Animal Laws in San Antonio

Animal Codes, San Antonio

In the city of San Antonio it's five dogs and ten cats if the cats are confined. If unconfined, you can only have 3 cats, but there's a leash law so you really can't do that. If you have between 10,000 square feet and 1/2 acre you can have up to 7 dogs as long as they are kept no closer than 75 feet from the nearest home or business. Over 1/2 acre to 2 acres allows 10 dogs I believe but they can be no closer than 100 feet from the nearest neighbor's dwelling or business..

Now, some subdivisions have restrictions. Where we used to live, the covenants limited households to three dogs.

I believe the codes are posted on the city's web site, but it's all over the place in different sections so it's kind of tough to find. (letter from Lynnie Bunten, RPOA, 1-13-04).

Here's a cut-and-paste from the on-line version of the City code, kept on the city website. This is from Chapter 5, Section 1, definiting what constitutes an "animal nuisance."

"Animal nuisance shall mean a public nuisance created within the corporate limits of the city by the following acts or omissions of animal owners: ....

(5) The keeping of more than a total of three (3) cats and/or ferrets. If securely confined within a structure, up to ten (10) cats and/or ferrets may be kept.

(6) The keeping of, or the permitting of others to routinely provide food or shelter for more than five (5) dogs or any member of the Canis familiaris on any property in the city other than (a) at a dog kennel, (b) at a veterinary facility, (c) at a pet shop (d) at any place not zoned residential for a period not exceeding seven (7) days. If all the subject dogs are registered for competition in a dog show open to the public during the said seven (7) days, the legal limit of five (5) dogs shall not apply.


a. Up to seven (7) dogs may be kept on premises containing between ten thousand (10,000) square feet and one-half acre of land, if the dogs are enclosed by fencing located seventy-five (75) feet or more from any dwelling or business building owned or occupied by any person other than the owner.

b. Up to ten (10) dogs may be kept on premises containing one-half acre to two (2) acres of land, if the dogs are enclosed by fencing located at least one hundred fifty (150) feet from any dwelling or business building owned or occupied by any person other than the owner.

c. Up to fifteen (15) dogs may be kept on premises containing more than two (2) acres of land, if the dogs are enclosed by fencing at least one hundred fifty (150) feet from any dwelling or business building owned or occupied by any person other than the owner."

(from letter, 1-13-04)

(From "Urban Order: Don't Waste Water, Keep Pets Leashed," by Elaine Aradillas. S.A. Express News/KENS 5, no date, 2002 (

"..the city of San Antonio, Bexar County and the state have established their own regulations governing pets, water, property and public safety, aimed at making urban areas more habitable.

"Regarding pets, San Antonio residents cannot have more than five dogs and 10 cats per household.

"Pet owners must keep their pets confined to their property unless the pets are attached to a leash.

"In addition, dogs, cats and domestic ferrets must be vaccinated once a year for rabies and licensed by the city.

"Licenses are $3 for spayed or neutered dogs and cats, and $15 for pets that are not. Licenses can be purchased at veterinary clinics and H-E-B, or mail proof of rabies vaccination and check or money order to Animal Control, 210 Tuleta, San Antonio TX 78212.

"Some types of pets are prohibited inside the city limits. The law covers monkeys, wolf hybrids, exotic cats, poisonous reptiles, alligators, Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs and skunks.

""Most people get these exotic animals and don't know how to take care of them, and the animals suffer as well," said Dr. William E. Lammers, veterinary services manager for the Animal Control Division."

(From "SAN ANTONIO JOINS FIGHT AGAINST PET POOP: City parks install first "Mutt Mitt" dispensers." S.A. News Release, July 24, 2002. (

"They may not look like polluters, but dogs are a growing pollution problem for San Antonio. Pet waste washes down storm drains and ends up in waterways, contaminating drinking water sources.

"That's why Greyhound Pets of America today joined city and state officials at McAllister Park to celebrate the installation of San Antonio's first dispenser of bags designed to help dog walkers pick up after their pets.

"At the ceremony, dog owners slipped on the plastic mutt mitts, raised their mitted hands and pledged to pick up after their pets. "We're asking all San Antonio dog owners to join us by taking their own ‘Mutt Mitt' pledge and helping to keep our waterways clean and free of pet waste," said Dorothy Watkins of Greyhound Pets of America...

"Also as part of the new campaign, TNRCC has placed five billboards around San Antonio to help raise awareness about the need to properly dispose of pet waste. The billboard features a photo of a puppy sitting in the grass, with a headline that reads, "Please Pick Up My Poop."

""We're delighted to be working with the TNRCC to introduce the ‘Mutt Mitt' dispensers in some of our San Antonio parks," said Richard Hurd, Park Operations Manager for San Antonio Parks & Recreation. "Thousands of San Antonians walk their dogs in the parks each year, and we're very glad to have them. We'd just like to ask dog walkers to either look for one of these dispensers or bring their own disposable bag so they can help us keep our parks and our environment clean."

""Mutt Mitt" dispensers are being placed in McAllister Park and will expand to other San Antonio park locations. However, city officials encourage dog owners to always pick up after their pet and recommend carrying any type of bag with them for that purpose when walking the dog...

"For more information on pet waste and nonpoint source pollution please call 1-800-CLEAN-UP or visit"

Colby Glass, MLIS