City, county officials encourage responsible pet ownership

Outlook staff writer

City and county law enforcement officers are encouraging dog owners to license their pets and be responsible owners. 

Det. Jason Wells of the Laurel Police Department said licensing dogs “helps us locate the owner. Our only goal is to reunite animals with their owners as soon as possible.” 

Wells stressed the importance of licensing because the police department doesn’t have a chip reader. 

“There are so many types that scanning animals is not a reliable way to identify them,” he said.

Proof of rabies vaccination is required before a license will be issued. Fees for a spayed female/neutered male is $10 for residents of Park City and $20 for Laurel residents. The fee for an un-spayed female/un-neutered male is $25 for Park City and $30 for Laurel.

Yellowstone and Stillwater county codes and Park City and Laurel city codes also address several common sense laws such as cleaning up dog waste and maintaining control of pets when off of private property, as well as procedures for dealing with vicious or problem animals:

• Dogs must be licensed by January 1 of each year in Park City and April 1 in Laurel, or within 30 days of acquiring a new dog and bringing it into the city.

• All dogs within the city limits must be restrained by an adequate fence or leash at all times.

• Any person in Laurel violating the leash law shall receive a fine of not less than $25 and not more the $300, and in Park City a fine of not more than $50, for a first offense.

• In Laurel, each household shall not possess more than two adult dogs or cats, with an adult being defined as over 12 months. 

• The owner or custodian of every animal shall immediately retrieve and remove all waste from public streets, walkways, recreation areas or city parks.

• Any dog found running at large without identification or license tags may be seized and impounded by any law enforcement officer.

• The refusal or failure of the owner of any impounded animal to pay the fee and charges within five days of notification shall be held to be an abandonment of the animal by the owner.

• Any impounded dog (or other animal) suffering from an infectious disease shall not be released, but must be put to death, unless the chief of police shall otherwise order. 

• Whenever an animal is to be put to death, except for infection with rabies, the owner or other person may apply to the police court for permission to remove the animal permanently from the city. 

Yellowstone County Code states than an unprovoked dog that bites or attempts to bite a person or another animal may be impounded until the case has been resolved. When serious injury or a vicious attack has occurred, the Court may order the dog euthanized or impounded and the dog shall not be released until approval of the Court. If the dog is found to have bitten or attempted to bite a person or another animal, the person who has custody […] shall be responsible for all of the costs related to the care of the dog while impounded. The owner has 72 hours to claim the dog and pay all fees or it may be adopted out or euthanized.

In Laurel, an animal is declared a public nuisance if it strays off the owner’s premises or onto premises owned by an other person, destroys property or other pets, bites or chases after persons or other pets, or cause annoyance or disturbance to any person by prolonged howling, yelping or barking.

Any person aggrieved by a nuisance animal may file a complaint in the city court.

Upon a third conviction under this section, the nuisance animal may be seized and taken up by any law enforcement officer and put to death.

Cruelty to animals is prohibited state-wide and it is unlawful for any person to willfully and cruelly inflict pain upon or injure any animal, or to neglect its basic needs.


Miscellaneous animal 

regulations for Laurel:

• No person shall keep swine, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, goats, horses, cows, mules or chinchillas within the city limits.

• No person shall keep or maintain more than six pigeons.

• No person shall keep or maintain more than six rabbits.

• No person shall keep or permit to be kept on the premises any wild/exotic or vicious animal. This includes any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, fox, poisonous snake, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx wolf or wolf hybrid, or any mammal indigenous to the state of Montana taken from the wild state.



Upcoming Events

  • Monday, February 26, 2018 - 10:00am
    Mondays, 10 a.m., Thursdays, 1 p.m., Laurel Senior Center, 720 S. 4th St.
  • Monday, February 26, 2018 - 11:00am
    Second & fourth Monday 11 am., Big Horn Resort, 1801 Majestic Lane, 281-8455
  • Monday, February 26, 2018 - 12:00pm
    Every 4th Monday, 12 noon, Billings Clinic, 801 N. 29th St., Billings, 657-4773
  • Monday, February 26, 2018 - 1:00pm
    Mondays & Fridays, 1 p.m., Laurel Senior Center, 720 S. 4th St.
  • Monday, February 26, 2018 - 1:30pm
    Al-Anon, Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St.
  • Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 8:30am
    (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m. weigh-in, 9 a.m. meeting, United Methodist Church Basement, 652-7728


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