Pets in Grand Forks

Pets in Grand Forks

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The Grand Forks City Code Chapter XI contains regulations that govern the types of animals allowed within the city limits. 


Dogs and Cats: 

License Required:
  • A license for all dogs and cats that reside in the City, even if your pet always remains indoors.
  • Licenses are issued by the Finance and Administrative Services Department, located on the first floor of City Hall at 255 N 4th St. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.

Click Here for more information on the process and requirements for obtaining a license.You can also contact the Finance Department with questions regarding licensing by phone at (701) 746-2620, or by email. 

Limit on the number of Animals:

Effective  August 18, 2015, the limitations for cats and dogs in Grand Forks were updated. 

Households are now permitted to have a total of not more than 6 cats and dogs, but no more than 3 of those can be dogs. 

There is no difference in numbers between single family and multi-family residential units.

Service Animals:

The Grand Forks City Code does not include any special provisions or exceptions related to service animals.  Service animals would be subject to the same licensing and number limitations as all other dogs residing within the City. 

Dog Park:  

The City of Grand Forks has two options for dog park usage in the community. 

 An off-leash dog park facility is available in Lincoln Drive Park.  There are separate areas for small and large dogs.   Click Here for more information on the dog park.

The Circle of Friends Animal Shelter also has a dog park which is open to the public.  For more information on the animal shelter and their facility, click here. 

Regulations relating to pet ownership:  

Grand Forks City Code contains regulations governing pets living in the City.  Below is a list of the most frequent areas of concern related to pet ownership in the City.  These regulations are enforced through the Community Resource Bureau of the Grand Forks Police Department.  To ask a question or report a concern, contact the Police Department at (701) 787-8000.

 Click Here to download a flyer that summarizes the dog and cat regulations. 

Leash Law Enforced / Animals at Large Prohibited:

The City of Grand Forks has a leash law which requires that all dogs be kept under restraint either by leash, cord, chain, electronic/invisible fence, or by being kept in an enclosure.

Dogs or cats that are running or being at large on property (public or private) other than that of the pet's owner is prohibited. Pet owners can receive a citation for Dog/Cat at Large from the Police Department.  This citation would be in addition to the fee imposed if the pet is recovered and impounded. 

To report a violation or register a complaint, please contact the Police Department at (701) 787-8000.

Requirement to clean up after your pet:

Pet owners are required to clean up after their pets in a timely manner. Excess feces and rotting pet food are not healthy for pets or humans.  Pet owners that do not maintain sanitary conditions on their property can receive citations or risk losing the ability to have animals within the City. 

Pet owners have a higher level of duty expected when the property involved is private property belonging to someone other than the pet owner or public property, including parks, sidewalks and streets.  In this case, the pet owner is expected to immediately clean up after their pet.  To assist pet owners with clean up and disposal, several trails and public spaces throughout the City have disposal stations that also dispense bags for pet waste. 

To report a violation or register a complaint, please contact the Police Department at (701) 787-8000.

Noise (Barking Dogs/Howling Cats):

Pet owners have a responsibility to keep their pets from disturbing their neighbors.  Continual barking, howling, or other noises which disturb the neighbors could result in a citation to the pet owner which could include a monetary fine and potentially the loss of the ability to own pets within the City.  Problems with noise related to animals in a neighborhood should be referred to the Grand Forks Police Department, 701-787-8000. 

Animal Cruelty or Neglect:

Pet owners have a responsibility to provide for the safety and care or their pet.  This includes making sure that the animal has adequate access to shade, shelter, food, water and is protected from extreme elements.  This includes animals left outside or in vehicles in times of extreme heat or cold without proper protection.  Direct concerns regarding animal cruelty or neglect to the Grand Forks Police Department, 701-787-8000. 

Dangerous Animals:

Grand Forks City Code Chapter XI, Article 3 describes the regulations related to animals that have been defined as "Dangerous Animals". 

In general animals deemed dangerous are not allowed within the City of Grand Forks.  There may be an extraordinary circumstance under which a dangerous animal may be allowed to continue to live within the City of Grand Forks.  The City Code contains detailed information on the requirements that the owner would need to comply with should the exception be granted.  Click here to review the City Code related to dangerous animals. Questions should be directed to the Grand Forks Police Department, 701-787-8000.

Questions?  Contact Us:

Finance and Administrative Services
255 N 4th Street
Grand Forks, ND 58203



8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday - Friday

Email: Click Here