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Animal and Pet Ordinances

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The City of Janesville Police Department currently responds to animal complaint calls.  Although not required by Wisconsin State Statute, the City of Janesville provides this service through the Police Department.  Please find the answers to frequently asked questions below, read the City of Janesville Animal Ordinance, or call the Police Department at (608) 755-3100 for additional information concerning animals.

How many pets are too many?

Any Janesville homeowner can have up to four dogs and cats, in any combination. However, if you want to have just cats, three cats is the limit you can keep in your home. If you have just dogs, three dogs is the limit you can keep in your home. So, a house could have three dogs and one cat, or three cats and one dog. Or you may have two cats and two dogs.

Ordinances do not allow wild, exotic, and/or vicious pets including raccoons, any pigs, and poisonous or constricting snakes such as pythons or boas. Animals that are not wild and are acceptable include ferrets, and nonpoisonous and nonconstricting snakes. Please call the Police Department at (608) 755-3100 for details.

Need Help Spaying or Neutering Your Cat or Dog?

The Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin partners with an organization in Sun Prairie to offer Rock County residents low cost spay and neuter services. Please review the details on the Humane Society website.


Cats and dogs are not allowed to run freely without a leash, according to a city ordinance. Animals are never allowed on any school grounds.

When a police officer finds a cat or dog running loose, the officer will most likely attempt to return the pet to the owner. If the owner cannot be found, the officer will take the pet to the Rock County Humane Society. The owner may then have to pay a fee as much as $35 to the Humane Society if it has to pick up the animal and pay daily boarding fees. If it cannot be proven whether the animal has had its rabies shot, state law requires the owner to buy a $10 certificate promising that the pet will receive its rabies shots within three days.

Whenever you walk your pet in Janesville, it must be on a leash that is no more than six feet long. Pets are not permitted on any public playground, golf course, bike trail or park from May 15 to September 15, by ordinance. The only place you can let your pet run without a leash is in your own yard or Pet Exercise and Training Areas.

Pet Exercise and Training Areas

Treat your dog to exercise at the City's Pet Exercise and Training areas (PETA), where you can exercise your dogs year-round without having to comply with the leash law. They are found in Palmer Park (between Palmer Drive, I-90 and Mohawk Drive) and along the Rock River Parkway. Hours are daily from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Owners must keep their dogs under control and clean up after them.

Cleaning Up After Your Pet

Help keep Janesville beautiful. You must clean up after your pet within five minutes on any public or private property that is not your own.  The fine for not cleaning up after an animal is $212 for the first offense.

Dogs Love Trucks

But don't let your dog ride in the back of a pickup truck unless it is secured in a cage or enclosure. The fine for not securing them is typically $212, first offense.

Dog & Cat Licenses

All dogs and cats in Janesville over the age of 5 months are required to have a license. You can obtain a license at the Clerk-Treasurer's office. For current information, please click here.


Always call the Janesville Police Department at 755-3100 if you suspect someone is neglecting or abusing an animal, see a dog running loose or are disturbed by incessantly barking dogs. Please do not contact the Humane Society. Police officers will assess the situation and will call the Humane Society if services are needed. For removal of dead animals on public property, please contact City Services at 755-3110.


The fine for allowing dogs in parks or schools, barking and running at large, and not licensing is typically $125.90 for the first offense. The fine for not cleaning up after an animal is $212 for the first offense.  The Police Department encourages pet owners to care for their animals in a responsible manner and therefore avoid these penalties.

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