Animal Control

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Animal Control Ordinances

Animal Control in the City of Clarkston is charged with handling animals that pose a threat to public safety, such as loose/vicious dogs or sick and injured dogs. The Animal Control Officer will use a variety of animal control devices, including leashes, catch poles, nets and humane traps.

The Animal Control Officer is in charge of organizing, prioritizing and responding to complaints to the public regarding animals. This includes explaining animal control ordinances, resolving animal-related conflicts between parties, and interpreting and applying laws in the field. The officer prepares all investigative reports, prepares citations, coordinates with prosecutors in any court actions resulting from investigations, and testifies in court when called upon.

To contact the Animal Control Officer, please call our Dispatch Center at (509) 758-2331.

Below are some of the ordinances regarding animals in the City of Clarkston.

Number of Pets – City Ordinance 10.54.015

The maximum number of household pets permitted to be kept at a dwelling within the city limits of Clarkston is not more than an accumulative total of three dogs and/or cats. Newborn puppies or kittens are exempt up to four months old. It is unlawful to keep or maintain any livestock, horses, mules, cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits, pigs, ducks or geese within the corporate limits of the city.

Dog Licenses – City Ordinance 6.04.100

All dogs within the city limits of Clarkston and over the age of four (4) months must have a City of Clarkston dog license. Dog licenses may be obtained at Clarkston City Hall. A current license helps us return animals to their rightful owners rather than placing them in impound, which results in impound fees. The fine for having an unlicensed dog is $150.00 for the first offense, and $250.00 for each subsequent offense.

The license fees are as follows:

  • For a spayed or neutered dog, a lifetime license fee is $25.00. The annual fee is $8.00
  • For an unspayed or unneutered dog, the annual fee is $25.00

Leash Law – City Ordinance 6.04.115

Any dog, while off its owner’s property, must be on a leash of less than 8 feet in length and in physical control of a person. This includes public parks and school grounds. While on owners’ property, dogs must be fenced or tied. Dogs may be loose on their property if their owners are outside with them and able to control them.

The fine for allowing a dog to run loose is $150.00 for the first offense, and $250.00 for each subsequent offense.

Barking Complaints – City Ordinance 6.04.120

The City of Clarkston does have a nuisance animal ordinance that includes barking dogs. If you are bothered by a continual howl or chronic barker, we encourage you to first speak with your neighbor about the problem and let them know that you are being disturbed by the noise created by their pet.  Try to work out a solution in a neighborly fashion. Offer suggestions or alternatives that might reduce the noise. Allow the pet owner some time to try and work out a solution.

If the problem persists, call the Clarkston Police Department while the barking is occurring.  Provide the address of the owner and a description of the dog.

The fine for Noise Nuisance is $150.00 for the first offense. The fine increases to $250.00 for the second offense.

Determine for yourself whether your dog is a neighborhood noise nuisance by answering the following questions:

Does your dog bark excessively:
1.  When he is left alone?
2.  When you come home?
3.  When he is outside and wants to come in?
4.  When neighbors come and go from their home?
5.  When another dog barks?
6.  At wildlife or predestrians passing by?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, your dog could be a noise nuisance.