Animal Services

Animal Control Services

In the animal control section of Mount Vernon's Municipal Code, it provides detailed information about control and protection, kennels, grooming, and shelters, dangerous dogs, population control, deceased animals, and the Animal Advisory Board.

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All dogs over the age of 20 weeks and all cats over the age of 12 weeks are required to be licensed through the Mount Vernon Police Department located at 1805 Continental Place.

Licensing Fees

  • Free for spayed or neutered pets
  • $50 per year for intact pets
  • Proof of a current rabies vaccination and proof of spay / neuter (if applicable) is required at the time of licensing.
  • To obtain license:  Contact the Police Department Records Division Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Each animal will be issued a license tag with an ID number on it. The tag is required to be kept on your pet's collar and will help us locate you if your pet gets loose and is picked up.

Download a Pet License Application.

 Impound Fees

If your dog is picked up by animal control or a police officer and does not have any form of identification the animal will be impounded. If an owner cannot be located within a reasonable time period the animal will be taken to the Skagit Valley Humane Society.

Before an animal may be redeemed by its owner the animal must be licensed and the following fees must be paid to the Mount Vernon Police Department:

  • $20 distraining fee if impounded at the city kennel; and
  • $66 humane society impoundment fee if taken to the humane society

Avoid having your pet taken to the humane society by reporting them missing right away!

Reporting Lost & Found Animals

Please report lost or found animals through dispatch by calling 9-1-1. Found dogs will be picked up by the animal control officer or an available police officer if during non-business hours. Stray cats are not routinely picked up but can be taken directly to the humane society by the finder.

It is important to promptly report a missing pet! Chances are your pet may have been picked up or we may have information about your pet's whereabouts. It is our goal to reunite lost pets with their owners in a timely manner!

Maximum Animals Allowed

Per residence you may have:

  • Up to 3 dogs
  • Up to 6 cats; or
  • A combination of dogs and cats but not to exceed 3 dogs and 6 total animals

Leash Law

Yes, there is a leash law within the city limits of Mount Vernon. Any time a dog or intact cat is off the owner's property the animal must be restrained by a physical control device (leash or carrying cage). This applies to all sidewalks, streets, parks, and private property.

Off-Leash Dog Park

Mount Vernon's first dog park is located at Bakerview Park, 3101 East Fir Street. This is a designated area where dogs can run off-leash and socialize with other dogs. Please use the park responsibly by keeping dogs under control and pick-up any waste left by your pet.

Please keep in mind that baseball diamonds, open fields, trails, and other areas of our parks are not intended for off-leash use. Dogs must be leashed in all areas of the park unless they are in the designated off-leash dog park.

Reporting Dog Park Problems

Aggressive dogs, bites, irresponsible activities, etc. call 9-1-1.

Barking Problems

There is a noise ordinance that applies to barking or other animal noises that is effective 24 hours a day. It is unlawful to allow your pet to bark, howl, or whine continuously or repetitively in a way that disturbs the peace and quiet of the surrounding area. Many dogs will resort to barking or other destructive behavior if left outside when the owner is gone. As an animal owner it is your responsibility to make sure your pet is not being a nuisance. Be mindful of the fact the barking may not bother you, but may be an annoyance to your neighbors.

If you have a barking problem in your neighborhood consider talking to the animal owner about your concern. If you need officer assistance please report the barking problem when it is in-progress through dispatch by calling 911.

Animal Waste Problems

Animal owners are required to immediately pick up animal waste after their pets have gone to the bathroom on private or public property.

If you have a problem with a neighbor's pet leaving waste on your property consider talking to the animal owner about your concern. If you need officer assistance please report the problem through dispatch by calling 911.

Animal Cruelty / Neglect

Please report any suspected abuse or neglect by calling 9-1-1. The responding officer will need the location and any observations you have made to help with the investigation.

Bites / Attacks

All animal bites to humans must be reported to the animal control officer. An investigation will be done to determine the animal involved, the animal owner, and the injuries inflicted. If you or your dog has been attacked by another animal, call 9-1-1 right away. The responding officer will attempt to identify the attacking animal, the injuries inflicted, and the circumstances leading up to the attack.

Wildlife/Nuisance Wildlife

Many residents within the city limits encounter problems with raccoons, opossums, and other nuisance wildlife. We are not equipped to handle these animals and generally do not respond to nuisance wildlife complaints. We help to educate citizens on the behavior of these animals and how to best live peacefully with them.

Unfortunately, the Fish and Wildlife Department does not respond to these complaints either. The state requires that anyone intending to trap these animals have a permit through the Fish and Wildlife Department. Therefore, we cannot lease out live traps to citizens intending to catch nuisance wildlife.

Here are some suggestions on how to deter these animals from your property:

  • If you or your neighbors leave cat or dog food outside for your pets this serves as an attractant and food source for nuisance wildlife. Always feed pets inside and remove all food and garbage from the outside of your property.
  • Secure all decks, sheds, and garages so that unwanted animals cannot get in and nest in these areas.
  • If you find these suggestions have not helped, or wish to have the animal removed promptly, you can hire a licensed trapper to come in and remove the animal(s). A full list of licensed trappers in Skagit County can be obtained by contacting Animal Control, (360) 336-0630 ext. 1499.

Animal Trapping

The Mount Vernon Police Department offers free live trap rentals to citizens of Mount Vernon. These can be used to catch stray cats. As mentioned above, they cannot be rented out for the intended use of catching nuisance wildlife.

If you plan to trap cats on your property you are responsible to transport the animal in a safe and humane manner to the Skagit Valley Humane Society located at 18841 Kelleher Road in Burlington. Animal control will not pick-up the cat from you.

If you would like to rent a live trap please come to the Mount Vernon Police Department anytime Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.


Animal owners that are in violation of an animal ordinance may be issued a civil infraction. Some offenses such as animal cruelty, dog fighting, or violations of the dangerous / potentially dangerous dog ordinance can be enforced with a criminal citation. The following infraction fee schedule applies within a 12 month period:

  • $103 First offense
  • $205 Second offense
  • $308 Third offense
  • $1,025 Fourth offense

Contact Animal Services Officer Emily Willett if you have further questions.