How Many Dogs or Cats Can You Own in South Dakota?


Owning pets can be a source of joy and companionship, but it's important to know the legal limits of pet ownership in your state. In South Dakota, the number of dogs or cats you can own is regulated by local ordinances, which can vary depending on where you live. Most cities in South Dakota allow no more than 4 dogs or 4 cats or a combination of both not exceeding 4 in total per household. Therefore, it's important to do your research and make sure you're in compliance with the law to avoid any potential fines or legal issues. In this article, I have listed some South Dakota municipalities and the maximum number of dogs and cats allowed per household in them.

A dog and a cat

Sioux Falls, SD

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has a law that restricts households to owning only four domestic animals, which includes dogs and cats. But, pet owners who wish to own more than four animals can obtain a conditional use permit from the city. This law, however, does not apply to animal shelters, veterinarian offices, and retail pet stores within Sioux Falls. Additionally, pet owners in Sioux Falls are required by law to license their dogs and cats within 30 days of acquisition or when the animal reaches six months old.

Aberdeen, SD

In the City of Aberdeen, Brown County, South Dakota, pet owners are allowed to have a maximum of four cats or three dogs in their homes. To comply with Sec. 8-44 of Aberdeen's animal ordinance, the total number of pets cannot exceed four in one household. However, puppies and kittens under three months old may be kept in addition to the limit. It is also mandatory for all dogs and cats in Aberdeen to be vaccinated and licensed according to the city's regulations.

Brookings, SD

The City of Brookings has a law that prohibits residents from owning more than six domestic animals on any lot or premises, unless the owner has obtained a kennel license from the city. This law applies to animals such as dogs, cats, and rabbits over the age of four months, but not to birds and fish. The purpose of this law is to ensure that residents do not keep an excessive number of animals that may cause a disturbance to the surrounding community. Therefore, any resident who wishes to keep more than six domestic animals must apply for a kennel license to comply with the law.

Yankton, SD

The city of Yankton has specific regulations regarding the number of domesticated animals allowed per household. According to Sec. 5-42 of the animal ordinance, residents are not allowed to possess more than three adult dogs and three adult cats in any dwelling unit. However, residents may keep kittens and puppies in excess of this number until they reach six months of age. Overall, the maximum number of domesticated animals allowed per household in Yankton is six. Additionally, Yankton residents are permitted to keep more than six fish.

Box Elder, SD

The City of Box Elder has clear guidelines in place regarding pet ownership. Single-family residences are allowed to have up to four dogs or four cats, or a combination thereof, as long as the total number does not exceed four and they are over six months old. There are no permits or licenses available for anyone who wishes to own more than the permitted number of pets. Additionally, it is important to note that it is illegal for any owner to allow a dog with destructive habits or disposition to run at large within the city.

Vermillion, SD

In Vermillion, Clay County, SD, it is considered an offense for a resident to keep more than three pets on the premises of a single residence within the city. However, exceptions are made for puppies or kittens born of a dog or cat exceeding the permissible numbers for up to 12 weeks after birth. If a resident desires to keep more than three pets, they can apply for a multiple pet permit through the Animal Control Officer, which allows them to own no more than five pets in any combination.

Brandon, SD

The City of Brandon has a strict policy on the number of pets a resident can keep on their property. It is prohibited to have more than three dogs or cats over the age of six months unless a valid kennel license is obtained from the City. However, some entities such as the City humane society, veterinarian officers, and retail pet stores are exempt from this rule. In addition, all dogs and cats over six months old must be licensed and registered to be kept within the City of Brandon.

Harrisburg, SD

Harrisburg, a city in Lincoln County, South Dakota, has enacted regulations on pet ownership and animal waste management. Residents are allowed to own up to five dogs or five cats, or a combination of both, as long as the total number does not exceed five and they are over six months old. Additionally, pet owners are required to carry a visible means of cleaning up their pet's excreta when walking them on public or private property other than their own. Failure to comply with this pooper scooper law may result in a fine of $50.


In most places in South Dakota, the number of dogs or cats that a person can own in one household is not regulated by law. However, it is recommended that you keep a manageable number of pets based on their ability to provide proper care and attention. Factors such as the size of the home, the amount of outdoor space available, and your financial resources should be considered.

As a pet owner, you should also consider the individual needs and personalities of your pets when deciding how many to keep in one household. Some pets may require more attention or space than others, and overcrowding can lead to behavioral issues and health problems. It is important to provide each pet with enough food, water, exercise, and mental stimulation to ensure their well-being.

Ultimately, the decision of how many dogs or cats to keep in one household should be based on the owner's ability to provide proper care and attention to each pet. It is important to remember that owning a pet is a big responsibility and should not be taken lightly.

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