Keeping Animals in the City

Household Pets

  • Pet ownership is limited to not more than three (3) adult dogs and four (4) adult cats.
  • Dogs must be licensed through the county.
  • Barking dogs are regulated by the City’s Noise Ordinance, which is enforced by the police. Officers handle calls in order of priority – safety issues are handled before nuisance issues, so you may not get an immediate response. In addition, the officer has to witness the dog barking. We urge you to try to talk to the owner of the dog(s) before you call the police.
  • You may not keep a wild animal as a pet in the City, unless you are affiliated with a bona fide circus or carnival.
  • You may not keep livestock as pets in the City, unless you are affiliated with a bona fide stable.


  • Cruelty and neglect cases have to be investigated. These issues are dealt with by the Police Department
  • If animals are in a house, officials may not force entry to investigate without the owner’s permission.

Animal Waste

  • The City regulates animal waste through the ‘Pooper Scooper’ law, which is enforced by the police department.
  • Animal waste which creates unsanitary conditions for humans is addressed in the City’s Property Maintenance Code, which is enforced by the City’s Housing Inspectors.

Animal Control

Humane Society

  • The Humane Society is a non-profit entity dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals, and to promoting pet adoption. It is a separate entity from Animal Control.
  • More information on the The Humane Society:


  • City officials, as well as County officials, can issue tickets for ordinance violations.
  • Fines for violating the City ordinances regarding animals can range from $25 to $100 for the first offense, $50 to $200 for the second offense, and $100 to $500 for the third offense.


  • For barking dogs or animal bites:
    City of Muskegon Police Department
  • For animal waste:
    City of Muskegon
    Neighborhood/Construction Services
  • For violation of number of animals:
    Dogs: Contact Vector Control (231) 724-6007
    Cats: Contact your Community Officer (231) 724-6750
  • For stray animals and bites:
    Muskegon County Animal Control
    1300 Keating
  • For cruelty/neglect issues (in the City of Muskegon):
    Contact the police department (231) 724-6750Pet adoption:
    Humane Society & Animal Rescue of Muskegon
    2640 Marquette