How Many Dogs or Cats Can You Own in Louisiana?

According to Louisiana's Consolidated Dog Laws, a maximum of twelve adult dogs is allowed per primary enclosure. Under the Consolidated Dog Laws, Louisiana residents can own as many cats as they can care for, and as long as the animals do not create a nuisance. However, each parish and municipality in Louisiana may have its own animal ordinances that residents must comply with.

A woman and her pet dog and cat

Under state law, Louisiana pet owners are prohibited from allowing their dogs to run at large on any unenclosed property, or trespass upon any enclosed or unenclosed properties that belong to another person. The law gives every Louisiana resident the right to kill any dog harassing livestock.

If your dog is killed while harassing, wounding, or killing livestock, you won't be able to sustain any action for damages against the person who killed the dog. If your dog kills, harasses, or wounds livestock and luckily does get killed in the act, you will be held responsible for the damages, which must be recovered before any court of competent jurisdiction.

There is an overpopulation of pets in the state of Louisiana, especially in its Southern parts. This means that there are too many animals and not enough homes for them in the Pelican State. This must be part of the reason why the state law allows residents to own up to 12 dogs and as many cats as they can care for. To reduce pet overpopulation, the City of New Orleans adopted an ordinance requiring that all dogs over the age of six months be either spayed or neutered or have an Intact Dog Permit.

According to Best Friends Animal Society, more than 10,000 dogs and cats were killed in animal shelters across Louisiana in 2022.

homeless dogs and cats statistics in Louisiana

Below are pet laws in some Louisiana municipalities.

New Orleans, LA

In the City of New Orleans, it is required by law that all dogs 6 months and older be either spayed or neutered OR have an Intact Dog Permit. New Orleans enacted this law to help reduce the number of homeless animals in the City. This law doesn't apply to you if you reside in New Orleans and your dog is spayed or neutered.

However, you need to apply for an Intact Dog Permit if your dog is 6 months or older and hasn't been sterilized. The permit, which must be renewed annually, can be obtained for up to 4 dogs.

Necessary documents required to obtain the permit include a current City License/Rabies Tag Number, proof of microchip, proof of vaccinations, a copy of the pet parent’s ID, and a current photo of your dog. The initial application fee for the permit is $95, and $20 for the annual renewal fee.

Failure to comply with the New Orleans Intact Permit law could result in a fine of $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and $500 and impound of the dog for the third offense. In the City of New Orleans, you can own as many cats and dogs as you can care for.

Baton Rouge, LA

In the City of Baton Rouge, there is no limit on how many dogs or cats you can own, so long as your animals do not create a nuisance. The City requires that all cats, dogs, and ferrets 3 months of age be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian and be registered with the animal control and rescue center.

Baton Rouge pet owners must at all times confine their dogs and cats in such a manner so as to prevent them from escaping and running at large on streets, roads or other public places within the city-parish. While out in public, owners must prevent their dog from threatening or attacking a person or another animal conducting himself lawfully. No owner may allow their dog or cat to cause a nuisance in the city. Furthermore, Baton Rouge pet owners are prohibited from permitting their dogs to make excessive noise or excessive barking.

Also, there is a "Potentially Dangerous Dog" law in Baton Rouge, LA. A dog will be deemed a Potentially Dangerous Dog in Baton Rouge if it bites a person without provocation or kills or injured a domestic animal without provocation while it is at large.

If your dog is classified as dangerous in Baton Rouge, you will abide by the following rules within thirty days after the classification. You must:

  • Obtain a "dangerous" dog tag
  • Have your dog micro-chipped
  • Notify the animal control and rescue center if your "dangerous" dog is at large, bites a human being or attacks another animal, was sold, given away, or died, or has moved to another address.

Shreveport, LA

The City of Shreveport does not place a limit on the number of cats and dogs a resident can have in his or her house. Pet owners are required by law to have their dogs, cats or ferrets 3 months of age vaccinated against rabies and have them registered with Caddo Parish Animal Services. Dogs are not permitted to be at large within the city limits of Shreveport.

A dog is considered at large in Shreveport, LA, if not within the confines of its owner's property, nor on a leash not longer than six feet. Cats, however, are not considered at large in Shreveport. The City has a community cat diversion program that controls the community cat population.

Jefferson Parish, LA

In Jefferson Parish, LA, residents can own as many dogs and cats as they can care for and so long as the animals do not create a public nuisance. Jefferson Parish law prohibits dog owners from permitting their dog to run or be upon any street, alleyway, highway, common or public square unless the dog is under the owner's immediate control or the control of a competent person and restrained by a substantial chain or leash not longer 6 feet.

All female dogs and cats in heat are required to be confined so they won't come into contact with an unneutered male, except for planned breeding.

Furthermore, Jefferson Parish law requires that pet owners promptly remove and sanitarily dispose of any solid waste deposited by their dogs or cats on any public or private property without the property owner's consent.

It is illegal for a pet owner to permit his or her dog to bark, howl, or make any other noise so continuously or incessantly for 10 or more consecutive minutes or make intermittent noise for 30 or more minutes, as to disturb the peace of another person.


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