Animal Ordinances & Legislation

Living with Your Pet in Denver

Read an overview of city ordinances related to the care and keeping of pets in Denver. Pet owners are responsible for a comprehensive understanding of any ordinances impacting their pets and for compliance of such ordinances. Your cooperation and compliance means a safe, happy pet-owning experience for you, your pet, and the community.

Permit Legislation

Intact Animals

What is an Intact Permit?

Denver requires any dog or cat over the age of 6 months to be spayed or neutered. An intact permit allows an exception to this rule.  An intact permit is not a permit for breeding.

Denver Animal Protection’s policy is that only one intact permit is allowed per residence for animals of the same species, even if they are the same sex. This is in the interest of the animals, as well as the health and welfare of the public.

An intact permit application will be denied for the following:

  • The pet owner has had two violations of Chapter 8 in the preceding 24-month period.
  • There is a history of bites or attacks associated with the animal or previous animals of the owner.
  • The dog has been running at large and/or impounded at Denver Animal Shelter.
  • Property is at an apartment complex, duplex, etc. and/or yard is a communal or shared yard.

If you have been issued a citation for spay/neuter, we must receive your application within 15 days of when the citation was issued to ensure the property inspection and permit approval is completed within the 30-day compliance period.

Intact Permits Process and Requirements

Applying for an annual Intact Animal Permit requires the following:

  • Inspection of the property where the animal is kept
  • Proof of current rabies vaccination issued by a licensed veterinarian and annual vaccines
    • For dogs: distemper and parvovirus
    • For cats: feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia
  • A current City of Denver dog/cat license
    • Fees are: $15 one year, $40 for three years, and $150 for lifetime license. (Proof of a current rabies vaccination is required to purchase a city license.)
  • Proof of spay/neuter for any other same-species pet in the home as the pet that the permit is requested for.

Property Requirements (for dogs)

  • The fence must be at least 6 feet in height.
  • Wrought iron fences will not be approved (small breed dogs can enter easily).
  • All gates and entrances must be secured.

Denver Animal Protection will not approve an intact permit at an address with inadequate fencing. The fence must prevent the resident dog from escaping, as well as prevent any stray dogs from entering the yard.

Permit Application

Food Producing Animals

A Food-Producing Animals (FPA) Permit can be obtained at the Denver Animal Shelter, for a one-time fee of $25 per property. 

Animals to be included on an FPA Permit:

Up to 8 hens (no roosters), OR up to 8 ducks (no drakes), or any combination of hens and ducks, not to exceed 8

Up to 2 pygmy goats (pygmy goat shall mean African Pygmy goats or Nigerian Dwarf goats (no unneutered males)

Livestock or Fowl

A Livestock or Fowl Permit allows an individual to keep livestock or fowl such as, but not limited to, horses, mules, donkeys, burros, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, chickens, geese, ducks, or turkeys on their property. This is an involved process that includes multiple city agencies and requires pre-approval from Denver Animal Protection (DAP).

Potentially Dangerous Animals

If your dog has been deemed a Potentially Dangerous Animal in the City and County of Denver, you are required to start the permit process within 5 days of being sentenced.  

How to Apply

You can fill out the application(PDF, 165KB) (Espanol(PDF, 413KB)) and review the requirements(PDF, 411KB) (Espanol)(PDF, 413KB) online. You can also go to the Denver Animal Shelter to apply in person.

Application Requirements

The application must be filled out in its entirety in order to be processed.

You must provide the following information to Denver Animal Protection when the application is turned in:

  • Certificate/Proof that the animal is spayed or neutered.
  • Certificate/Proof of current rabies vaccination issued by a licensed veterinarian and annual vaccines.
  • Current City of Denver dog/cat license ($15 one year, $40 for three years and $150 for lifetime).
  • Animal must be microchipped.

Any address with a Potentially Dangerous Animal on property must have signage at every entrance, (See requirements(PDF, 411KB)) but may not require an enclosure as defined in D.R.M.C. 8-63.

A field services representative will contact you within 3 days regarding your application as each Potentially Dangerous Animal Permit is handled on a case by case basis. 

Removal of the Permit

Once an animal is deemed Potentially Dangerous in the City and County of Denver, a permit must be maintained for that animal for a minimum of three years per DRMC 8-63

After the three years, the pet owner may petition Denver Animal Protection for the animal to be removed from the Potentially Dangerous Animal Permit.


The owner of the Potentially Dangerous Animal (PDA) must write a letter to the Director of Denver Animal Protection in order for their pet to be considered for removal from the Potentially Dangerous Animal Permit (PDA).

The letter must include the following:

  • Name, address, phone number
  • Name, breed, sex of animal
  • Proof of current rabies, distemper/parvo and Denver City license
  • Advise DAP on steps to prevent further violations occurring once removed from PDA, i.e., providing continued training and continued proper containment of the pet

Denver Animal Protection has sole discretion to approve or deny any request for removal from a Potentially Dangerous Animal Permit. Factors that may affect Denver Animal Protection’s decision (this is not an inclusive list):

  • Potentially Dangerous Animal Permit was expired at any time during the three-year period
  • Any violation of the Potentially Dangerous Animal permit during the three-year period

Mail letters to the Field Services Administrator at 1241 W. Bayaud Ave., Denver Colorado, 80223.

If your request to be removed from the permit is denied and you disagree with Denver Animal Protection’s decision, you may file an appeal with the Board of Public Health and Environment. For information on how to file an appeal, please visit the Board of Public Health and Environment page.