How Many Dogs or Cats Can You Legally Own in Nebraska?

How many dogs or cats are considered too many in the state of Nebraska? Though there are no state-wide laws in place in Nebraska that put a limit on the number of dogs or cats a resident can own, most municipalities limit households to three dogs or cats each. In other words, the maximum number of dogs or cats you cat own depends on the county or municipality in which you live in Nebraska. In Nebraska City, for instance, it is illegal for a resident to keep more than four dogs or cats in one residence. That said, let's look at pet ownership laws in some Nebraska counties and municipalities.

4 chihuahua dogs
Photo credit: @chihuahuatherapyx4

Omaha, NE

If you live in the city of Omaha, Nebraska, you can keep three dogs and five cats in your home. Omaha ordinances also state that residents may obtain a pet avocation permit, which allows up to five dogs and up to six cats on a property – but no more than eight pets in total. Dogs and cats in Omaha are required to be vaccinated against rabies. Furthermore, while there currently is no leash law for cats in Omaha, dogs must be on a leash or confined in a yard at all times.

It is illegal in Omaha to keep a wolf or wolf hybrid as a pet. In addition, it is illegal for your dog/dogs to bark uninterrupted, thereby disturbing neighbors in Omaha. Animal Controls are given the power to remove a dog creating a nuisance from your property to abate the nuisance. The dog owner is then required to impound their canine, which is subject to all fees and fines incurred.

Lincoln, NE

Lincoln residents are permitted to keep up to three dogs or five cats over the age of six months at one residence. However, if you live in a specially zoned area, you can obtain a permit to own more dogs or cats in Lincoln. For instance, you can obtain a Multi-Cat Household Permit to own a maximum of 15 adult cats in the city of Lincoln. However, the permit requires that all cats be spayed or neutered. If you have two or more unspayed or unneutered adult cats in your home, you need to obtain a cattery permit. All felines must be licensed in Lincoln city and owners with a permit must not allow their cats to run at large. You can apply for these permits, which require a yearly inspection, at Animal Control.

The Multi-Dog Household Permit allows newly annexed properties in Lincoln to have up to five spayed or neutered dogs. One acre of land in addition to other requirements must be met before the permit is issued. Another permit called Commercial Breeding Kennel allows newly annexed properties to have up to ten unaltered dogs. The requirements for this permit are the same as for the Multi-Dog Household Permit.

Sarpy County, NE

Each city in Sarpy County has different laws governing pet ownership. Papillion residents may own 4 dogs or cats over the age of four months. Bellevue residents are allowed to keep three dogs or three cats at one residence. However, a pet avocation permit can be obtained to own up to 5 dogs or up to 5 cats in Bellevue. In the city of La Vista, residents may keep three dogs and one cat or three cats and one dog. The same ordinance applies to Gretna residents. The number of dogs or cats allowed per residence in Unincorporated Sarpy County is 4. Having more than 4 dogs requires a Kennel License.

Restricted or Banned Dog Breeds in Nebraska

A pit bull and a Cane Corso

While Nebraska doesn’t outlaw any specific dog breeds, several municipalities have breed-specific laws that limit the kinds of dogs a resident can keep. The top most common restricted dog breeds in Nebraska include the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, Dogo Argentino, and Cane Corso. These dogs are deemed vicious in many Nebraska cities. Nebraska cities that restrict these dog breeds, according to BSL Census, include:

  • Scribner City in Dodge County
  • Ceresco City in Saunders County
  • Gordon City in Sheridan County
  • Hebron City in Thayer County
  • Loup City in Sherman County
  • South Sioux City in Dakota County
  • Blair City in Washington County

Exotic cats such as Servals and Bobcats are illegal to keep as pets in the state of Nebraska.

In the city of Omaha, Pit Bull or Cane Corso owners are required to leash, harness, and muzzle their dog whenever it’s outside of a tightly fenced area. If your dog bites another animal or person in public in Nebraska, you as the owner will be held strictly responsible and pay a fine specific to your city in addition to covering any bills or losses incurred by the victim.

In addition, your canine will likely be considered "vicious" and must always be kept on a leash in public. Furthermore, there is a state-wide leash law in Nebraska that requires dog owners to keep their best friends on leashes in communities with more than eighty thousand residents.

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