Although ordinances governing dogs vary widely across the country, some common ordinances deal with issues such as dogs running at large and the proper removal of dog waste. Animal noise control ordinances, dangerous dog provisions and rules about the number of dogs a family owns are also common.
In some states and localities, owners may not allow their dogs to run free or at large without their supervision. Some areas require that the owner leash a dog outside of his premises, and dogs found running at large are subject to impounding. Allowing a dog to run loose is a misdemeanor offense in some areas of the country, including Idaho Falls, Idaho. In Houston, Texas, the owner of a dog known to be dangerous faces a $2,000 fine for allowing the dog to run at large, as of 2015.
Many locales require that dog owners remove dog waste when walking the dog in a public area or face a fine. In Medford, Massachusetts, a $50 fine applies for dog owners who fail to remove the dog’s waste.
Ordinances regarding barking also exist. For instance, in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, the law prohibits residents from owning or keeping dogs that disturb the peace of others with loud, habitual or frequent barking. Lisbon, Maine, residents are subject to fines of $100 for owning dogs that violate its nuisance dog barking ordinance.
Some towns limit the number of companion animals residents own. For example, in Kansas City, Missouri, a person may own no more than four dogs or cats, although there are some exceptions to the ordinance.