How Many Dogs and Cats Can You Own in New York State?


If you are a dog lover residing in the State of New York or trying to move into it, you might have some concerns regarding how many dogs or cats are allowed per household in The Empire State. Dogs are man's best companions and it’s no wonder when many people want to keep as many as they can.

Dog walker in New York

However, the common question most New York pet owners ask is how many dogs/cats can you have in your house? You may even ask, is there even a limit or such a thing as too many dogs/cats? According to my research, the answer depends on the regulations laid out by your local municipality. In other words, the number of dogs or cats you can have depends on where in New York State you live. For example, if you live in a large city or town in New York State, you won't be allowed to keep more than three dogs or cats in your house. With that in mind, here are pet ownership restrictions in some of the major cities in New York State.

How Many Dogs and Cats Can You Keep in Your House in New York State?

How Many Dogs and Cats Can You Have in NY

New York State does not have a state-level law that limits the number of dogs or cats a resident can own. However, as mentioned earlier, cities and municipalities in New York are given the authority to regulate the number of pets a resident can keep in his or her house. In addition, landlords and homeowner associations (HOA) also have the right to limit the number of pets that are allowed to stay on their properties. You can contact the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to discuss the number of dogs or cats permitted per household in your municipality.

How many dogs or cats can you have in New York City? The Big Apple is not just the most populous city in the United States, it is also one of the most dog-friendly U.S. cities. The City does impose restrictions on the number of dogs or cats one can keep in a dwelling. However, landlords and condominiums may legally establish their own policies regarding how many pets a resident can keep on a specific property. For instance, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) does not allow more than one domestic dog or cat per household. In addition, NYCHA does not allow Pit Bull, Doberman Pincher, and Rottweiler dogs of any weight on their properties.

How many dogs or cats can you have in Hempstead Town? According to New York Times, the Town of Hempstead in Nassau County passed an ordinance that limited households to three dogs in 1990.

How many dogs or cats can you have in the City of Rochester, Monroe County? Well, the City of Rochester does not allow its residents to keep more than 4 dogs within a house or apartment with three or fewer units. And you can not own more than one dog if you live in a house or apartment with four or more units.

How many dogs or cats can you have in Buffalo? The City of Buffalo does not allow more than three dogs on premises classified as single or double-family residences. Further, only one dog is allowed per household on premises classified as multiple dwellings. In West Seneca, a suburb of Buffalo, you are not allowed to keep more than four cats in your house, according to Buffalo News.

How many dogs or cats can you have in Albany? You are allowed to keep more than four dogs in your home in the city of Albany, according to ordinance 5718. And according to Albany Housing Authority, only two cats are allowed per household.

Most Commonly Restricted Dog Breeds in New York

American Pit Bull Terrier

The following breeds of dogs are deemed vicious for apartments in many New York cities:
  1. Pit bulls
  2. German Shepherds
  3. Boxers
  4. Rottweilers
  5. Akita Inu
  6. Chow Chow
  7. Dogue de Bordeaux
  8. Cane Corso
  9. Golden Retrievers
  10. Mastiffs

Most Commonly Restricted Cat Breeds in New York

Bengal cat

All domesticated cats are allowed in New York State. However, hybrid cats such as Savannahs and Bengals are restricted by many Cities in New York State. The Empire State allows its residents to own F5 and later Savannah cats. Bengal cats, on the other hand, are banned by law in New York State. Furthermore, Savanah Cats are illegal in New York City. For more info, see the four states where Savannah Cats are not legal.

Dog Laws in New York State

There may not be state-sweeping laws on how many dogs you can have in New York State, but there are laws on how to control your dogs. For instance, in New York City, you will pay a fine of $250 if you fail to remove feces left by your dog on sidewalks, gutters, and streets. You will pay a fine of $200–$400 if your dog commits a nuisance on any public or private premises. Furthermore, you will pay a fine of up to $400 if your dog is found unrestrained in any public place. See the NYC Government website for more info.

Top 10 Pet-Friendly Cities in New York State

  1. Albany
  2. Bronx
  3. Brooklyn
  4. Buffalo
  5. Ithaca
  6. Rochester
  7. Saratoga Springs
  8. Niagara Falls
  9. Syracuse
  10. New York City

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