The Animal Control Division provides support services to the Patrol Division. The division is staffed by two civilian employees, Animal Control Officer Vern Nelson and Animal Control Officer Kim Wills. The primary function of the Animal Control Officer is to enforce city ordinances regarding pets and any other restrictions applying to wild animals or farm animals in the city.
Animal Control Officers respond to calls relating to stray dogs or cats, barking dogs, and also investigates reports of animal cruelty and animal bites.
All stray dogs and cats are taken to the Dickinson Animal Shelter The shelter is located on the grounds of the new Public Works Building at 3405 Public Works Boulevard (off of Energy Drive in east Dickinson). The pound currently has twelve dog runs. Each run has a doggie-door allowing the dogs to wander in their own outside kennel. There are also 12 cat cages within the pound.
External Dog Runs
Interior of Pound
Pet Wash System
All cats and dogs within the city limits must be licensed and have proof of current vaccinations. To obtain a pet license, go to City Hall (99 2nd ST E) during normal business hours. Licenses are now valid for the life of the animal.For information about vaccinating your pet, contact a local veterinarian.
Cats and dogs must also be on a leash when the pet is unattended in an open yard or off of the owner’s property.
No person shall harbor or keep more than three (3) animals upon a premises within the city limits unless the person obtains a special use permit (ex kennel operations, grooming businesses).
5.08.002 Nuisance Dog or Cat (barking, at large, no license/vaccination) – $50
5.08.004 Keeping Dangerous Dog or Cat Prohibited – Class B Misdemeanor
5.08.012 Disposition of Dog or Cat Waste by Owner – Class B Misdemeanor
5.12.060 Keeping Wild Animal Prohibited – Class B Misdemeanor
“Class B Misdemeanor” – A crime punishable by a maximum of 30 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
“At Large” – An animal off the premises of the owner, and not under the control of the owner or a member of his immediate family by a reasonable length leash, cord, or chain.
“Dangerous Animal” – An animal which because of its poisonous bite or sting, size, or propensity to viciousness or aggressiveness would constitute a hazard or threat to the safety of other animals or humans.
“Nuisance Animal” – Frequently frightens, annoys, barks at, or chases any person or vehicle. Does not have current rabies vaccination. Does not wear a city license and/or rabies tag; female in heat not kept indoors; not vaccinated against rabies and/or distemper; not wearing a city license, damages any property not owned by the dog’s owner; runs at large off of the owner’s property.
The Dickinson Police Department prefers to practice a “no kill” policy on all animals that are impounded. With the help of area animal rescue groups and the City of Dickinson Animal Shelter volunteers, almost all animals are adopted by a new, caring family. Cats and dogs are held for 10 days at the shelter for the owner to claim. If no owner shows after the ten day waiting period, the pets can be adopted. All City of Dickinson Animal Shelter adoptions can be arranged by contacting an Animal Control Officer.
To adopt a homeless animal, call:
ACO Vern Nelson or ACO Michele Thompson – 701-456-7039
Oreo’s Animal Rescue/West Dakota Vet Clinic – 701-483-0240
Pet Project, INC. – 701-483-1720
Saving Pets Unlimited – 701-483-4836
You may also view the animals looking for a home by visiting:
Questions or Comments?
Comments and questions regarding the Animal Control Division can be directed to ACO Vern Nelson or ACO Michele Thompson at 701-456-7039.