact with the dog.

5. Once the dog loses interest in you, slowly back away until they are out of sight.

If the dog does attack, "feed" them your jacket, purse, bicycle or anything that you can put between yourself and the dog.

6. If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and remain motionless. Try not to scream or roll around.

If you or your dog was bitten please call the police immedialty.


1. City of Red Wing Code, Section 10.06, Dog and Cat regulation and Licensing.

2. Animal Control:

3. Goodhue County Humane Society:

4. USA Humane Society: