Code of the District of Columbia

§ 8–1804.01. Animal hobby permit.

(a) No person shall own or keep 7 or more animals, larger than a guinea pig and over the age of 4 months, without obtaining an animal hobby permit; provided, that this section shall not apply to a licensed pet shop, licensed veterinary hospital, circus or traveling exhibition.

(b) An owner of 7 or more animals shall before July 1st of each year or within 10 days of acquiring 7 or more animals obtain the permit required by this section.

(c) An owner applying for an animal hobby permit shall fully describe the kind and number of animals to be maintained and the premises where the animals are to be kept.

(d) No animal hobby permit shall be issued to:

(1) An owner unless the owner has obtained the necessary animal licenses as required by law;

(2) An owner who maintains animals for commercial purposes. For purposes of this section, “commercial purposes” shall not include the sale of offspring if such sales are occasional and are not the primary purpose for maintaining the animals.

(e) The Mayor shall collect the fees and issue the permits as provided in this section.

(f) A holder of an animal hobby permit shall provide his or her animals with adequate care, adequate feed, adequate shelter, adequate space, adequate water, and appropriate veterinary care.

(g) A holder of an animal hobby permit shall not permit objectionable odors or noises to disturb the comfort or quiet of any neighborhood. A holder of an animal hobby permit shall not permit a [an] animal to commit a nuisance on public space or property owned by others.

(h) The Mayor may revoke an animal hobby permit for failure to comply with the provisions of this section.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 10, 26 DCR 765; Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 104(f), 55 DCR 9186; redesignated as § 5a, Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(e)-(f), 64 DCR 11682 .)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 8-1809

1981 Ed., § 6-1009.

1973 Ed., § 6-2409.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-1805.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-281, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “7 or more” for “5 or more”; and rewrote subsec. (d)(1), which had read as follows: “(1) A dog owner unless the owner has obtained a license for each dog as provided in § 8-1804;”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(f) of Standard of Care for Animals Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-165, Oct. 23, 2017, 64 DCR 10792).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(j) of Standard of Care for Animals Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-137, July 31, 2017, 64 DCR 7787).

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to Law 3-30, see Mayor’s Order 83-206, August 2, 1983, as amended by Mayor’s Order 86-64, April 22, 1986.