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Laws about Animals and Pets

Know your responsibilities and the laws related to pets:

  • Dogs must be on a leash when off the owner’s property except when walking in a designated off-leash area.
  • Dog owners must pick up and properly dispose of their dog’s defecation both on and off the owner’s property.
  • A dog owner must ensure their dog does not bite, injure, chase, threaten, bark, howl at or disturb anyone.
  • Cats should be kept inside or at a minimum, should be confined to their owners’ property.

Click here for a printable version of Douglas County’s fact sheet on the Control and Licensing of Household pets.

Barking dogs

Bicolor young beagle male howling

Incessant barking can disturb the peace and quiet of a neighborhood. In addition, it is a violation of Douglas County Resolution 019-029.

If a warning or citation has not been issued, the officer will issue the owner a written warning and attempt to educate the animal owner about the topic. The owner will then have seven days to correct the problem. If the problems continue after this seven-day period and additional complaints are received, DCAS will make contact with the dog owner and issue a citation.

If a warning or citation has been issued within the previous 12 months, the officer will make contact with the owner and issue a citation for the alleged violation.

The resolution also requires DCAS to provide the dog owner the name and address of the complainant on barking dog written warnings, but no citations.

When DCAS is contacted regarding a barking dog, the animal welfare officer will first issue a warning and notice to comply on the basis of a written statement from the complainant. If a second written statement is provided, a Penalty Assessment can be issued. Each violation is considered a separate offense and is subject to a separate penalty.

Violations begin at $50 per animal and increase in cost for the second and third violations. A summons for the dog owner to appear in court can also result.

Cruelty to Animals

If you suspect animal abuse or neglect contact DCAS immediately at 303.660.7529 or email us at, or contact DCSO in the event of an emergency at 303-660-7500.  

Dogs at Large

Animals must be kept under control for their own protection and to preserve the public’s health and safety.  Dogs, found off the owner’s or keeper’s property are called “strays” and may be impounded.  The owner or keeper may also be fined.  To learn more visit Douglas County Resolution 019-029

Dog owners are in violation of this law if they fail to properly control or allow a dog to run at large in the county. This ordinance does not apply in designated parks where dogs are permitted to run off leash.

Aggressive Animals

agressive_dog_iStock_000012968654_SmallDCAS monitors all domestic animal bite cases for Douglas County. Regardless of the extent of injuries, if the skin is broken, the bite must be reported.  Animals involved in bites to humans must undergo a 10-day quarantine. The purpose of the quarantine is to monitor the animal’s health for warning signs that the animal may be infected with the rabies virus.  Such animals may be quarantined at home or at a shelter, depending upon the situation.  Douglas County Resolution 019-029

In addition to these public health concerns a dangerous animal present a real public safety issue. Any aggressive animal should be immediately reported to DCAS at 303-660-7529.

Colorado Revised Statute 18-9-204.5 Unlawful Ownership of a Dangerous Dog

A person commits ownership of a dangerous dog if such person owns, possesses, harbors, keeps, has a financial property interest in, or has custody or control over a dangerous dog.