Animal Laws and Regulations

Information about animal related laws and regulations for the City of St. Louis


Summaries of City of St. Louis animal related laws and regulations are provided below.

Review the complete description of animal related ordinances.

Review the complete description of the Trap-Neuter-Return Ordinance.

Report an Animal or Rodent Problem

You may report an animal-related concern to the City of St. Louis online anytime or by calling the Citizens' Service Bureau at (314) 622-4800 during regular business hours. 

Please provide as many details as possible, such as the address, time and date of observation and a description of the circumstances.

Pet Limit

Animal Care and Control understands people often view pets as part of the family and that families come in all shapes and sizes. However, in consideration of public health and safety, certain limits must be placed on the number and type of pets allowed.

No more than four domestic animals may be kept on any one parcel of property within a residential-zoned district unless the property owner obtains a non-commercial kennel permit. Keep in mind, the limit is set by parcel, not person. Ordinance 62941 states a domestic animal is "a dog or cat, including any puppy or kitten, which is more than six weeks old."

Prohibited Pets

Examples of pets that may be counted toward the limit of four include dogs, cats, and rabbits. One potbellied pig per parcel of property is also allowed within the aggregate of four pets. Many exotic pets are prohibited within City limits. These include but are not limited to: all species of bears; lions, tigers, all other big cats; gorillas, chimpanzees, and all non-human primates; foxes, wolves, coyotes, or any canine hybrid of the same; alligators, crocodiles, and caimans; all venomous snakes and any constrictor snake over eight feet in length. Livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, and swine are also prohibited in the City.


Pets and their owners are a vibrant part of urban living. The City of Saint Louis division of Animal Care and Control encourages owners to foster a pet-friendly atmosphere by enjoying the City in a safe and considerate manner. The leash law is enforced for the safety of all of the City’s residents, people and pets alike. Pets must be leashed and securely held by a responsible person whenever they are off the owner’s property, except in the case of City-designated dog exercise parks. No dog or cat is permitted to be at large on any public street, park, or other public space, or on another person’s property.


If you choose to tether your pet on your property, certain provisions are required to ensure the animal’s health and safety.

No owner, guardian, or other person controlling or possessing any dog or cat shall leave said dog or cat tethered outdoors for more than ten continuous hours for a total of 12 hours in any 24 hour period. The tether must be proportionate to the animal, at least 15 feet in length, have a swivel at both ends, and be attached to the pet via a properly fitting harness or collar of nylon or leather. The area where the pet is tethered must be kept in a safe and clean condition and be free from any obstruction which might cause the tether to become entangled. The pet must also have access to suitable, edible, and sufficient food; clean and potable water; and appropriate shelter from the elements.

Feces Removal

Any person owning, keeping, or harboring a pet within the City is responsible for removing and disposing of any feces left by the pet whether on public or private property. The division of Animal Care and Control and your fellow residents appreciate you doing your part to keep our parks and streets clean and enjoyable for all.

Vaccination and Registration

Every person who owns, keeps, or harbors any dog, puppy, cat, or kitten in or around their home, place of business, or other premises within the City is responsible for having that animal vaccinated against rabies and registered with the City. No dog or cat shall be permitted to remain within city limits without the required vaccination and registration.

More on vaccination and registration.

Fowl in the City of St. Louis

Ordinance 70608, effective 8/26/2017, allows for one fowl is permitted for every 4 square feet of indoor enclosure space and every 10 square feet of outdoor enclosure area provided to the animal, to a maximum of eight fowl per parcel.

No one shall raise or keep more than eight small farm animals within the City, unless a person owns at least 20,000 square feet of contiguous land, lives within one quarter mile from the property, and obtains a small farm animal permit by the Health Commissioner.

Chickens must be provided with a covered, predator-proof coop or cage or other shelter that is thoroughly ventilated, designed to be easily accessed and cleaned, and of sufficient size, as determined by the Health Commissioner to permit free movement of the animals. A minimum of two square feet per animal of space inside such a structure is required.

Horse Drawn Carriages

The Health Commissioner's Revised Order #1003 details the provisions horse carriage companies must follow to operate within the City of St. Louis.

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