How Many Dogs or Cats Can You Own in Georgia, USA


To many Americans, dogs and cats are more than just pets. For most pet owners, their pet cats or dogs are members of the family. As such, these furry family members receive all the love and care they need to keep their tails wagging all the time. As a pet lover in the state of Georgia, you may want to have more than one dog or cat in your home. However, it is important to know how many pets are considered too many in The Goober State.

Three dogs and two cats

As one of the most pet-friendly states in the US, Georgia does not have a state-level ordinance that limits the number of pets a resident can keep, but many cities and counties in Georgia have their own pet ownership restriction laws. So, the number of dogs or cats you can own in Georgia depends on the county or municipality in which you live. In this article, we shall look at pet ownership laws in some Georgia counties.

Fulton County, GA

If you live in Fulton County, GA, you may own three dogs or more at a minimum distance of twenty-five feet from any occupied building. Rural areas usually permit residents to have as many pets as they can take care of, especially if they have a large open space. For instance, Fulton County residents who live on a property of 100 square feet in an agricultural area may keep as many dogs or cats as they can care for. If you live in the city of Atlanta, there is no limit to the number of dogs or cats you can keep in your house so long as they are well kept are not a nuisance.

According to Atlanta News First, noisy pets not only annoy neighbors but could cost owners in Atlanta some serious money. To be specific, Atlanta City ordinance considers dogs barking and cats meowing consistently for ten or more minutes a nuisance. And the owner of such pets will face up to $1,000 in fines. That said, pet owners need to be realistic about the number of cats or dogs they can responsibly care of. If you are still unsure about the number of dogs or cats allowed per household in your municipality, it would be best to contact your local authorities for further assistance.

In Fulton County, pet owners must not allow their dogs to run at large and all dogs must be leashed in public.

Gwinnett County, GA

Gwinnett County is pet-friendly, as there is no local law that specifically limits the number of dogs or cats an individual can keep in their house so long as the residence is kept safe and sanitary. However, all dogs and cats living in Gwinnett County must be vaccinated against rabies. Furthermore, whether wearing a collar or not, pet owners must not allow their dogs to roam at large in Gwinnett County. All dog owners in Gwinnett County must keep their pet under control in public.

DeKalb County, GA

DeKalb County, GA does not have an ordinance that dictates the number of dogs or cats its residents can own. However, all DeKalb County dogs must be on a leash controlled by a responsible and competent person and must be maintained on the property of the owner. In addition, DeKalb County does not allow the tethering of dogs unless the owner is physically within reach of the pet.

Chatham County, GA

In 2020, the Chatham board passed an animal-control ordinance that limited the number of dogs per household to ten and decreased the rabies-vaccination age requirement for pets from six months to 14 weeks. There is no limit to the number of cats you can own in Chatham County. However, dogs kept outside in Chatham County homes must have hundred square feet of enclosed space. In Chatham County, you can not keep your dog or cat in cars if the outside temperature is 79°F or higher.

Cherokee County, GA

Cherokee County's zoning ordinance allows no more than eight pets per residence. It can be 4 dogs and 4 cats or any combination of the two. In 2017, a woman was arrested in the City of Woodstock, Cherokee County after violating the county's zoning ordinance by keeping 14 cats and 17 dogs inside her home, Patch reported at the time. Pet owners in Cherokee County must have physical control of their pets by a leash no longer than six feet at all times in public. In addition, your dog is not permitted to be in an off-leash area in Cherokee County if it is deemed dangerous or vicious, or if it is a guard/protection dog.

Henry County, GA

According to the Henry County Board of Commissioners, the maximum number of adult domestic dogs or cats allowed per household in the County is four, regardless of how the property is zoned. All dogs in Henry County must be on a leash when off their owner's property. You must obtain a kennel license from the Henry County Board of Commissioners if you wish to own more than four dogs or cats in the County.

Restricted or Banned Dog Breeds in Georgia

The following dog breeds, Pitbulls, Chow Chows, Presa Canarios, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and German Shepherds are deemed dangerous or vicious and thereby restricted or banned in the following Georgia cities:
  • Clarkston, GA
  • College Park, GA
  • Dawson, GA
  • Lafayette, GA
  • Lyons, GA
  • Marietta, GA
  • Trenton, GA
  • West Point, GA

As I mentioned earlier in the article, it is best to contact your local animal control authorities to know the number of pets allowed per household in your municipality as well as the dog breeds that are restricted or banned.

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