Pets not allowed at Dunn County Fair
By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — Dogs, cats and other pets will no longer be allowed at the Dunn County Fair.
The Dunn County Board of Supervisors approved on a second reading at the June 19 meeting an ordinance prohibiting dogs, cats and other pet animals at the Dunn County Fair.
The Dunn County Fair is regulated by the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, said Deb Gotlibson, president of the Dunn County Fair board.
The fair board must follow a six-page animal health document, and “we are highly regulated,” she said.
The fair board is required to keep records for five years of every animal that has been on the fairgrounds. When people bring pets to the fair, the fair board has no health records on those animals, and does not even know if they have been properly vaccinated, Gotlibson said.
Pets at the fair also pose a safety concern.
“People have been knocked down by dogs, and dogs have scared small animals (that are on exhibit),” Gotlibson said.
“I love animals. I have a dog. I would not dream of taking it to the fair,” she said.
The ordinance makes an exception for service dogs accompanying people who are visually-impaired, hearing-impaired or mobility-impaired.
The ordinance also makes an exception for police dogs as well as dogs, cats or other pet animals on display, entered as a fair project, animals used in petting zoos or pets owned by vendors.
Anyone who violates the ordinance can be fined anywhere from $50 to $200.
The Dunn County Board unanimously approved the ordinance.
County board supervisors Alec Kirby, Sheila Stori, Mary Solberg and Gary Seipel were absent from the meeting.
The Dunn County Fair is scheduled this year for July 24 through July 28.
In other business, the Dunn County Board:
• Appointed Jesse Rintala as the highway commissioner for Dunn County pursuant to an employment agreement negotiated by Gene Smith, county manager. Rintala previously had been appointed as acting highway commissioner.
• Learned that the Dunn County Highway Department had an ending balance for 2012 of $979,849 but that the winter maintenance budget for 2013 is already $330,000 over budget with October, November and December remaining. “It definitely was a difficult winter,” Rintala said.
• Approved a rezone from Agriculture 2 to Agriculture Residential (A3) requested by Audrey and Kenneth Joslin for 1.95 acres located north of County Highway FF just across the road from the Grain Bin.
• Approved creating a county public works department. The new department does not change staffing or the county’s budget. The advantage of a county public works department is that it places all of the county’s physical property under one department, Smith said.
• Approved an ordinance amendment to increase the fees for driveway permits from $35 to $100 and to increase the fees for public and private streets from $50 to $300. The increased fee amounts are intended to offset the cost involved in reviewing the permits.