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Ebola and Animals

State agencies are planning and preparing in the event of a confirmed case of Ebola in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Health has information on its website about Ebola and the State's efforts.

View the University of Minnesota Center for Animal Health and Food Safety Ebola and Animals fact sheet.

Commercial Dog and Cat Breeders

During the 2014 legislative session a law was passed requiring commercial dog and cat breeders to be licensed and inspected by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. The purpose of this new program is to protect the health and well-being of dogs and cats that are kept and produced by commercial breeders. A commercial breeder is defined in the law 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.

Though the program is in its infancy, there are a few things that commercial dog and cat breeders can do to get started.


From July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, commercial breeders need to complete a one-time registration with the Board. Register by sending us your completed Commercial Dog and Cat Breeder Application form. Additionally, a one-time fee of $50 must be submitted to the Board. This fee can be paid by sending a check or money order, payable to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, to: 625 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55155.


During the first 12 months of the program, commercial dog or cat breeders may also elect to skip the registration process and become fully licensed right away. To become fully licensed, the facility owner must submit a license application accompanied by the initial license fee. The fee for full licensure is $10 per adult intact animal (minimum of $100) up to a maximum of $250. Then, a commercial breeding facility must be inspected by a Board of Animal Health representative and meet all the requirements of the new laws.

The initial license period will be from the date the application is approved until July 1, 2016. Application forms and instructions may be found on the Board of Animal Health website or may be requested by calling the Board at (651) 201-6810.

Beginning July 1, 2015, licensure becomes mandatory and a commercial dog or cat breeder must obtain an annual license from the Board for each facility it owns or operates in Minnesota.


This is a new program for the Board of Animal Health and commercial dog and cat breeders in Minnesota. You can read the inspection supplement to learn more about what the program will involve.

The Board is committed to carrying out its mission to safeguard the health of domestic animals in Minnesota. We have worked with livestock farmers for over a century to eradicate disease and enforce regulations that help keep animals healthy. We are fully confident that Minnesota’s commercial dog and cat breeders will continue the tradition of animal owners and animal health officials working together towards a common goal.

Kennels Used As Animal Shelters

In general, kennels used as animal shelters where unwanted, impounded, strayed, abandoned or stolen dogs or cats are kept must be licensed and inspected by the Board. The requirement for licensure and inspection of this special type of kennel does not apply to:

  • Pounds operated by a political subdivision of the state
  • A person’s home where dogs or cats are kept as pets
  • Veterinary clinics

Our staff members routinely inspect kennels with this type of license to verify that the facilities meet specific animal care standards. Inspectors look at the programs for veterinary care, pest control, confinement areas, feeding practices, animal identification, record keeping and compliance with animal holding periods.

To obtain this type of kennel license, a kennel owner must submit a license application accompanied by the license fee. The fee for licensure is $15 per calendar year. The kennel must then pass an inspection conducted by a Board of Animal Health representative. Application forms and instructions may be found on the Board of Animal Health website or may be requested by calling the Board at (651) 201-6834.


Blastomycosis is a fungal infection that affects people, dogs and occasionally cats caused by an organism known as Blastomyces dermatitidis. Because the fungus is commonly found near waterways in acidic soils that are rich in decaying vegetation, blastomycosis most often affects people living in the central and southeastern United States (particularly in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys and the Great Lakes states). In Minnesota, blastomycosis is most common in St. Louis, Itasca, and Beltrami counties.

A person or animal becomes infected with blastomycosis by inhaling airborne spores from the mold form of the organism. Symptoms and signs of blastomycosis vary and may include:

  • loss of appetite
  • depression
  • fever
  • coughing
  • pain
  • skin lesions

The disease is not transmitted via person-to-person or person-to-animal contact. If you have a pet with this infection you cannot contract the disease from your pet, but you may be at risk for contracting the disease through a common environmental source such as contaminated soil near a waterway.

All positive canine blastomycosis cases must be reported to the Board of Animal Health by completing the Veterinary Blastomycosis Report Form and returning it to the Minnesota Department of Health or the Board of Animal 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.