Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 18. Animal Control.


Subchapter I. General.

§ 8–1801. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) "Abandon" means to desert, forsake, or give up an animal without having secured another owner or custodian for the animal or having transferred the animal to the Animal Care and Control Agency.

(2) "Adequate care" means the responsible practice of animal husbandry, handling, confinement, protection, transportation, treatment, and, when necessary, euthanasia, appropriate for the age, species, condition, size, and type of the animal, and the provision of veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering, impairment of health, or the treatment of illness or injury.

(3) "Adequate feed" means the provision of and access to food that is sufficient in quantity, prepared and provided in a manner so that the animal can consume it, and provided in a manner sanitary for the animal.

(4)(A) "Adequate shelter" means the provision of and access to shelter that is safe and protects each animal from injury, rain, sleet, snow, hail, the adverse effects of heat or cold, and physical suffering, and that is of a size sufficient for the animal to stand up and turn around.

(B) For a dog confined outside, the term "adequate shelter" shall additionally mean that:

(i) When the temperature is at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the dog has access to a shelter that has an entrance covered by a flexible wind-proofing material or self-closing door, that contains a platform for the dog at least 4 inches off the ground, and that contains dry bedding, which shall consist of an insulating material that does not retain moisture, such as straw, and is of a sufficient depth for the dog to burrow; and

(ii) When the temperature is at or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the dog has access to a shelter shaded by trees, a roof, a tarp, or a tarp-like device.

(5)(A) "Adequate space" means sufficient space to allow each animal to easily stand, sit, lie, turn, and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable, normal position for the animal, while allowing the animal to interact safely with other animals.

(B) Where freedom of movement would endanger or harm the animal, temporarily and appropriately restricting movement of the animal according to veterinary standards for the species is considered the provision of adequate space.

(6) "Adequate water" means the provision of and access to clean, fresh, potable water, provided in a suitable manner for proper hydration for the age, species, condition, size, and type of each animal.

(7) "Animal Care and Control Agency" means the District of Columbia humane organization the Mayor contracts with to manage animal care and control.

(8) "Animal shelter" means a privately- or government-owned facility established for the impoundment of stray, diseased, dangerous, sick, injured, abused, neglected, unwanted, abandoned, orphaned, lost, or otherwise displaced animals, with the intent to care for, quarantine, return to an owner, place for adoption, or euthanize the animals.

(9)(A) "At large" means any animal found off the premises of its owner or custodian and not leashed, tethered, or otherwise under adequate means of control of a person capable of physically restraining it.

(B) The term "at large" shall not include a dog in a dog park pursuant to § 8-1810.02.

(C) The term "at large" shall not include cats.

(10) "Custodian" means a person who has assumed responsibility for the care and well-being of an animal in place of the animal's owner with the owner's knowledge and permission.

(11) "Dangerous animal" means an animal that because of specific training or demonstrated behavior threatens the health or safety of the public. The term "dangerous animal" shall not include a dangerous dog as defined in § 8-1901(1).

(12) "Dog park" means an off-leash dog exercise area officially established pursuant to § 8-1810.02.

(13) "Extreme weather" means temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

(14) "Leash" means a line held by a person on one end that is for leading or restraining an animal.

(15) "Mayor" means the Mayor of the District of Columbia or his or her designee.

(16) "Owner" means a person in the District of Columbia who purchases or keeps an animal in temporary or permanent custody, except as provided in § 8-1804.

(17) "Tether" means a line connected to a stationary object by which an animal is fastened so as to restrict its range of movement.

(18) "Vaccinated" means protected by a documented inoculation that the Mayor, consistent with the practices of veterinary medicine, determines is currently effective.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 2, 26 DCR 765; Oct. 18, 1988, D.C. Law 7-176, § 9(a), 35 DCR 4787; Dec. 10, 2005, D.C. Law 16-40, § 2(a), 52 DCR 9087; Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 104(a), 55 DCR 9186; Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(a), 64 DCR 11682.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1001.

1973 Ed., § 6-2401.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-40, designated existing text of par. (1) as subpar. (1)(A); added subpar. (1)(B); and added pars. (3A) and (3B).

D.C. Law 17-281, in par. (2), substituted “Animal Care and Control Agency” for “Animal Control Agency”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) 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) creation of § 8-1801.01 and § 8-1801.02, see § 2(b) of Standard of Care for Animals Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-137, July 31, 2017, 64 DCR 7787).

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

Editor's Notes

Mayor authorized to issue rules: Section 2(f) of D.C. Law 9-236 provided that the Mayor may issue rules to implement the provisions of the act pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority under D.C. Law 3-30, the “Animal Control Act of 1979”, see Mayor’s Order 2000-97, June 14, 2000 ( 47 DCR 5275).

Delegation of Authority pursuant to D.C. Law 3-30, the Animal Control Act of 1979, see Mayor’s Order 2009-38, March 23, 2009 ( 56 DCR 6774).


§ 8–1802. Animal Care and Control Agency.

(a) The Mayor may contract, either by negotiation or competitive bid, with a District of Columbia humane organization to serve as the Animal Care and Control Agency. The Mayor may delegate all or part of his authority under this subchapter, including the issuance of notices of violations, to the Animal Care and Control Agency.

(b) The Animal Care and Control Agency shall:

(1) Pursuant to this subchapter, issue fines and citations for violations and deliver all fees collected to the Mayor.

(2) Allow the Mayor or the Mayor’s designee to inspect the Animal Care and Control Agency to determine compliance with District laws, regulations, policies, and contractual obligations;

(3) Ensure that all contractually required records are accurate, easily accessible, and available at all times;

(4) Immediately inform the Mayor or the Mayor’s designee of any significant changes in its operations or leadership;

(5) Respond to all animal calls and emergencies in the District; and

(6) Perform any other duties the Mayor designates that are consistent with the provisions of this subchapter.

(c) The Animal Care and Control Agency shall promote:

(1) The reduction of euthanasia of animals for which medical treatment or adoption is possible; and

(2) The utilization of trap, spay or neuter, and return practices as a means of controlling the feral cat population; provided, that all efforts shall be made to adopt out a trapped, tamable kitten.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 3, 26 DCR 765; Sept. 16, 1980, D.C. Law 3-97, § 2(a), 27 DCR 3523; Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 104(b), 55 DCR 9186; Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(b), 64 DCR 11682.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1002.

1973 Ed., § 6-2402.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-2001 and § 8-2201.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-281, in the section heading and subsec. (a), substituted “Animal Care and Control Agency” for “Animal Control Agency”; rewrote subsec. (b) which read: “The Animal Control Agency shall deliver all fees collected under this chapter to the Mayor.”; and added subsec. (c)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) 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(c) 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

Delegation of authority pursuant to Law 3-30, The Animal Control Act of 1979, see Mayor’s Order 2009-38, March 23, 2009 ( 56 DCR 6774)


§ 8–1803. Vaccinations.

(a) An owner who has a dog over the age of 4 months shall have the dog vaccinated against rabies and distemper. Pursuant to rules issued by the Mayor, an owner of a cat over the age of 4 months shall have that cat vaccinated against rabies.

(b) The Mayor shall provide a free rabies vaccination clinic at least annually.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 4, 26 DCR 765; Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-199, § 4(a), 30 DCR 119; Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(c), 64 DCR 11682.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1003.

1973 Ed., § 6-2403.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) 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(d) 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 under Law 3-30, see Mayor’s Order 83-206, August 2, 1983.


§ 8–1804. Licenses and fees.

(a) For purposes of this section, “owner” shall not include:

(1) A licensed veterinary hospital;

(2) A licensed pet shop; and

(3) An incorporated animal welfare agency not engaged in the sale of animals.

(b) An owner who has a dog over the age of 4 months shall before July 1st of each year, or within 10 days of acquiring the dog, or within 10 days after the dog becomes 4 months of age, obtain an annual license. An owner shall ensure that his or her dog wears a collar or harness and a license.

(c) Before any annual license may be issued, the owner of the dog shall have the dog vaccinated against rabies and distemper, and shall pay any outstanding fines.

(d) Repealed.

(e) The annual license fees for dogs is as follows:

(1) No fee for a dog trained as a service animal and actually used for the purpose of assisting a person with a physical or sensory impairment, such as a vision or hearing impairment;

(2) $15 for a male or female dog certified by a licensed veterinarian as neutered or spayed or certified as incapable of enduring spaying or neutering; and

(3) $50 for all other dogs.

(e-1) $2 of each fee collected pursuant to subsection (e) of this section shall be deposited into the Animal Education and Outreach Fund, established by § 8-1810.01. Remaining money from the fees collected shall be deposited in the General Fund of the District of Columbia.

(f) The Mayor may periodically revise the schedule of fees by rulemaking.

(g) No license may be transferred from 1 dog to another.

(h) Any license issued pursuant to this section shall be issued by the Department of Health. The Department of Health may delegate this function to any veterinarians licensed in the District of Columbia.

(i) Repealed.

(j) Repealed.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 5, 26 DCR 765; Mar. 17, 1993, D.C. Law 9-236, § 2(a), 40 DCR 614; Sept. 26, 1995, D.C. Law 11-52, § 101, 42 DCR 3684; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 2004, 46 DCR 3142; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 30, 53 DCR 6198; Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 104(c), 55 DCR 9186; Sept. 14, 2011, D.C. Law 19-21, § 9073, 58 DCR 6226; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 8005, 59 DCR 8025; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 64, 59 DCR 6190; Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(d), 64 DCR 11682.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1004.

1973 Ed., § 6-2404.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-1801, § 8-1806, and § 8-1807.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, substituted “deaf, hearing impaired,” for “audio-handicapped”, throughout the section.

D.C. Law 17-281 repealed subsec. (d); rewrote subsecs. (e), (f), and (h); and added subsecs. (i) and (j).

D.C. Law 19-21 added subsec. (e-1).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 repealed (i).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 substituted “this subsection” for “subsection (d) of this section” in (j)(1).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) redesignation of this section, see § 2(e) 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(d) 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) creation of § 8-1804.01, see § 2(f) of Standard of Care for Animals Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-137, July 31, 2017, 64 DCR 7787).

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

For temporary amendment of section, see § 101 of the Multiyear Budget Spending Reduction and Support Emergency Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-389, December 29, 1994, 42 DCR 197).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 8005 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-383, June 19, 2012, 59 DCR 7764).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 8005 of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-413, July 25, 2012, 59 DCR 9290).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 101 of Multiyear Budget Spending Reduction and Support Temporary Act of 1995 (D.C. Law 10-253, March 23, 1995, law notification 42 DCR 1652).

Editor's Notes

Section 8010 of D.C. Law 19-168 provided that §§ 8002, 8003, 8004, 8005, 8006, and 8007 of the act shall apply as of September 14, 2011.

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.


§ 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.


§ 8–1805. Impoundment.

(a) The Mayor shall impound any dogs, cats, rabbits, or ferrets, the combination of which exceeds 4 animals, or any dogs, cats, rabbits, or ferrets beyond the number authorized in an animal hobby permit issued pursuant § 8-1804.01.

(b) Upon impounding an animal, the Mayor shall make a prompt and reasonable attempt to locate and notify the owner of the impounded animal, including scanning the animal for a microchip.

(c) The Mayor may dispose of any wild, sick, or badly injured animal upon its impoundment.

(d) The Mayor shall provide appropriate vaccinations for each animal upon its impoundment.

(e) The Mayor shall provide appropriate veterinary services for each dog wearing a valid license upon its impoundment.

(f) The Mayor shall deem abandoned any animal impounded and not redeemed by its owner within 7 days of impoundment if such animal is wearing identification. If notice is given under subsection (b) of this section, the owner has 7 days from the date of the notice to claim the animal. Any animal impounded not wearing identification shall be deemed abandoned if not redeemed by its owner within 5 days of impoundment. An animal deemed abandoned shall become the property of the District of Columbia and may be adopted or disposed of in a humane manner.

(g)(1) The Mayor shall not release an animal unless it has received a rabies vaccination in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's rabies vaccination schedule.

(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to puppies or kittens under 4 months of age.

(h) The Mayor shall not release a sick or dangerous animal to anyone other than a licensed veterinarian until reasonably satisfied that it is safe to do so.

(i) The Mayor shall adopt rules for disposing of animals impounded under this section in accordance with § 2-505.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 6, 26 DCR 765; Sept. 16, 1980, D.C. Law 3-97, § 2(b), 27 DCR 3523; Mar. 17, 1993, D.C. Law 9-236, § 2(b), 40 DCR 614; Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 104(d), 55 DCR 9186; Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(g), 64 DCR 11682.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1005.

1973 Ed., § 6-2405.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-1806.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-281 rewrote subsec. (a); and, in subsec. (b), substituted “impounded animal, including scanning the animal for a microchip” for “impounded animal”. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “(a) The Mayor may impound any animal at large or any dangerous animal.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(g) 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(g) 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 under Law 3-30, see Mayor’s Order 83-206, August 2, 1983.


§ 8–1806. Release to owner.

(a) The Mayor shall not release a dog to its owner unless the owner has obtained a license as provided in § 8-1804.

(b) An owner of an animal that is impounded shall pay the following:

(1) An impoundment fee of $15 for animals certified by a licensed veterinarian as either spayed or neutered or incapable of enduring spaying or neutering;

(2) An impoundment fee of $15 for unneutered and unspayed animals, provided the owner agrees to have the animal sterilized and prepays the cost of the surgery;

(3) An impoundment fee of $75 for dogs and $50 for all other animals that have not been spayed or neutered, where the owner does not utilize the option in paragraph (2) of this subsection;

(4) A boarding fee of $5 for each night after the 1st night;

(5) The cost of veterinary services, including vaccinations, provided by the Mayor; and

(6) Any outstanding fines.

(c) The Mayor shall issue a notice of violation to an owner of an animal impounded under § 8-1805 except that this subsection shall not apply the 1st time an owner has an animal impounded.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 7, 26 DCR 765; Mar. 17, 1993, D.C. Law 9-236, § 2(c), 40 DCR 614; Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(h), 64 DCR 11682.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1006.

1973 Ed., § 6-2406.

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 8–1807. Adoption.

(a) The Mayor shall not release a dog for adoption unless the person adopting the dog obtains a license as provided in § 8-1804.

(b)(1) The Mayor shall not release a female animal over the age of 6 months for adoption unless:

(A) The animal has been spayed; and

(B) The person adopting the animal has paid the expense of spaying.

(2) The Mayor shall not release a female animal under the age of 6 months for adoption unless the person adopting the animal has paid the expense of spaying the animal. The person adopting the animal shall have it spayed before it becomes 6 months of age.

(3) The Mayor shall not release a male animal over the age of 10 months for adoption unless:

(A) The animal has been neutered; and

(B) The person adopting the animal has paid the expense of neutering.

(4) The Mayor shall not release a male animal under the age of 10 months for adoption unless the person adopting the animal has paid the expense of neutering the animal. The person adopting the animal shall have it neutered before it becomes 10 months of age.

(5) The Mayor shall refund any money collected for the purpose of spaying or neutering an animal upon proof that the animal has been spayed or neutered by a private veterinarian.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 8, 26 DCR 765; Sept. 16, 1980, D.C. Law 3-97, § 2(c), 27 DCR 3523.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1007.

1973 Ed., § 6-2407.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority under Law 3-30, see Mayor’s Order 83-206, August 2, 1983.


§ 8–1808. Prohibited conduct.

(a)(1) An owner or custodian shall not allow his or her animal to go at large.

(2) If a dog injures a person while at large, lack of knowledge of the dog's vicious propensity standing alone shall not absolve the owner from a finding of negligence.

(b) A person shall not knowingly and falsely deny ownership or custodianship of an animal.

(c)(1) An owner or custodian shall not leave his or her animal outdoors without human accompaniment or adequate shelter for more than 15 minutes during periods of extreme weather, unless the age, condition, and type of each animal allows the animal to withstand extreme weather.

(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to cats.

(d) A person shall not remove the license of a dog without the permission of its owner.

(e) A dog shall not be permitted on any school ground or on any public recreation area, other than a dog park, unless the dog is on a leash, tether, or otherwise under adequate means of control of a person capable of physically restraining it.

(f)(1) A person shall not separate a puppy or a kitten from its mother until the puppy or kitten is at least 6 weeks of age.

(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply in cases where a mother poses a danger to its offspring.

(g) A person shall not give, sell, or offer for sale a puppy or kitten under 6 weeks of age, unless the puppy's or kitten's mother is given or sold to the same person as the puppy or kitten.

(h)(1) A person shall not change the natural color of a baby chicken, duckling, other fowl, or rabbit.

(2) A person shall not sell or offer for sale a baby chicken, duckling, other fowl, or rabbit that has had its natural color changed.

(i) A person shall not sell or offer for sale a rabbit under the age of 16 weeks or a chick or duck under the age of 8 weeks except for agricultural or scientific purposes.

(j)(1) Except as provided in this subsection, a person shall not import into the District, possess, display, offer for sale, trade, barter, exchange, or adoption, or give as a household pet, any living member of the animal kingdom, including those born or raised in captivity, except the following:

(A) Domestic dogs, excluding hybrids with wolves, coyotes, or jackals;

(B) Domestic cats, excluding hybrids with ocelots or margays;

(C) Domesticated rodents and rabbits;

(D) Captive-bred species of common cage birds, including chickens;

(E) Non-venomous snakes, fish, and turtles, traditionally kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes;

(F) Ferrets; and

(G) Racing pigeons, when kept in compliance with permit requirements.

(2) A person may offer any of the species enumerated in paragraph (1) of this subsection to a public zoo, park, or museum for exhibition purposes.

(3) This section shall not apply to federally licensed animal exhibitors; provided, that the Mayor shall retain the authority to restrict the movement of any prohibited animal into the District and the conditions under which those movements are made.

(4) The Mayor may allow a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, licensed veterinarian, or licensed animal shelter to maintain an animal prohibited in this subsection for treatment or pending appropriate disposition.

(5) The Mayor shall allow goats and sheep to be temporarily imported into the District and possessed for the purposes of eating grass, milking and shearing demonstrations, participating in yoga or similar activities, being on display in temporary pettings zoos for the enjoyment and education of District youth, and any other activities approved by the Department of Health through regulation. The Department of Health may issue rules to protect the safety of the goats and sheep.

(k)(1) A person shall not sponsor, promote, train an animal to participate in, contribute to the involvement of an animal in, or attend as a spectator, any activity or event in which any animal engages in unnatural behavior, is wrestled or fought, mentally or physically harassed, or displayed in such a way that the animal is struck, abused, or mentally or physically stressed or traumatized, or is induced, goaded, or encouraged to perform or react through the use of chemical, mechanical, electrical, or manual devices, in a manner that will cause, or is likely to cause, physical or other injury or suffering.

(2) The prohibitions set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall apply to any event or activity at a public or private facility or property, and are applicable regardless of the purpose of the event or activity and whether a fee is charged to spectators of the event or activity.

(l)(1) An owner or custodian of a dog shall not direct, encourage, cause, allow, aid, or assist that dog to threaten, charge, bite, or attack a person or other animal, except that an owner or custodian may keep a properly trained dog on private property to defend the property and its occupants from intruders, and may order a dog to defend a person under attack.

(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to dogs that work for the Metropolitan Police Department or any other law enforcement agency.

(m) A person shall not display, exhibit, or otherwise move animals in the District as part of a circus, carnival, or other special performance or event, without first obtaining a permit, issued by the Mayor, that governs the care and management of the animals.

(n) An owner or custodian shall not neglect to provide his or her animal with adequate care, adequate feed, adequate shelter, adequate space, and adequate water.

(o) A person shall not take actions that intentionally harm, or that the person should know are likely to cause harm to, an animal.

(p)(1) An owner or custodian shall not abandon an animal in his or her possession.

(2) An owner who transfers ownership of an animal or releases the animal to the Animal Care and Control Agency shall not be liable for abandonment.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 9, 26 DCR 765; Sept. 16, 1980, D.C. Law 3-97, § 2(d), (e), (g), 27 DCR 3523; Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-199, § 4(b), 30 DCR 119; Mar. 17, 1993, D.C. Law 9-236, § 2(d), 40 DCR 614; June 8, 2001, D.C. Law 13-303, § 4, 47 DCR 7307; Dec. 10, 2005, D.C. Law 16-40, § 2(b), 52 DCR 9087; Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 104(e), 55 DCR 9186; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 4022, 63 DCR 10775; Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(i), 64 DCR 11682; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-164, § 302, 65 DCR 9324.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1008.

1973 Ed., § 6-2408.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1009 and § 8-1802.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-303 added subsec. (j).

D.C. Law 16-40, in subsec. (e), substituted “public recreation area, other than a dog park,” for “public recreation area”.

D.C. Law 17-281, in subsec. (h)(2), substituted “or museum for exhibition purposes” for “museum, or educational institution for educational, medical, scientific, or exhibition purposes”; and added subsec. (k).

Emergency Legislation

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

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(a) of the Dangerous Dog Designation Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-351, August 12, 1996, 43 DCR 4553).

For temporary addition of (h)(6), see § 2 of the Classroom Animal for Educational Purposes Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-466, October 5, 2012, 59 DCR 11767).

For temporary addition of (h)(6), see § 2 of the Classroom Animal for Educational Purposes Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-624, January 18, 2013, 60 DCR 1344), applicable as of January 3, 2013.

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Classroom Animal for Educational Purposes Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-274, February 10, 2014, 61 DCR 1208).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 2, 3 of the Classroom Animal for Educational Purposes Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014, (D.C. Act 20-326, May 14, 2014, 61 DCR 5198).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Classroom Animal for Educational Purposes Clarification Second Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-578, Jan. 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1256, 21 STAT 723).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Classroom Animal for Educational Purposes Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-28, Mar. 27, 2015, 62 DCR 4520, 21 DCSTAT 863).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Classroom Animal for Educational Purposes Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-226, Dec. 17, 2015, 62 DCR 16247).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 19-209 added (h)(6) to read as follows:

“(h)

*****

“(6) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to educational institutions that possess animals for educational and instructional purposes and that otherwise comply with humane, sanitary, and safe treatment requirements, as set forth in section 502 of the Animal Protection Amendment Act of 2008, effective December 5, 2008 (D.C. Law 17-281; D.C. Official Code § 8-1851.02).”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-209 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Classroom Animal for Educational Purposes Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-104, May 20, 2014, 61 DCR 2572).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Classroom Animal For Educational Purposes Clarification Second Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 20-255, Apr. 30, 2015, 62 DCR 2257).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Animal for Educational Purposes Clarification Second Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 20-255, April 30, 2015, 62 DCR 2257).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Classroom Animal for Educational Purposes Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-88, Mar. 9, 2016, 63 DCR 794).


§ 8–1808.01. Dog parks. [Recodified]

Recodified as § 8-1810.02.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 9a; as added Dec. 10, 2005, D.C. Law 16-40, § 2(c), 52 DCR 9087.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) redesignation of this section, see § 2(j) 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(i) 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 D.C. Law 3-30, the Animal Control Act of 1979, as amended by D.C. Law 16-40, the Dog Park Establishment Act of 2005, see Mayor’s Order 2007-53, February 7, 2007 ( 54 DCR 2428).


§ 8–1808.02. Animals left in vehicles.

(a) An owner or custodian shall not leave an animal alone in a vehicle in such a way as to endanger the animal's health or safety.

(b) After making a reasonable attempt to contact the owner or custodian, an animal control officer, firefighter, or law enforcement officer may use reasonable force to remove the animal from the vehicle whenever it appears that the animal's health is endangered; provided, that no attempt to contact the owner or custodian is required if the animal is in immediate danger or appears in distress.

(c) Following an animal's removal from a vehicle by an animal control officer, firefighter, or law enforcement officer, the animal shall be impounded and medical care shall be provided if needed. A written notice shall be left attached to the vehicle identifying the responding animal control officer, firefighter, or law enforcement officer, and providing a phone number, time, date, and the location where the animal is being held.

(d)(1) Any person found in violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be responsible for all expenses incurred by the District in the care, medical treatment, and impound cost of the animal.

(2) The District shall not be responsible for the:

(A) Injury or death to an animal due to enforcement of subsections (b) and (c) of this section; or

(B) Cost of any damage to a vehicle due to enforcement of subsections (b) and (c) of this section.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 9b; as added Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(k), 64 DCR 11682.)

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 8–1809. Animal hobby permit. [Recodified]

Recodified as § 8-1804.01.


(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.)

Prior Codifications

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(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.


§ 8–1810. Education and incentive program.

The Mayor shall implement an education and incentive program, which shall include the following:

(1) Low-cost spay and neuter clinic services; and

(2) An educational program for animal owners regarding pet care and safety, specifically in extreme weather conditions or emergencies, and the laws related to pet ownership.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 11, 26 DCR 765; Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(l), 64 DCR 11682.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1010.

1973 Ed., § 6-2410.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(l) 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) creation of § 8-1810.01, see § 2(l) of Standard of Care for Animals Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-137, July 31, 2017, 64 DCR 7787).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(k) 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.


§ 8–1810.01. Animal Education and Outreach Fund.

(a) There is established as a special fund the Animal Education and Outreach Fund ("Fund"), which shall be utilized in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(b) Revenue deposited into the Fund shall come from $2 of each fee paid for the application, issuance, or renewal of a dog license pursuant to § 8-1804(e-1).

(c) Money in the Fund shall be used for the following purposes:

(1) Pursuant to § 8-1810, providing for low-cost spay and neuter clinic services, and implementing an educational program for animal owners regarding pet care and safety, specifically in extreme weather conditions or emergencies, and the laws related to pet ownership; and

(2) Appropriate overhead and administrative expenses related to the Fund.

(d) The money deposited into the Fund shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 11a; as added Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(m), 64 DCR 11682.)

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 8–1810.02. Dog parks.

(a) The Mayor is authorized to establish dog parks on District-owned parkland in which a dog under the verbal command of a responsible adult may exercise off-leash.

(b) A dog park shall be completely enclosed by a fence and gate, both no less than 5 feet in height.

(c) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this section. The rules shall:

(1) Establish procedures for selecting a site for establishment of a dog park, which shall include notice to the public and an opportunity for public comment; and

(2) Establish procedures for the operation, maintenance, and use of a dog park, which shall include a process for enforcement of the rules and for monitoring and addressing health and environmental safety concerns.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 9a; as added Dec. 10, 2005, D.C. Law 16-40, § 2(c), 52 DCR 9087; redesignated as § 11b, Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(j), 64 DCR 11682 .)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 8-1808.01

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) redesignation of this section, see § 2(j) 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(i) 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 D.C. Law 3-30, the Animal Control Act of 1979, as amended by D.C. Law 16-40, the Dog Park Establishment Act of 2005, see Mayor’s Order 2007-53, February 7, 2007 ( 54 DCR 2428).


§ 8–1811. Penalty.

(a) The Mayor, pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 2, shall issue rules to set specific fine amounts for violations of each provision of this subchapter; provided, that the fines shall not exceed the following amounts:

(1) $500 for each offense, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(2) $1000 for each offense for violations of § 8-1808(n), (o) or (p)(1).

(b) Fines issued under this section shall not preclude any other criminal or civil penalty or enforcement action provided by District law.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 12, 26 DCR 765; Mar. 17, 1993, D.C. Law 9-236, § 2(e), 40 DCR 614; Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(n), 64 DCR 11682.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1011.

1973 Ed., § 6-2411.

Emergency Legislation

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

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(b) of the Dangerous Dog Designation Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-351, August 12, 1996, 43 DCR 4553).


§ 8–1812. Civil liability. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 12a; as added Sept. 16, 1980, D.C. Law 3-97, § 2(f), 27 DCR 3523; Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(o), 64 DCR 11682.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1012.

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 8–1813. Notice of violation.

(a) The Mayor may issue a notice of violation to any person who violates a provision of this subchapter.

(b) A notice of violation shall:

(1) State the nature of the violation; and

(2) Describe the procedures provided in this section.

(c) A notice of violation shall be the summons and complaint for the purposes of this subchapter.

(d) A person shall answer a notice of violation within 15 days by:

(1) Depositing and forfeiting collateral in an amount established by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia; or

(2) Depositing collateral in an amount established by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and requesting, through the issuing agency, a trial in Court.

(e) The Mayor shall prescribe the form for the notice of violation and establish procedures for the administrative control of the notice of violation.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 13, 26 DCR 765.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1013.

1973 Ed., § 6-2412.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of § 8-1814, see § 2(o) 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 under Law 3-30, see Mayor’s Order 83-206, August 2, 1983.


§ 8–1814. Rules.

The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, may issue rules to implement the provisions of this subchapter.


(Oct. 18, 1979, D.C. Law 3-30, § 13a; as added Dec. 20, 2017, D.C. Law 22-37, § 2(p), 64 DCR 11682.)

Emergency Legislation

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


Subchapter II. Commercial Licensing Requirement.

§ 8–1821.01. Commercial animal breeder license.

(a) Within 180 days of December 5, 2008, the Mayor shall establish licensure requirements for commercial animal breeders in the District of Columbia, which shall include:

(1) Licensing fees;

(2) Standards for the care and management of animals; and

(3) Facility inspection requirements.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term “commercial animal breeder” means any person, firm, organization, or corporation engaged in the operation of breeding and raising more than 25 animals per year for sale or in return for consideration.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 201, 55 DCR 9186.)

Editor's Notes

Section 701 of D.C. Law 17-281 provided: “Sec. 701. Rulemaking. The Mayor, pursuant to Title 1 of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1204; D.C. Official Code § 2-501 et seq.), shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this act.”


§ 8–1821.02. Commercial pet care facilities; rulemaking.

(a) No person shall operate a commercial pet care facility without first obtaining a basic business license with an Inspected Sales and Services license endorsement pursuant to Title 47. The Mayor shall issue rules to establish the standards for the care and management of animals in a commercial pet care facility.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term “commercial pet care facility” means a facility that provides day or overnight boarding, or provides pet-related services, including feeding, exercise, training, bathing, or grooming, but does not include an animal facility as defined in § 3-502 [repealed] or a licensed pet shop.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 202, 55 DCR 9186.)


Subchapter II-A. Sustainable Urban Agriculture Apiculture.

§ 8–1825.01. Short title.

This subchapter may be cited as the “Sustainable Urban Agriculture Apiculture Act of 2012”.


(Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-262, § 211, 60 DCR 1300.)


§ 8–1825.02. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Africanized bee” means a hybrid variety of Apis mellifera produced by the cross-breeding of the aggressive African honey bee Apis mellifera scutellata with a European honey bee subspecies.

(2) “Apiary” means a place where a colony is kept.

(3) “Bee disease” means an abnormal condition resulting from action by a parasite, predator, or infectious agent.

(4) “Brood” means the embryo and egg, larva, and pupa stages of a bee.

(5) “Colony” means a hive and its equipment and appurtenances, including bees, brood, comb, pollen, and honey.

(6) “Comb” means the assemblage of cells containing a living stage of a bee at a time prior to emergence as an adult.

(7) “Department” means the District Department of the Environment.

(7A) “Director” means the Director of the District Department of the Environment.

(8) “Hive” means a container used for the housing of a colony.

(9) “Honey bee” means Apis mellifera or another species designated as suitable for an urban environment by the Director.

Apis mellifera

(10) “Multi-unit building” means a building with at least 4 separate housing units.

(11) “Person” means an individual, partnership, corporation, trust, association, firm, joint stock company, organization, commission, or any other legal entity.

(12) Repealed.


(Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-262, § 212, 60 DCR 1300; Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 411(a), 61 DCR 8045.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-142 added (7A); substituted “used” for “intended” in (8); rewrote (9); inserted “building” following “Multi-unit” in (10); substituted “legal entity” for “private entity” in (11); and repealed (12).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(h) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that § 411 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.


§ 8–1825.03. General authorization and restrictions.

A colony may be kept in the District only if it is established and maintained in a manner consistent with this subchapter and any regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter.


(Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-262, § 213, 60 DCR 1300; Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 411(b), 61 DCR 8045.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-142 added “and any regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter” at the end.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(h) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that § 411 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.


§ 8–1825.04. Responsibilities of beekeepers.

(a) A colony kept in the District shall be registered annually with the Department.

(b) No person shall bring into the District a colony or portion of a colony, bees on combs, empty used combs, used hives, or other used apiary appliances without complying with the procedures established by the Department in accordance with this subchapter.

(c) A colony may not be established in a multi-unit building without written permission from the property manager or owner.

(d) A hive must be kept and maintained to prevent overcrowding and deter swarming according to procedures established by the Department through rulemaking.

(e) A beekeeper shall be responsible for the remediation of bee swarms and nuisance conditions. If a beekeeper fails to fulfill this obligation, the owner of the property on which a hive is located shall be responsible for remediating these conditions, and the beekeeper shall reimburse the property owner for the costs incurred by the remediation.


(Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-262, § 214, 60 DCR 1300; Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 411(c), 61 DCR 8045.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-142 rewrote the section.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(h) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that § 411 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.


§ 8–1825.05. Colony density and distance from property line. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-262, § 215, 60 DCR 1300; Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 411(d), 61 DCR 8045.)

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(h) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that § 411 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.


§ 8–1825.06. Colony disposition. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-262, § 216, 60 DCR 1300; Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 411(e), 61 DCR 8045.)

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(h) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that § 411 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.


§ 8–1825.07. Diseased colonies or equipment.

(a) The Department shall establish procedures and may take measures to control the spread of bee diseases and may order a beekeeper to take measures to control the spread of bee diseases.

(b) The Mayor shall treat or destroy the bees, hives, and honey of a beekeeper who fails to take measures ordered by the Mayor to eradicate or control bee disease.


(Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-262, § 217, 60 DCR 1300; Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 411(f), 61 DCR 8045.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-142 substituted “Department shall establish procedures and” for “Mayor” in (a).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(h) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that § 411 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.


§ 8–1825.08. Fees. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-262, § 218, 60 DCR 1300; Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 411(g), 61 DCR 8045.)

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(h) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that § 411 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.


§ 8–1825.09. Rules; enforcement.

(a) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], may issue rules to implement the provisions of this subchapter. The rules may establish fees necessary to implement the provisions of this subchapter.

(b) The Mayor may enforce this subchapter by use of any injunctive relief, measure, or combination of measures, authorized by this subchapter or otherwise by law.

(c) Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as sanctions for a violation of this subchapter or rules or regulations issued under the authority of this subchapter, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2 [§ 2-1801.01 et seq.] (“Civil Infractions Act”).

(d) Repealed.

(e) The Mayor may require reimbursement for the District’s costs resulting from services, including inspections, testing, storage, and transportation of hives or bees, or other reasonable costs or fees incurred in implementation of this subchapter or regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter.


(Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-262, § 219, 60 DCR 1300; Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-142, § 411(h), 61 DCR 8045.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-142 added the last sentence in (a); repealed (d); and added (e).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-142: Section 502(h) of D.C. Law 20-142 provided that § 411 of the act shall apply as of December 17, 2014.


Subchapter III. Release of Animals.

§ 8–1831.01. Release of animals.

(a) No person shall release an animal from the custody or control of any entity charged with animal protection for any purpose except adoption or to improve the opportunity for adoption, redemption by the owner of the animal, or other suitable placement in the best interest of the animal. No animals shall be knowingly released from any entity charged with animal protection for the purposes of research, experimentation, testing, or medical instruction or demonstration.

(b) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 180 days, a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 301, 55 DCR 9186.)


Subchapter IV. Commercial Guard Dogs.

§ 8–1841.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “commercial guard dog” means any dog trained to guard, protect, patrol, or defend any commercial premises.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 401, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.02. License; immunizations.

(a) All commercial guard dogs shall have a valid commercial guard dog license issued pursuant to District law. Upon issuance of a license, the Mayor shall issue a fluorescent guard dog identification tag, or such other tag as the Mayor determines appropriate, to be affixed to the collar or harness of the commercial guard dog to indicate the dog is a commercial guard dog.

(b) All commercial guard dogs shall be immunized against rabies and distemper pursuant to District law, and a current and valid certificate of these immunizations shall be retained on file by the owner of the commercial guard dog.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 402, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.03. Health.

(a) All commercial guard dogs shall undergo an annual examination by a licensed veterinarian for the purpose of determining whether or not the animal is healthy and fit to work as a commercial guard dog. Upon a determination by a licensed veterinarian that a commercial guard dog is unfit to work, the dog shall not be used to guard, protect, patrol, or defend any commercial premises until the dog is re-examined by the veterinarian. Upon a determination by a licensed veterinarian that a commercial guard dog is permanently unfit to work, the dog shall be immediately retired.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any individual, business, or entity to cause, allow, use, or train commercial guard dogs that have undergone the surgical procedure of ventricular cordectomy.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 403, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.04. Insurance requirements.

An individual, business, or entity that utilizes a commercial guard dog shall maintain a general liability insurance policy for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage of not less than $50,000 to insure against liability resulting from acts of the animal performed while on guard duty.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 404, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.05. Notification requirements.

An individual, business, or entity that utilizes a commercial guard dog shall notify the Mayor, in writing, as to the presence of the animal and shall provide contact information for the entity responsible for the animal and a 24-hour emergency telephone number.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 405, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.06. Signage.

An individual, business, or entity that utilizes a commercial guard dog shall post a sign in plain view alerting the public to the presence of a commercial guard dog and shall include the name of the entity responsible for the animal and a 24-hour emergency telephone.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 406, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.07. Care of animal.

A commercial guard dog shall not be maintained on any premises unless the dog is provided:

(1) Full access to an enclosed shelter sufficient to protect the dog from wind, rain, excessive heat or cold, and disease; and

(2) Continuous access to sufficient food and water.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 407, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.08. Violation and penalty.

Any person found guilty of violating this subchapter shall be subject to a penalty of $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 408, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1841.09. Rules.

The Mayor shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this subchapter.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 409, 55 DCR 9186; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 65, 59 DCR 6190.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 substituted “this subchapter” for “this section.”


Subchapter V. Classroom Animals.

§ 8–1851.01. Animals kept in schools.

Only animals of appropriate size and temperament suitable to a classroom environment shall be introduced into the classroom. Use of such animals shall be for instructional purposes only.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 501, 55 DCR 9186.)


§ 8–1851.02. Care of classroom animals.

(a) Animals kept in schools shall be provided sufficient food and water, be cared for in a safe and humane manner, and remain in schools during holidays only if provided adequate care.

(b) Animals no longer needed in the classroom should be adopted out to a suitable home or given to a local humane organization for adoption.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 502, 55 DCR 9186.)


Subchapter VI. Animal Emergency Preparedness.

§ 8–1861.01. Animal emergency preparedness plan.

Within 90 days of December 5, 2008, the Mayor shall establish an emergency preparedness plan for the protection, sheltering, and evacuation of domestic animals during and following a major disaster or emergency.


(Dec. 5, 2008, D.C. Law 17-281, § 601, 55 DCR 9186.)


Subchapter VII. Dogs allowed in outdoor dining areas of food establishments.

§ 8–1865.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) "Carrier" means a crate designed for carrying dogs or a front-pack or backpack designed to safely carry a dog.

(2) "Food establishment" means any business that offers outdoor seating and sells food for consumption on its premises.

(3) "Leash" means a line held by a person on one end that is for leading or restraining a dog.

(4) "Outdoor dining area" means an outdoor area on private property where food is served by a food establishment.

(5) "Unenclosed sidewalk café" means any authorized use of public space adjacent to a food establishment that contains tables, chairs, railings, or planters, which is open to the sky and at the sides, but may include awnings or umbrellas, and which is able to be removed within a 24-hour period.

(6) "Waste bag" means a plastic bag designed for disposing of dog excrement.


(May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-91, § 2, 65 DCR 2639.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 2 of Dining with Dogs Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-154, Oct. 23, 2017, 64 DCR 10760).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) creation of of this section, see § 2 of Dining with Dogs Temporary Act of 2017 (D.C. Law 22-38, Jan. 17, 2018, 64 DCR 12300).


§ 8–1865.02. Outdoor dining with dogs.

(a)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of District law or regulation to the contrary, a food establishment may permit dogs in outdoor dining areas or designated portions thereof, or in unenclosed sidewalk cafés.

(2) A food establishment that permits dogs in outdoor dining areas or unenclosed sidewalk cafés may restrict types of dogs based on a dog's size or temperament.

(b) A food establishment that permits dogs in outdoor dining areas or unenclosed sidewalk cafés shall:

(1) Post signage outside the food establishment clearly stating that dogs are permitted in outdoor dining areas of the food establishment or in an unenclosed sidewalk café adjacent to the food establishment, along with any restrictions on dogs based on size or temperament;

(2) Provide an entrance that does not require dogs to enter an indoor dining area or an area in which food is being stored or prepared to access the outdoor dining area or the unenclosed sidewalk café;

(3) Provide patrons with waste bags and a sanitary means of disposing of waste bags;

(4) Meet the requirements of section 503.1 of Title 25A of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (25A DCMR § 503.1), by ensuring that food employees do not care for or handle dogs;

(5) Require a patron to keep the patron's dog in a carrier or on a leash at all times; and

(6) Prohibit a patron from leaving the patron's dog unattended.

(c) A food establishment may require a patron to take the patron's dog off the food establishment's premises or away from the food establishment's unenclosed sidewalk café.

(d) Nothing in this subchapter, shall be construed to prevent live animals, as described in section 3214.2(b) and (c) of Title 25A of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (25A DCMR § 3214.2(b) and (c)), from accessing a food establishment.


(May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-91, § 3, 65 DCR 2639.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 3 of Dining with Dogs Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-154, Oct. 23, 2017, 64 DCR 10760).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) creation of of this section, see § 3 of Dining with Dogs Temporary Act of 2017 (D.C. Law 22-38, Jan. 17, 2018, 64 DCR 12300).