County Animal Regulations and Ordinances FAQ

 Do I have to have a license to breed and sell dogs or cats in Sacramento County?

Yes, you must have a business license. If you have more than 4 dogs you will also need a kennel permit and be in an appropriately zoned area. The Planning Department reviews business licenses and zoning issues. 

How do I register a service dog or animal?

Owners must complete paperwork and sign an affidavit that the animal is a trained service animal. There is no fee, though the animal must follow all regulations. For example, service dogs must be licensed and vaccinated for rabies.

How many animals can I have?

A total of four dogs and four cats may be kept in the unincorporated County. All dogs and cats must be licensed.

If you wish to keep more animals, a special permit may be required. Please contact the zoning department at 874-6221 for information about what is allowed on your property.

If I find a dog, do I have to turn it into the Shelter?

No. If you find a lost dog, you should make a reasonable effort to locate the owner. If you cannot find the owner within 30 days, then you may legally keep the dog.

Is it illegal to transport dogs in the back of trucks?

No person other than an individual transporting working dogs within agricultural or rural areas of the County shall transport or carry on any public highway or public roadway any animal, wild or domestic, in or by a motorized vehicle unless the animal is as follows:

  1. Safely enclosed within the vehicle,
  2. Protected within a secured container within, upon, or by such a vehicle,
  3. Securely cross-tethered or secured to such vehicle by rope, chain, or other device in a fashion which prevents injury to the animal from falling,  being ejected from or jumping from the vehicle (See section 8.08.051 of code). 

My neighbor’s dogs are getting into my yard. Is my neighbor either half or entirely responsible for fixing the fence?

Neighbor fences are not a requirement in unincorporated Sacramento County. However, dog owners are obligated to control their animals. If the neighbor is not restraining the dogs, Animal Care and Regulation can be contacted to file a complaint by calling 916-368-PETS (7387). If the property is a rental, contact information of the property owner can be obtained by calling the County Assessor’s Office at 916-875-0700. For neighbor disputes and conflict resolution assistance, the non-profit, Sacramento Mediation Center can be contacted at 916-441-7979.

What are the laws about animals in our County?

View the County Codes

What if I exceed the number of animals in Sacramento County?

If you are reported to us, we will work with you to help bring you into compliance. If you do not comply, you will be issued a citation and will have to appear in court. You could be fined and charged court-related costs.

What is a leash law?

Dogs must be kept on a leash when off of their owner's private property, with some exceptions. Read section 8.08.056 in the code for more information.

Who do I contact if someone has injured my pet?

You should contact the Sheriff's Department at 916-874-5115 to report a person who has injured your animal.