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Commercial Dog and Cat Breeders

Commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota must be licensed and inspected by the Board of Animal Health. A commercial breeder is defined (Minnesota Statutes 347.57) as a person who possesses or has an ownership interest in animals and is engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or for exchange in return for consideration, and who possesses ten or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce more than five total litters of puppies or kittens per year.

To become licensed, the commercial breeder must submit a license application accompanied by the initial license fee. The fee for licensure is $10 per adult intact animal up to a maximum of $250. The commercial breeding facility must then be inspected by the Board of Animal Health to verify that it meets all the requirements specified in Minnesota Statutes 347.57 to 347.64.

Kennels

Any person who operates a kennel where dogs or cats are kept, congregated or confined, must be licensed with the Board of Animal Health if the dogs or cats were obtained from municipalities, pounds, auctions, or by advertising for unwanted dogs or cats, or dogs or cats strayed, abandoned, or stolen (Minnesota Statutes 347.34).

This requirement does not apply to (1) a pound owned and operated by any political subdivision of the state, (2) a person’s home where dogs or cats are kept as pets, or (3) a veterinarian licensed to practice in the state of Minnesota who keeps, congregates, or confines dogs or cats in the normal pursuit of the practice of veterinary medicine.

To obtain a kennel license, the owner must submit a license application to the Board of Animal Health along with a check for $15.00 to cover the annual license fee. The kennel must then be inspected by the Board of Animal Health to verify compliance with the requirements specified in Minnesota Statutes 347.31 to 347.40 and Minnesota rules 1721.0520.

Canine Brucellosis

Canine brucellosis, caused by Brucella canis, is a significant reproductive disease of dogs. It is caused by an intracellular bacterium and often found in breeding kennels throughout the United States. B. canis is a zoonotic organism that can infect humans. Canine brucellosis is considered a lifelong infection in dogs.

Test results that are positive for canine brucellosis must be reported to the Board of Animal Health. Dogs determined by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health to be infected with Brucella canis must be permanently quarantined and isolated from other dogs not known to be infected, or be euthanized.

Official tests for canine brucellosis that are approved by the Board of Animal Health are the rapid slide (or card) agglutination test (RSAT), the agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Tests for canine brucellosis must be conducted by or under the direct supervision of a Minnesota-licensed veterinarian or personnel at an accredited veterinary diagnostic laboratory. Samples must be collected by or under the direct supervision of a Minnesota-licensed veterinarian. Test results are valid for 60 days from the date of sample collection. All test results must be reported to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

Blastomycosis

Blastomycosis is a fungal infection that affects people, dogs and occasionally cats. It is caused by an organism known as Blastomyces dermatitidis. The fungus is commonly found near waterways in acidic soils that are rich in decaying vegetation. In Minnesota, blastomycosis is most common in St. Louis, Itasca, and Beltrami counties.

People or animals become infected with blastomycosis by inhaling airborne spores from the mold form of the organism found in the soil or decaying vegetation. The disease is not transmitted directly between animals or people. Symptoms of the disease may include loss of appetite, depression, fever, coughing, pain and skin lesions.

All positive canine blastomycosis cases must be reported to the Board of Animal Health and the reporting veterinarian must submit a Blastomycosis Case Report to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Rabies and Pets

Rabies is a viral disease of the central nervous system that causes encephalitis and death in infected animals. Rabies is transmitted when the virus, which is present in the saliva of an infected animal, penetrates the skin through a bite or scratch. While skunks and bats are the primary carriers of rabies in Minnesota, domestic animals can also become infected.

Preventing rabies in dogs and cats through regular rabies vaccination is highly effective. All dogs and cats three months or older should be vaccinated according to their veterinarian’s recommendations. Booster vaccines are required to maintain immunity. Animals that are younger than three months of age should be kept indoors to eliminate contact with skunks and bats, or other wild life that may be infected with the rabies virus.

For more information about rabies and what to do if you think your pet has been exposed to the virus, visit the Board of Animal Health rabies page.

Canine Influenza

Canine influenza is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by Type A influenza virus. There are two different strains of influenza Type A virus, H3N8 and H3N2, which are currently circulating in dog populations in the United States.

The clinical signs of canine influenza in dogs are generally mild and include cough, runny nose and fever. Not all dogs that are infected will show signs of illness. The disease can occasionally be severe and may even result in pneumonia or death. No human infections with canine influenza have ever been reported.