Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Fines of up to $1,000 in Cokato; $300 in Dassel for allowing dogs to bark

Aug. 24, 2009

By Lynda Jensen

DASSEL-COKATO, MN – Dogs are abundant in both Dassel and Cokato. However, with dog ownership, there are responsibilities that go along with it.

Generally, four things are required of a dog owner: to keep it under control at all times, to prevent it from barking as a public nuisance, to have it wear a dog tag, and to have it properly licensed.

In Cokato, it’s a misdemeanor to allow your dog to bark continually, with the fine being up to $1,000 and/or up to 90 days in jail. This is up to the discretion of the judge, commented Wright. Co. deputy Dan Anselment.

In Dassel, the offense of habitual dog barking is considered a petty misdemeanor, with the fine being up to $300, according to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office. However, it could result in a court appearance being required, with the judge tacking more fees onto it, which is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

According to Dassel ordinance, the dog must be barking continually for five minutes straight, with one minute intervals between this, to meet the criteria for a dog that habitually barks.

Both cities also limit the number of dogs to two per family, unless it’s under a kennel type of arrangement, which would make it a different scenario.

“In the Dassel ordinance code, the keeping of three or more dogs constitutes a kennel, and that is not allowed within the city,” McGrath commented. “So, the answer would be two dogs.”

There is a grandfather clause for this ordinance for those who own more dogs, as long as the owners don’t have any infractions.

Both cities have ordinances that forbid dogs from running at large, with Cokato requiring a leash of not more than six feet long.

Cokato also has a variety of other dog-related requirements, which pertain from everything to treatment of vicious dogs to those suspected of rabies.

A summary of the license requirements is as follows:


Licenses are required for all dogs older than six months. The license fee is $5 annually. All applications for license must be accompanied by a statement from a veterinarian indicating that the dog has been spayed or neutered, and has current vaccinations.

The license is valid for one year, and expires on the first day of January each year. Dogs must be leashed or under the control of a responsible person at all times. Dogs are prohibited from habitual barking. Dogs running at large will be picked up; charge for pickup is $25 city fine, plus kennel charges.


Licenses are required for all dogs. The license fee for spayed or neutered dogs is $10. The regular license fee is $25.

Dogs must be leashed or under the control of a responsible person. Dogs running at large will be picked up. The fee for a licensed dog pick-up is $25. The fee for an unlicensed dog pickup is $50.

The second pickup fee is $50. The dog will be impounded for the third and subsequent pickups, and the owner will be charged for the actual cost of impoundment.


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