Facts and answers to popular questions about Dallas pet ownership
Dallas loves its four-legged friends, which is why more than 600,000 dogs and cats call Dallas home. But with pet ownership comes responsibility, and the requirement to follow city codes and laws.
Dallas Animal Services (DAS) is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and to educating citizens about responsible pet ownership. DAS conducts free Responsible Pet Ownership classes, holds offsite animal adoption events and provides educational information to public safety and neighborhood organizations. Here are some common questions and answers about pet ownership.
- Do I have to register my dog or cat? Annual registration is required for all dogs and cats over four months old residing in Dallas. Registering dogs and cats helps ensure pets are vaccinated and healthy. To register your pet, provide proof of a current rabies vaccination certificate in person or via mail. You can also license your pet online at: http://bit.ly/1h3nnVG.
- Do I have to tether my dog? Animals must be confined at all times; in a fenced yard, enclosed pen or structure, or by a hand-held leash if in the custody of the owner. Animals may only be tethered up to three hours in a 24-hour period, or no longer than necessary for the owner to complete a temporary task that required the dog to be restrained.
- Can I keep my dog outside? Yes, but you must have an area that is at least 150-square-feet for each dog six months or older. The structure must be sturdy enough to keep the dog from escaping, but still provide access to a doghouse, building or shelter that provides protection from the elements.
- Am I required to microchip my pet? This is highly recommended. DAS offers microchipping for $15, which includes a national registration. Most veterinarians’ offices also offer this service.
- What is the law regarding animal-on-animal attacks? The City does not have an ordinance pertaining to animal-on-animal attacks. If you know the owner of the dog, you may need to seek legal action in civil court. If the dog was unrestrained, that is a violation of city ordinance, and can be reported.
- How many pets can I have? In an apartment, duplex or townhome you may have up to four dogs and/or cats. If you live in a single-family home on less than half an acre, the limit is six dogs and/or cats. If you live in a single-family home on more than half an acre, the limit is eight dogs and/or cats.
- How can I report animal cruelty? Call 311. Provide the call taker with as much information as possible: location, date, time of the incident, and specific details. An Animal Services Officer will investigate and respond to your request within 72 hours.
- Does the city offer spay/neuter programs? DAS offers free spay/neuter services for pets owned by qualified, low-income Dallas residents. Most applicants will be approved for the program if they currently receive public assistance, such as food stamps or Medicaid.
To review the current Dallas City Code regarding animals visit: http://bit.ly/1jqC8Um. For a list of 24-hour emergency veterinarians visit: http://bit.ly/1h3nK2p. To explore DAS, research available programs and adopt a new friend visit: www.dallasanimalservices.org