Animal Control

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animal control public outreach tentThe Bozeman Police Department Animal Control Officers educate and enforce violations of animal regulations in Bozeman. Our approach to animal control is to utilize problem solving and education in handling animal complaints. Safety of the public and animal are always the first priority.

Common Complaints

  1. Leashes are required in the City limits for dogs and cats. Although many feel their pets would never run off without a leash, animals can be very unpredictable around strangers or other animals if confronted. Also, if your pet is not on a leash if confronted by another non-leashed pet, you may not have any way to protect your pet if they are attacked by the other pet.
  2. Pets cannot be leashed to a tree, bike rack, street sign or other item that is on public property. We commonly see this practice along the sidewalks in the downtown area. Again, animals can be unpredictable, to include being scared in your absence, and may react indifferently around a stranger who tries to pet them or simply walks too close to them. The last thing you want is your pet being taken by a stranger. Many businesses in our downtown area allow leashed pets into their business while you shop.
  3. Barking Dogs: Please do your part to ensure that your dog is not consistently barking and bothering your neighbors. Many of the complaints we receive occur while the owner is away from home.

Additionally, dogs and cats must have a city license and be vaccinated for rabies. Our animal control officer also reviews residences applying for a kennel license or who choose to raise hens.

How to License a Pet

Purchase your city license at Bozeman City Hall, 121 N. Rouse Ave, between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, Monday-Friday, or you may fill out the "license form" portion of the attached brochure and mail it to City Hall along with:

  • A check covering license fees
  • Proof of rabies vaccination
  • Proof of Spay/Neuter (for reduced fee)

A city license is required for a dog or cat over the age of six months which lives in the city limits for more than 15 days.

Each dog or cat over six months must also be vaccinated against rabies before obtaining a license. All area veterinarians offer these vaccinations and will supply you with a tag to put on your pet’s collar.

If you own three or more cats or three or more dogs, you must apply separately at City Hall for a Kennel License, which costs $50 annually.

How to file a Complaint

  • Use our online form: Animal Complaints
  • For Barking Complaints, please also see this form: Barking Complaint Form
  • Call 582-2000. If an animal control officer is not available, the call will be forwarded for handling at a later time (non-emergency, on-going problems) or a police officer will respond to handle if it's an emergency
  • Please have a detailed description of the location or address, giving your name, address and phone number. This is necessary if the animal control officer or police officer has to issue a citation to the pet owner.
  • Providing the license plates of dog owners who leave the area after an offense can be helpful, including a good description of the owner.

Related Information


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