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home : opinion : opinion
May 8, 2021

3/12/2021 2:34:00 PM
Sheriff's Corner
Responsible pet ownership
By Sheriff Tom Burch

A common call that we get throughout the year, and especially in the warmer and nicer months, is animal complaints. These can vary from dog or cat complaints with pets on neighbor's land or yards to cattle or horses out of fences and in neighbor's yards or fields doing damage or eating crops.

We were recently asked to address dog complaints specifically dogs on neighbor's property and trespassing issues. While most of these issues can be addressed with common courtesy and communication with neighbors or those affected, we understand that is not always the case. If you are concerned about the welfare of a domestic animal or livestock, please report it. If you have an animal issue with your neighbor, we ask that you try and talk with your neighbor first. If that does not work, then we are available to assist and mediate.

Cass County does not have a leash or licensing ordinance for dogs. However, we ask for cooperation and animals owners respecting others' spaces and property while paying attention to their dogs or animals needs and behaviors. Complaints can usually be dealt with by communication with all parties involved, but repeat complaints or other issues could be referred to the County Attorney's Office for consideration of criminal charges.

The American Kennel Association shares that responsible dog owners should:

• Microchip your dog and give him a collar that fits, with a tag that has their name, address, and owner's phone number.

• Provide a healthy, well-balanced diet in consultation with their breeder and veterinarian. Veterinarians can provide guidance to help keep a dog at an appropriate weight.

• Make certain that their dog receives adequate training. Many pet stores and some veterinary offices provide classes.

• Exercise their dog daily. The level of physical exercise needed varies by breed, but all dogs need some exercise. Lack of exercise can lead to boredom, behavior problems, and weight gain, which often leads to dogs roaming and getting into trouble at neighbors.

• Provide mental stimulation for their dog. Canine companions like to have a job. Toys, puzzles, and play are great ways to keep a dog mentally stimulated and out of trouble.

• Groom their dog regularly. Some dogs require monthly grooming. All dogs should be brushed and have their nails trimmed routinely.

• Schedule annual checkups for their dog and keep their  vaccinations current. Senior dogs (older than seven years of age) or dogs with health problems should see their veterinarian every six months. Veterinarians can help determine which vaccinations are best for a dog based on his health, lifestyle and living conditions.

• Spay or Neuter Your Pet. Every year in the United States, millions of cats and dogs are euthanized because lasting, loving homes cannot be found for them. Have your pet spayed or neutered. Your pet will live a longer, healthier and happier life.

• Make certain that their dog is not a nuisance to others. Always keep him on a leash and under the control of a responsible adult when outside of the yard. Pick up dog waste and do your best to minimize barking. If there is something that is causing the dog to bark, remove it from the situation.

• Simply keep your dog in your own yard or property. While this is the most common issue that we deal with, it's not always the easiest. However, it is necessary in being a respectful animal owner.

If your dog goes missing, search the area thoroughly and notify neighbors of the dog's description. You can also call the Sheriff's Office to have your lost or found animal placed on our list. We often match up several animals through reports on this list. We get numerous requests to put lost animals on our Facebook or other social media pages. We simply cannot accommodate these requests because these reports are very numerous. A search of Facebook and social media will give you several avenues of places you can make posts that are dedicated to lost and found animals.

A few simple things you can do to be a responsible pet owner can make your ownership enjoyable and provide the same experience to that of your neighbors and others.

If you have specific questions that you would like answered in this column or in person, please feel free to contact me anytime using one of the following methods:



218-547-1424 | 1-800-450-2677

By Mail/In Person

Cass County Sheriff's Office

303 Minnesota Ave W

PO Box 1119

Walker MN 56484

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