Dog-Related Laws By State

Did you know any of these unusual state laws related to dogs?

Dog with tie, briefcase and glasses ready to go to work.
Dog with tie, briefcase and glasses ready to go to work. Photography ©damedeeso | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

There are many dog-related laws on the books that range from slightly strange to highly specific. Here are a few:

  1. No person owning or having charge, care, custody or control of any dog shall cause it or allow it to go or be taken into any elevator in any office building, retail store or public building. [Service dogs exempt.] — Glendale, California
  2. Any person owning … any dog which habitually goes out on any highway and growls, bites, or snaps at, or otherwise annoys, any person or domestic animal lawfully using such highway or chases … any motor vehicle so using such highway, shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor. — Connecticut
  3. No person shall engage in the business of leasing or renting a dog. — Massachusetts
  4. Whoever … allows such dog to be upon the designated swimming or sunbathing area of a state coastal beach strand at any time between May 1 and September 30 … is guilty of a violation and shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $50. — Delaware
  5. If any person owning or having any bitch shall knowingly permit her to run at large during the erotic stage of copulation he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.
    — North Carolina
  6. It … [is] unlawful for any person to knowingly allow a dog … owned by him or under his control to defecate upon the grounds of the capitol buildings or governor’s mansion. — West Virginia

Note: Most of these dog-related laws came from the Michigan State University College of Law, Animal Legal and Historical Center website. To see more dog-related laws, visit, then use the Custom Search field to see dog laws in your state.

Thumbnail: Photography ©damedeeso | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you! 

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