How Many Dogs or Cats Can You Own in Delaware?


The maximum number of dogs and cats you can have in your house in Delaware depends on your local Code of Ordinances, as The Blue Hen State has no laws limiting the number of pets a resident can own. Even so, many Delaware Towns and Cities' Codes do not regulate the number of pets residents can keep. Instead, they have other animal laws that pet owners must comply with. In this article, you will find some pet ownership laws in the three Delaware Counties.

A German Shepherd and a Ragdoll Cat

New Castle County, DE

New Castle County Code does not regulate the number of dogs or cats residents can keep. However, there are other dog and cat laws that New Castle County, Delaware, pet owners must abide by. For starters, all dogs over 6 months of age must have a Delaware State Dog License and wear a collar that displays the license tag. Before a dog is issued a license in New Castle County, the owner must present proof of current rabies vaccination.

All dogs living in New Castle County, DE, are required to be kept under restraint at all times. Pet owners are expected by law to avoid the accumulation of their dogs and/or cats' excreta in the place where such animals are customarily kept. In addition, Pet owners in New Castle County are also required by law to immediately remove and dispose of any solid waste deposited by their dogs or cats on any street, sidewalk or park or upon another person's property without the consent of the owner or tenant of such property.

Pet owners have less than an hour to remove any fecal matter deposited by their dog or cat on another person's property. Dog owners must not allow their best friends to become a public nuisance. In New Castle County, DE, public nuisance animals are defined as any animal or group of animals that are repeatedly found at large, damage another person's property, are vicious or dangerous, molest passersby or passing vehicles, and create a noxious or offensive odor.

A dog is deemed vicious in New Castle County, DE, if it bites a person or a domestic animal in an unprovoked attack upon the streets, sidewalks or any public grounds or places within the County.

If you own a vicious dog in New Castle County, DE, you are required to procure and maintain liability insurance of $100,000, covering any damage or injury which may be caused by your vicious canine. In addition, vicious dog owners are required to display a visible warning sign on the premises where the dog is kept.

Furthermore, vicious dog owners must notify an animal control agency within 24 hours if a vicious dog is on the loose or has attacked a human being or another animal. Failure to comply with this law shall result in a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $500 for the first offense, and as high as $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

It is illegal for any New Castle County, DE, dog owner to knowingly or recklessly sell any puppy under the age of 7 weeks, unless the puppy has been orphaned, according to Ord. No. 08-026, § 1, 4-8-2008.

Sussex County, DE

The number of dogs and cats residents may own in Sussex County, Delaware, is not regulated by the County's Code of Ordinances. However, cities and towns in Sussex County may have their own rules. Sussex County requires that all dogs be licensed and the license fee for a spayed or neutered dog is $10 per year and $15 for a non-spayed or unneutered dog.

A $60 kennel license is required to keep no more than 12 dogs at any time in Sussex County. Further, a $75 kennel license is required to keep a maximum of 25 dogs, a $125 kennel license to keep a maximum of 50 dogs, and a $200 kennel license to keep or operate a kennel having the capacity to accommodate more than 50 dogs.

Failure to secure a valid dog license in Sussex County, DE, shall result in a $50 fine for the first offense and a $100 fine for each subsequent offense occurring within twelve months of a prior offense.

Kent County, DE

In Kent County, Delaware, the number of dogs and cats you can own depends on the size of your property. A maximum of 4 dogs and/or 4 cats are allowed on any residential property, regardless of size.

No more than 6 dogs and/or 6 cats are permitted on properties of 2 or more acres. A maximum of 8 dogs and/or 8 cats are allowed on properties of 5 or more acres. Refer to the screenshot below.

Maximum number of dogs and cats residents can have in Kent County, Delaware


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