Denver Animal Ordinances

Sec. 8-134. - Abandonment (PDF)

Abandoning an animal is a crime. After leaving notices, Denver Municipal Animals Shelter has the authority to impound any animal that appears to be abandoned.

Sec. 8-46. - Barking dog nuisance (PDF)

Barking Dog Mediation - Why Mediation Works!

Community Mediation Concepts (CMC) - 303.651.6534 or
Barking Dog Mediation is a free service offered by the City & County of Denver

For the Complainant:

  • Timely, Facilitated, Safe and Successful
  • Opportunity to speak directly about how the barking is affecting your quality of life
  • Identify specific steps which may be taken to resolve the situation


For the Dog Owner

  • Face-to-Face opportunity to talk with the person affected
  • Ownership of their part in the conversation and situation
  • Direct involvement in reaching an agreement which takes into consideration your pet and your quality of life


Here is How the Mediation Process Works

If you're filing a complaint:

  • You may call 303-651-6534 or email
  • CMC's program coordinator will call you within the next several days to talk about how mediation can help resolve the barking dog problem.
  • Your contact information will be kept confidential! Only if you agree to mediation, will your name be shared and mediation scheduled.
  • While it is convenient to file an anonymous complaint, it is not effective. Being willing to take responsibility to sit down with your neighbors and reach a mediated solution is much better.


If you're the dog owner:

  • Mediation is a voluntary process. CMC will make every effort to contact the complainant and explain the benefits of mediation.
  • However, we cannot compel someone to mediate. We will let you know the outcome of our discussion within a few days.

If you have received a citation for Barking dog nuisance you are required to appear in Denver County Court, at 520 W. Colfax Ave., Courtroom 4A to answer the charges.

Sec. 8-131. - Cruelty to animals prohibited (PDF)

It shall be unlawful for any person to needlessly beat, inflict violence upon or kill, overwork, torture or mutilate, or to otherwise treat in a cruel, dangerous or inhumane manner, any animal, or to cause any such acts.

It is unlawful to leave an animal in an unattended vehicle either without adequate ventilation or in any manner which subjects the animal to extreme temperatures that are dangerous or detrimental to the animal’s health or welfare.

Sec. 8-131. - Cruelty to animals prohibited (PDF)

It is unlawful to leave an animal in an unattended vehicle either without adequate ventilation or in any manner which subjects the animal to extreme temperatures that are dangerous or detrimental to the animal’s health or welfare.

Food Producing Animals (FPAs) Zoning Ordinance (CB11-0151 - PDFwas adopted by the Denver City Council on Monday, June 20, 2011. The ordinance is effective on Friday, June 24, 2011, and includes changes to the Denver Revised Municipal Code, Chapter 8 - Animal Control, Chapter 36 - Noise Control, and to the Denver Zoning Code. 

In summary, the ordinance allows for up to 8 chickens (no roosters) or ducks (no drakes) (or any combination of such fowl), plus 2 dwarf goats to be raised on a property, provided a “restricted livestock or fowl license” is obtained from the Department of Environmental Health / Animal Care and Control (ACC) Division. Licenses are issued in-person by Animal Care and Control, located at 1241 West Bayaud Avenue, Denver, CO.

Starting Friday, June 24, 2011, ACC will issue the restricted licenses subject to the licensee’s future payment of a fee (they will be billed) and compliance with any future rules and regulations adopted by DEH. DEH adoption of a license fee and additional rules is targeted for August 2011.

For more detailed information about the new FPA Zoning ordinance and the specific standards adopted, please click here. Additional information is also available by calling Denver 3-1-1. 

Animal Care & Control  Food Producing Animals Ordinance Section 8-91(b)

Food Producing Animals Zoning Ordinance (CB11-0151)

Food Producing Animals Best Practice Handout 

Informacíon de Animales Productores de Alimentos (APA)

Producing Animals Food Safety Bulletin

Food Producing Animals Application

Zoning Code 11.8.5 - Keeping of Household Animals (PDF)

The Denver Zoning Code regulates how many household pets can be part of a home residence. Violations occur when the number of household pets exceeds 3 dogs, 5 cats, 2 rabbits, or 25 pigeons, or 5 total dogs and cats or 2 domestic honey bee hives.

Sec. 8-16. - Leash law (PDF)

Dogs are required to be on a leash and under control of their owner, at all times.

Denver's leash laws are intended to protect the health and safety of both the people and pets who enjoy visiting Denver's many parks and open areas. Pet owners who violate this ordinance are subject to a fine.

To report a loose dog, please call 3-1-1 (720-913-1311 outside Denver limits).

The exception to this rule is Denver’s designated “off leash” dog parks. Visit Parks and Recreation to see which dog park is closest to you.

It is important that all Denver citizens feel safe, so Animal Control asks that dog owners respect their fellow citizens and leash their dogs within the City & County of Denver.

Cats are not required to be on a leash. If you or your neighborhood are overwhelmed with feral or domestic cats, City and County of Denver residents are allowed to rent heart-to-heart traps. Denver Animal Shelter does not provide these traps for rental. A City & County of Denver resident may bring in an occupied trap to the Denver Animal Shelter. The Denver Animal Shelter only accepts cats lost or found in Denver County.

Sec. 8-91(b). - Livestock or fowl permit required (PDF)

What is a Livestock or Fowl permit? 

A Livestock or Fowl permit allows you to keep up to 8 chickens (no roosters) or ducks (no drakes) (or any combination of such fowl), plus 2 dwarf goats on your property.
How do I obtain a permit to keep livestock or fowl on my property?
In order to obtain a livestock or fowl permit you must first send a (pre-approval letter) to the Director of the Division of Animal Care and Control,1241 W Bayaud Ave, Denver, CO  80223, with the following information:


  • Your name, address, phone number.
  • The number of each type of livestock or fowl you are attempting to house on your property
  • Size of area where animal(s) will be held.
  • Vets name, address and phone number.
  • Indicate if the animal is spayed or neutered.
  • Indicate where they dispose of excrement.
  • List of vaccinations animal has received


1.  If the request is approved a pre-approval letter will be issued to the owner.
2.  The owner must contact zoning to finalize request (720) 865-3000.

If Zoning approves the request, the owner will need to send a copy of the zoning approval letter to the Director of Animal Control. 

The owner then must purchase the permit from the following location:

Denver Animal Shelter
1241 W Bayaud Ave
Denver, CO  80223
720- 913-1311 

Annual Permit Fee: (Animal Code Section 8-91)

  • Livestock $100.00
  • Fowl $50.00 

For Food Producing Animals (Ducks, chickens, goats, etc.)  please see "Food Producing Animals" under the FAQ Tab.

Sec. 8-132. - Neglect of animals prohibited (PDF)

The Denver Municipal Animal Shelter has authority to impound any animal that shows signs of neglect (ex. malnourishment).

Sec. 8-136. - Poisoning (PDF)

It shall be unlawful for any person to poison any domestic animal in any manner whatsoever with the intent or for the purpose of poisoning such animal.

Report animal and pet problems to 311 using the online help form.

Report problems like:

  • Dangerous Animals
  • Abused or Neglected Animals
  • Abandoned Animals
  • Barking Dogs

Or Contact 311 By Phone

Within Denver dial: 3-1-1
Outside Denver: 720-913-1311