Pet fines raised in Humboldt County

DAKOTA CITY — It will cost pet owners a bit more if their dog or cat is picked up in Humboldt County, according to action taken by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Monday.

The current ordinance sets a $25 fine and mentions dogs only.

The board decided to increase that to $30 and added cats as well.

“I don’t think we really have a problem with cats in the county,” Board Chairman Rick Pedersen said.

Supervisor Erik Underberg said there can be problems with cats.

“Someone’s pet cat could get out and it could be picked up. They should be subject to the same fine as dog owners,” he said.

The wording in the Humboldt city ordinance now says pets, Supervisor Bruce Reimers said.

The board is looking to hire an animal control officer to be paid $30 per animal that is picked up, plus mileage. The board increased the fine to help pay the officer.

The board also discussed the county’s responsibility in replacing damaged mailboxes because one of its snowplow drivers struck a mailbox near Rutland. The driver was meeting another plow and he pulled over, not realizing that his side wing was down when it struck the box, Reimers said.

The driver called the owner and apologized for the incident. The box was properly placed and was not in the county right of way.

Pedersen said the county adopted a policy of not replacing mailboxes several years ago.

“If I hit a mailbox with my vehicle I’m responsible for taking care of it,” Reimers said.

Underberg said that if the damage had been done by snow then it would not be the county’s responsibility, but it was struck by the county plow.

“That’s why I don’t like policies,” he said.

If the damage was done by the county, the county should be liable for it, Supervisor Carl Mattes said.

Pedersen said he had checked with a few other counties on their policies.

Wright County does replace mailboxes with a 4-inch-by-4-inch post and a mailbox. Pocahontas County does not replace them.

Replacing the mailboxes is the right thing to do, Underberg said.