Animal Licenses

Animal Licenses

Per City Code, Chapter 56, an annual license is required for cats and dogs over the age of six months. Licenses expire on January 1 of the year following the date of issuance. To apply for an animal license, you need to bring a copy of current rabies vaccination documentation from your veterinarian to City Hall, 520 4th Avenue. An application will be completed and the annual fee collected. A tag will be issued for each license.


License fees are:

  • $10 for a spayed or neutered animal
  • $12 for an animal that has not been spayed or neutered

For new animals or residents new to Grinnell, the license fees are prorated the first year of licensing as follows:

  • January - March Fee: $10 / $12
  • April - June Fee: $8 / $9
  • July - September Fee: $5 / $6
  • October - December Fee: $2 / $3

At Large Animals

The Grinnell Police Department will respond to at large dogs and attempt to identify the owner. If the owner cannot be located, it will be helpful for the animal to be sheltered in place until a member of the Grinnell Police Department can transfer the dog to PALS (Poweshiek Animal League Shelter). PALS is located at 4167 20th Street in Grinnell, IA. Owners with lost pets can call PALS 641-236-4288 or refer to the PALS Facebook page which contains daily postings of located animals. Parties may also be referred to their website, which contains reclaim information, including fees. Dogs not claimed after seven (7) days become the property of PALS.

The owner will be required to license the animal, if it is not licensed. Owners are subject to citation for suffering an animal at large.

To report an at large animal contact county dispatch at 641-623-5679.

Vicious Animals

If an animal is known to have caused serious injury, death, or disease to humans, or is manifestly capable of doing so, it may be deemed as vicious. A permit is required for vicious animals. Requirements for obtaining a permit are:

  • Written consent from owners and occupants residing within 500 feet of the property with the vicious animal.
  • An insurance policy or certificate of insurance with minimum liability amount of $300,000.
  • Provision in the insurance policy that it cannot be cancelled or terminated until after ten days' notice to the city, by registered mail.
  • Payment of the $100 permit fee.

Livestock and Bees

With the exception of chickens, it is unlawful for any person to keep or maintain livestock or bees in the City within five hundred (500) feet of any public building or private dwelling without having first obtained a permit issued by the Council after public hearing. See City Code, Chapter 55.04 for further information.



No person shall raise, harbor, or keep chickens within the City of Grinnell without a valid permit obtained from the police department (1020 Spring Street) under the provisions of City Code, Chapter 58. In order to obtain a permit an applicant must submit a completed application and pay the permit fee. The initial fee is $100 for three years, and can be renewed for $75.

In the video link below, ISU Extension Specialist, Andy Larson, helps you understand why chickens may (or may not) be a good fit for your family. Watch Video