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The Dallas, Texas City Council will soon consider major changes to the Dallas animal control ordinance. The changes include breeder permitting, limits on the number of pets that can be owned, stricter dangerous dog language, and a ban on tethering.

Mandatory Spay/Neuter


  • This proposed ordinance mandates that you spay or neuter your dog unless you obtain a breeder permit for each intact dog.
  • Breeder permits will only be issued to owners of dogs of recognized breeds that are registered with a national registry. Owners must also be members of a purebred dog club that has been approved by the Director of Animal Services.
  • The permit will cost $500 per year per dog and will restrict breeding to one litter per permit per year. Breeders are prohibited from selling puppies until they reach eight (8) weeks of age and have been immunized.
  • In order to redeem a dog from impoundment, it must be spayed or neutered or the owner must purchase a breeder permit for that animal.


Breeder licensing fees place an undue burden on responsible breeders and owners and fail to address irresponsible individuals who neither comply with existing law nor will comply with new regulations. Such fees therefore punish responsible breeders who give the care and attention that puppies need in order to grow into healthy, well-adjusted companions and neighbors. Responsible local breeders also provide a support system to new owners; assisting them with housebreaking, training questions, behavior issues and basic new puppy care inquiries. Further, mandatory spay/neuter is an ineffective solution to animal control problems because it fails to address the heart of the issue—irresponsible ownership. Mandatory spay/neuter laws are extremely difficult to enforce and can be evaded by irresponsible animal owners by not licensing their pets. More regulations increase the workload of already financially strained animal control offices, making it even more difficult for them to perform their duties.

Pet Limit


  • The proposal also creates a limit of six dogs or cats or combination of both per dwelling.
  • There will be a grandfather clause for current owners who list all their current animals with the Director of Animal Services and are in compliance with all other regulations.
  • There will also be an exemption to foster care providers who have been approved by the Director of Animal Services.


Not only are limit laws easily evaded and difficult to enforce, they fail to address the heart of animal control problems–irresponsible ownership. Effective implementation of existing leash and curbing laws, rather than passage of new burdensome regulation, would prevent pet owners from allowing their animals to run loose, while clean-up ordinances would require owners to take responsibility for their pets.

Dangerous Dogs, Tethering and Confinement Requirements


  • The draft ordinance requires all dogs deemed dangerous to be spayed or neutered.
  • The owner of a dangerous dog must obtain liability insurance of $100,000.
  • Any dog that has been determined to be dangerous by another jurisdiction will not be allowed into the city.
  • Any tether used must be at least 10 feet long and be attached to the dog's collar or harness and not the dog itself.
  • The area in which dogs are kept must be at least 150 square feet per dog, if the dog(s) lives primarily outside.
  • Tethering is allowed only if the dog is in the immediate possession or accompanied by the owner.


The AKC believes the answer to population issues is strict enforcement of leash and nuisance laws, rather than passage of new burdensome regulation. The key to resolving this issue is to implement and expand the wide range of programs available to educate the public about responsible breeding and animal ownership practices.

At this time, the proposal is still in draft form. This proposal has not been scheduled for a hearing by the City Council. You may contact the Mayor and your City Council representative to express your concerns about these proposals. You can click on your district representative's name below to be taken directly to his/her webpage. If you are unsure who your City Council representative is, please follow this link.

Mayor Tom Leppert
District 1 – Mayor Pro Tem, Dr. Elba Garcia
District 2 – Pauline Medrano
District 3 – David A. Neumann
District 4 – Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, Dwaine R. Caraway
District 5 – Vonciel Jones Hill
District 6 – Steve Salazar
District 7 – Carolyn R. Davis
District 8 – Tennell Atkins
District 9 – Sheffie Kadane
District 10 – Jerry R. Allen
District 11 – Linda Koop
District 12 – Ron Natinsky
District 13 – Mitchell Rasansky
District 14 – Angela Hunt

The Dallas, Texas City Council will soon consider major changes to the Dallas animal control…