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Animal Regulations

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Animal Licensing

What animals require a license or permit from the City of Rochester?

Household pets are not licensed by the City, but are required to have an ID tag or to be micro-chipped. A license does need to obtained in order to keep Chickens, Ducks, or Pigeons at a residential property in the City. Chapter 106A of the Rochester Code of Ordinances does also require a breeder's permit in order to keep more than nine animals in a household. 

Animal Permit Applications

Chicken Application

Rochester Code of Ordinances Chapter 113A governs chicken permits. With a permit, up to 3 hens are allowed on any premise. A permit for up to 12 hens may be issued if the applicant is involved in educational or instructional activity. An applicant must submit a letter of request  with the permit application explaining how the need for the greater number of chickens is directly related to the educational or instructional activity. Roosters are not permitted.

Permit applications must be submitted with a scaled diagram indicating the location of any chicken coop and run, and will be reviewed by City staff for compliance with the regulations in the ordinance. The City Council must approve the application before a permit is issued.

Duck Application

Rochester Code of Ordinances Chapter 113B governs duck permits. With a permit, up to 3 hens are allowed on any premise. A permit for up to 12 hen ducks may be issued if the applicant is involved in educational or instructional activity. An applicant must submit a letter of request with the permit application explaining how the need for the greater number of ducks is directly related to the educational or instructional activity. Drakes are not permitted.

Permit applications must be submitted with a scaled diagram indicating the location of any duck coop and run, and will be reviewed by City staff for compliance with the regulations in the ordinance. The City Council must approve the application before a permit is issued.

Pigeon Application

Rochester Code of Ordinances Chapter 113 governs pigeon permits. With a permit, up to 50 pigeons are allowed on any premise. 

Permit applications must be submitted with specifications for the location of the coop or loft, and its approximate size, and will be reviewed by City staff for compliance with the regulations in the ordinance. Permits are granted by the City Clerk.

Dog/Cat/Ferret Regulations

What are the licensing regulations regarding dogs, cats, and ferrets?

Dogs, cats or ferrets over the age of four months must have an ID tag, to be worn at all times, that has on it the owner’s name and contact information, including a valid telephone number, or they must be micro-chipped with the micro-chip data contact information kept up to date. There is not a separate license that must be obtained from the City for these animals.

Rabies Shots

All dog, cats and ferrets in the city limits must have rabies shots.

What are the limits on numbers of animals?

Rochester City Ordinance Section 106A.03 Ownership Limits. Subdivision 1. No  person shall keep nine or more multiple animals over the age of six months within any household in the City of Rochester. The term “multiple animals” means two or more cats, dogs or ferrets. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, no person shall keep six or more dogs over the age of six months within any household in the City of Rochester. These limits do not apply if a breeder’s permit is applied for and issued pursuant to section 106A.19. For the purposes of this section, the term "household" refers to a single family residence or single unit of a town home, condominium, apartment or comparable structure which is rented, leased or used as a single unit. This Section shall not be construed to limit the ability of apartment managers, landlords, town home associations or other representatives of property owners to impose greater restrictions.

Where can I find more information on laws regarding cats, dogs, and ferrets, such as barking, etc?

You can look at the city ordinance regarding animals, Chapter 106A.