Orleans Parish Animal Ordinances
Orleans Parish revised the Animal Ordinances outlined in Chapter 18 on March 7, 2013. To better help you understand the new revisions to the ordinances, the LA/SPCA compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ's) and outlined the associated fees. If you still have questions after reviewing the FAQ's below please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
When did the revised ordinances become effective?
March 22, 2013 - 10 business days after the passage date of March 7, 2013
Does this mean on March 22, 2013, the LA/SPCA began implementing the ordinances that have been revised?
No, the LA/SPCA, in conjunction with the City, will do mass communications to the general public, pet owners, breed rescue groups, veterinarians, hospitals, clinics, urgent care facilities and other impacted parties before we begin enforcing the ordinances that have been revised.
Where can I get a new copy of the revised ordinances?
Copies of the revised ordinances can be found at the website address www.la-spca.org/ordinances. A hardcopy of the ordinances can be requested by writing to LA/SPCA 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd. New Orleans LA 70114 and sending $2.00 for postage.
Are the new laws in the ordinances retroactive?
No, the new laws are NOT retroactive.
Were the ordinances revised only to increase fees and get more money?
No. The ordinances were revised to promote responsible pet ownership, address public safety and health issues, and promote the humane care of animals. Very few ordinance changes generate any funds for animal control.
I heard that I will only need to get my pet’s rabies vaccination AND license every three years now? Does that mean I only need to go to my veterinarian every 3 years?
No. Every pet owner is still required to get an annual license and tag from a licensed private veterinarian which indicates that your pet is current on his/her rabies vaccination. Additionally, it is recommended that your pet receive other annual vaccinations as determined by your private veterinarian. The only change to this ordinance is that the rabies vaccination is only given every 3 years (after the initial puppy series is complete and the first annual).
Note: Because of the high volume of pets at the Palm Sunday Rabies drives, pet owners who get their pet’s rabies vaccination at this annual event will not have the option of a 3 year vaccination. Those pets will be vaccinated every year when they come to the firehouse and receive the license and tag at that time.
So where and how do I get an annual license?
An annual license and tag can be obtained through your pet’s veterinarian during your annual visit to your vet clinic. The ordinances require that the tag must be affixed to your pet’s collar at all times.
If I am a licensed veterinarian and I have already purchased a year’s supply of 1-year rabies vaccines, do I have to discard the vaccines and re-purchase the 3-year rabies vaccines?
Please talk to your pharmaceutical representative about this issue. They will be better able to address the question of what to do with current vaccination products.
When do I need to vaccinate my puppy or kitten?
The owner or keeper of every dog or cat between three and four months old shall, at his expense, have such dog or cat vaccinated by a Louisiana-licensed veterinarian with rabies vaccine. Twelve months later, the animal shall be revaccinated. Thereafter, such dog or cat shall be revaccinated every 36 months by a licensed Louisiana veterinarian, under rules and regulations to be prescribed by the director. The veterinarian must provide the owner the date when the dog or cat must be revaccinated.
Since the rabies vaccination is required every three years, but an annual license is also required, is there an option available where I can purchase a 3-year license?
No. While the actual vaccination (shot) is only required every 3 years, the rabies vaccination license and tag needs to be purchased every year. Like a brake tag or annual vehicle inspection, your annual license and tag show that your veterinarian has certified that you are current on the rabies vaccination requirement.
How will the new 3-yr. rabies vaccine law affect the Palm Sunday Rabies Drive in 2014, 2015 and beyond?
If an owner chooses to bring its animal to the annual Palm Sunday Rabies Drive, every animal that is suitable for the vaccination will receive a rabies vaccination, license and tag each year. Because of the high volume of pets, we will not be able to verify that a pet is current on the vaccination so all pets will receive the vaccination and tag regardless of when the last one was given. If a pet owner prefers to get the vaccination every 3 years, the pet owner will be required to go to a private veterinarian.
Will there be some sort of renewal notification for people to come for tags/licenses each year?
The City of New Orleans will not send out renewal notifications. It is the pet owner’s responsibility to get the annual license and tag. Many private veterinarians send out annual vaccination reminder postcards or e-mails, but it is the responsibility of the pet owner to ensure that they have their pets up-to-date on their annual license/tag and vaccinations.
I heard there is a change in the stray period for stray animals brought to a shelter. What is the change?
The revised ordinances stipulate that animals impounded shall be held for a period of 3 days to allow for the owner to claim them, but is EXPANDED to 7 days from the date of notice in the case of a dog wearing an identifying collar and tag with the name and address of the owner:
Animals impounded shall be held for a period of 3 days for any owner to claim the animal, except dog(s) that at the time of impoundment are wearing a collar bearing a tag showing the name and address of its owner. Owner(s) of dog(s) bearing a collar with a tag shall receive written notice of the dog’s impoundment and shall be allowed seven days from the date of the notice to reclaim the dog.
Do the revised ordinances make spaying and neutering mandatory?
No. The ordinances do require that all residents in Orleans Parish with an intact dog, (a dog that has not been spayed or neutered/fixed/sterilized), are required to do one of the following:
•Purchase an Intact Dog Permit (Renewed annually; 1 per dog)
•Apply for an Intact Dog Permit Exemption (requires veterinarian documentation)
•Spay/Neuter their dog
•Pay a fine for non-compliance
If my dog is intact (not spayed or neutered/fixed/sterilized) what is the fee?
Intact Dog Permit Application Fee: $75.00
Initial Intact Dog Permit Fee: $20.00
Annual Intact Dog Permit Renewal Fee: $20.00 to be renewed at the end of the 12 month period based on the initial permit date.
Additionally, if a permit is not renewed on time, a $10.00 per day late fee will be assessed in addition to the renewal fee.
Can I keep my dog in my yard on a chain?
No. It shall be unlawful to tether a dog, except as follows: A dog may be restrained to an overhead running line, pulley, or trolley system under the specific condition outlined in the ordinances. The length of the tether must be at least 4 times the length of the dog plus provide 12 inches of slack when the dog lays flat on the ground with his/her head down. An intact dog may NOT be tethered at any time. All dogs must be removed from the tethers between 11PM and 6AM.
Some cities have pit bull bans. Is there any breed specific legislation in the revised ordinances?
No, breed specific legislation is not an effective form of animal control. What we do encourage is the spaying and neutering of animals, no matter the breed; and responsible pet ownership and pet care.
Is it against the law for me to have my dog off leash when walking my dog?
Yes, dogs which are properly licensed and vaccinated as stipulated in the ordinances may be allowed outside of an enclosure if under a secure leash and accompanied by their owner or keeper but are not to be allowed to trespass upon any public property, if so prohibited by another ordinance, or upon private property. Designated dog parks or "off-leash" areas are exempt from the provisions of this section. The area of City Park known as NOLA City Bark generally bounded by Zachary Taylor Drive, Diagonal Drive, and Magnolia Drive is such an exempted area.
Is the leash law a new law under the revised ordinances?
No, the leash law has always been in effect.
Is it against the law to have my dog riding in the bed of my pickup truck?
Yes, it is illegal if the dog is not safely and humanely restrained under the specific guidelines of the revised ordinances. The revised ordinance stipulates: It shall be unlawful to transport any animal on a public road in any open-bed vehicle unless the animal is safely and humanely restrained (at a minimum by a harness with double tethering for dogs) so that the animal is unable to jump or fall out of the vehicle. If transporting an animal in a kennel or cage in an open bed vehicle, the kennel or cage must be double-tethered to prevent the kennel from moving.
If I am involved with an event in Orleans Parish that will showcase animals, do I have to pay a fee and how do I do this?
Any person, organization or entity that wishes to hold an animal exhibition, circus or carnival in Orleans Parish must first obtain a permit from the City of New Orleans. Fees for these events are as follows:
(1) For activities involving less than five animals, a 72-hour permit fee of $150.00. (2) For activities involving more than five animals, a 72-hour permit fee of $250.00
An exhibitor will need an Event Promoter License and Mayorality Permit from the City of New Orleans Department of Finance-Bureau of Revenue,
City Hall- 1300 Perdido St., Room 1W15, New Orleans, LA 70112
(504)658-1600/Fax (504)658-1605, email@example.com
Permit fees in addition to the animal permit fees are required. The exhibitor must also receive the approval of the director of the Department of Health.
All permit applications are available online at:
I read that there is a new definition in the ordinance for a Community Cat. What is considered a Community Cat?
A Community Cat is defined as a feral or free-roaming cat that is without visibly-discernible identification of any kind AND has been sterilized, vaccinated, and ear-tipped. Community cats are exempt from licensing, feeding bans and registration requirements.
So is a Community Cat the same thing as a feral cat?
No, a feral cat is defined as a cat that is born in the wild, is the offspring of an owned or feral cat and is not socialized, or is a formerly-owned cat that has been abandoned and is no longer socialized. A feral cat is not sterilized. A Community Cat has been spayed or neutered/fixed/sterilized and ear tipped.
If I have a stray cat roaming in my yard, will animal control remove and impound the cat?
Cats that fall under the definition of Community Cats may be allowed outside so long as the cats do not prove to be a nuisance to neighbors. Documentation on the nuisance will be required in order for any action to be taken. Any ear-tipped cat collected under the provisions of this section shall be released on-site unless suffering from an obvious injury or illness. Any non ear-tipped cat collected under the provisions of this section shall not be returned to its owner until such time as said owner shall have cat spayed or neutered, ear tipped or microchipped, and vaccinated against rabies, and all nuisance complaints are resolved. Repairing damage caused to private property as well as any required modifications required to abate the nuisance shall be the responsibility of the registered caregiver. We will try to first help facilitate a resolution between the person reporting the cat nuisance and the caregiver before the cat can be removed.
Is there a requirement for my privately owned cat(s)?
Yes, all indoor/outdoor cats that are privately owned must be microchipped or ear-tipped.
Is it unlawful to have chickens within city limits?
Roosters are NOT permitted within Orleans Parish; hens are permitted as long as they have proper housing and the housing areas are kept clean and sanitary.
Are animals defined as wild or exotic animals allowed to be kept as pets?
No, no person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild or exotic animal as a pet. These include, but are not limited to, all venomous snakes, constricting snakes that will grow to be over 3 feet as adults, monkeys, raccoons, serval cats, exotic animal hybrid, and roosters.
What animals are defined as wild or exotic animals?
Wild or exotic animals means:
(1) any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, coyote, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx, serval cat, or any other warm-blooded animal not otherwise defined;
(2) any venomous or constricting snake (such as Boidae family) that will grow to an adult size greater than 3 feet;
(3) any tarantula which can normally be found in the wild state;
(4) any member of crocodilian, including, but not limited to, alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gharials;
(5) any exotic animal hybrid; or
(6) any rooster, cockerel, cock, or chanticleer.
Is it against the law to own a “pocket pet?” Are they considered wild or exotic animals?
No, ferrets, non-venomous snakes (other than constricting snakes that will grow to an adult size larger than 3 feet), rabbits, box or aquatic turtles, laboratory rats and skunks which have been bred and raised in captivity which have never known the wild, and pocket pets or pet rodents including, but not limited to, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, chinchillas, sugar gliders or hedgehogs are excluded from the definition of wild or exotic animals.
If I operate a rescue organization and house rescued or homeless animals do I have to follow any guidelines in the revised ordinances?
Yes, all facilities with occupancy licenses issued by Orleans Parish for operating a kennel, animal shelter or housing facility for rescued animals, homeless or owned animals must meet or exceed the minimum standards established by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians in the Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelter (2010) and any standards of veterinary care set forth in the City Code. A copy can be downloaded from: http://oacu.od.nih.gov/disaster/ShelterGuide.pdf
The LA/SPCA is authorized to inspect these facilities. Failure to make modifications to meet the standards shall result in a fine of up to $500 per day. The foregoing provisions shall not apply during an extreme weather advisory or emergency situation, or in the case of mass seizure or rescue of animals.
If I am a healthcare provider and I treat someone that has been bitten by a dog, what are the reporting requirements?
Any health care provider who examines or treats any person who has been bitten by a dog or upon whom a dog has inflicted serious bodily injury shall report such bite or injury to the LA/SPCA’s Animal Control Division. Such a report shall be made immediately, if possible, and in any event shall be made within twenty-four hours of examining the patient. The report shall include as much of the following information as is available:
(1) The patient’s name, date of birth, sex, and current home and work address;
(2) The nature of the bite or injury that is the subject of the report;
(3) Any information about the location of the biting animal and the name and address of any known owner; and
(4) The name and address of the healthcare provider.
Do the revised ordinances address mules and horses?
Yes, the revised ordinances require information to be filed by the person keeping horses or mules. Every person within the limits of the city, having one or more horses or mules housed or stabled within the city shall file with the LA/SPCA’s Animal Control Division the following information:
(a) Name of the owner;
(b) Number and kind of animals housed or stabled on the premises;
(c) Address of place (street and number) where the animals are stabled;
(d) Proof of annual negative Coggins’ test result;
(e) Proof of annual vaccinations, including Eastern and Western Encephalitis, West Nile virus, and rabies; and;
(f) Any other information as the department may deem necessary for the enforcement of proper sanitary regulations on the premises.
Such information shall also be required for equine exhibited or used for transportation in parades.
- Stray or owned animal impounded by the Agency - $35.00 for the first day, $25.00 each additional day.
- Stray or owned animal brought to the Agency by the public - $25.00 for each day.
- Stray or owned animal without current rabies license or vaccination - $25.00 in addition to the daily care rate.
- Stray or owned animal without microchip - $35 for microchip insertion.
- Stray or owned animal with medical conditions requiring veterinary care – reimbursement of the actual, documented cost of veterinary services.
- Stray or owned animal intact - $50.00 for spay/neuter surgery.
- Minimum standards for animal housing facilities - Failure to make modifications to meet the standards set forth in the City Codes shall result in a fine of up to $500 per day.
ANNUAL DOG/CAT LICENSE FEES (NO CHANGE)
- Annual dog/cat license fee (spayed or neutered animals) - $9.00 plus $1.00 administrative fee, totaling $10.00.
- Annual dog/cat license fee (un-spayed or un-neutered animals) - $13.00 plus $1.00 administrative fee, totaling $14.00.
- Replacement tag (proof of vaccination required) - $8.00 plus $1.00 administrative fee totaling $9.00.
INTACT DOG PERMIT (INCREASE IN APPLICATION FEE)
- Intact Dog Permit Application Fee: $75.00
- Initial Intact Dog Permit Fee: $20.00
- Annual Intact Dog Permit Renewal Fee: $20.00 to be renewed at the end of the 12 month period based on the initial permit date.
- Additionally, if a permit is not renewed on time, a $10.00 per day late fee will be assessed in addition to the renewal fee.
- Non Compliance of Intact Dog Permit:
- First Offense: $100.00
- Second Offense: $250.00
- Third Offense: $500.00 and impound of dog