A strong foundation of animal management policies is essential for creating and sustaining humane communities. These policies should balance public health and safety with animal welfare needs, enabling harmonious co-existence between people and pets. The following set of ordinances adhere to the principles described in our toolkit, Municipal Pet Policy Toolkit, which can be downloaded for free below. Please note that many ordinances contain a mix of good and not-so-good language. We note good language and recommend that communities review the parts that are helpful and tailor them to meet the unique needs of your community. Remember—there is no one-size-fits-all policy.
The basics: pet keeping policies
- Humane care—Virginia: § 3.2-6503 and § 3.2-6500
- Humane care (extreme weather)—Palm Beach, FL: Sec. 4-24.(b)(1).a
- Humane care (proper shelter)—Wisconsin: 951.14.
- Pets in cars—Massachusetts: § 174F.
- Pets in cars—San Francisco, CA: Sec. 40.6.
- Exotics—Wilkes County, NC: Article IV-A.
- Abandonment—Baltimore, MD: § 10-403
- At large—Montpelier, VT: Sec. 8-201.2 and 8-203
- Tethering (total ban)—Live Oak, TX: Sec. 4-10.
- Tethering (restrictions)—Texas: § 821.076-§ 821.081
- Dangerous dogs—Multnomah County, OR: § 13.400-§ 13.406
- Dangerous dogs/breed neutral—Minnesota: 347.50-347.56
Cat-friendly communities (for cats, wildlife and people)
- Devocalization/Declaw—California: 1942.7
- Declaw—West Hollywood, CA: 9.49.020
- Pet policy/eviction—New York, NY: § 27-2009.1
Animal shelters and rescue groups