Animal Control

The Police Department would like to encourage all community members to be responsible pet owners and provide adequate care, feeding and shelter for their pets and to be respectful of other citizens and property.

Humane Society of Goodhue County

The City of River Falls has a contract with the Humane Society of Goodhue County in Red Wing, Minnesota for the shelter, care, feeding, adoption, and disposal of impounded or quarantined dogs and cats. However, only animals authorized by the River Falls Police Department will be accepted.

Staff at this facility will provide information to residents regarding care, training and nutrition of dogs and cats. A food shelf is available for those community members that have a difficult time funding food for their animal. If there are any questions regarding impoundment or any of the above services, the shelter can be contacted at 651-388-5286.

Animal Complaints

Animal complaints primarily related to dogs should be referred to the River Falls Police Department at 715-425-0909. The department does not respond to calls that involve stray cats. The Department's Neighborhood Resource Officer follow up on complaints generally between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. A more immediate response will occur for animal emergencies such as dog bites and vicious animal complaints.

Wild Animal Problems

The following resources are also available to assist community members with wild animal problems:

The United States Department of Agriculture Nuisance Wildlife Hotline is 800-228-1368. This number is for problems related to wolves, bears, birds and agricultural damage from deer, bear, geese, and turkeys. The hotline can also be used for reporting dead birds to help control West Nile virus.

The number for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in Baldwin, Wisconsin, is 715-684-2914. This Department can provide advice regarding problems with wild animals like skunks, opossums, badgers, etc.

Animal Ordinances

Ordinances applicable to animals within the City of River Falls are primarily discussed under Chapter 6.04 of the Municipal Code. Some general requirements under this Code include:

  • Dogs that are more than five months old on January 1st of any year are required to be licensed every year. Further, dogs that become five months of age during the year shall be licensed within 30 days thereof.
  • No dogs, cats or other domestic animals shall, negligently or otherwise, be permitted to run at large within the City limits. Running at large is defined as being off the premises of its owner and not under the control of the owner or some other person
  • All dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than eight feet at all times when off the premises of their owner.
  • The owner of an animal is required to promptly remove and dispose of, in a sanitary manner, any excreta deposited by an animal upon any public or private property.