Are you up on Asheville’s pet and livestock laws?


Here is information about City animal laws,
including livestock rules


If Fido is your best friend, be sure you know the rules and regulations of owning a pet in the City of Asheville. The City has regulations meant to allow you to enjoy the company of your pet while keeping your pet, and the public, safe and comfortable.


The City of Asheville’s Animal Services Team consists of three full-time officers who enforce the City’s ordinances and respond to calls of dangerous or stray animals. They respond to an average of 400 calls per month, the most common being unleashed or stray animals.


Supervisor Sue McMullen says they also spend a lot of their time educating the public. We thought we’d help out Sue and her team with these FAQs and information for pet owners or anyone considering owning a pet:


All dogs must have a dog license by the age of 6 months. These licenses renew each year on January 1. The fee is $10. Licenses may be obtained online with the City’s license processing partner, Pet Data, at The city license must be displayed on the dog at all times.

All dogs AND cats must be current with rabies vaccination. Dogs should display a current rabies tag with their license. While cats are not required to have a city license or wear a rabies tag, cat owners should be prepared to provide proof of current rabies vaccination.


Did you know that all cats and dogs over the age of 6 months old must be spayed or neutered or you must obtain an “unaltered permit” for your pet? You may obtain a permit at City Hall or the Asheville Police Department. Permit fee is $100 for the lifetime of your pet. The fine for violating this ordinance is$200.


If you enjoy walking your dog, be sure to pick up after your dog. As nature hikers would say, leave the area as you found it. If you don’t, you could be fined.


As for tethering a dog, unsupervised tethering is not allowed, even in your backyard. If your dog is on a tether or line of any kind, you must be outside with your dog and able to see the dog. To report a tethered dog without an owner in sight, please call 828-252-1110.


Leaving your dog outside for any length of time? All dogs left outside must have a shelter they can go to with at least 3 sides, a floor and roof and adequate in size to preserve the animal’s body heat and protect your pet from the elements. In addition, if your dog is a constant barker to the point of being a public nuisance, you could be fined. Asheville Animal Services Supervisor Sue McMullen says her team would issue a warning first but then citations start at $50 and go up $50 each time. To report a dog left outside without proper shelter or one that is a constant barker, please call 828-252-1110.


What should you do if an animal bites you or someone you know? If the bite breaks the skin, report the bite to the City’s Animal Services division by calling 828-252-1110. Seek medical treatment. If the animal is yours or belongs to someone you know, bring the rabies vaccination records with you. In some cases, the animal may need to be quarantined. If so, an Animal Services Officer will come and check out the animal at the end of the quarantine time to make sure it is healthy.


You love animals so much you want to surround yourself in that love with a houseful of pets? The City requires a permit for all residents who want to keep 7 or more animals. This excludes reptiles, fish and amphibians. A permit is also required to keep bees, fowl or livestock including goats, horses, ponies and exotic pets. You may obtain a permit in person at the Asheville Police Department, you may request an application by mail by calling 828-259-5872, or you may apply for one online here.


To learn more about all the animal services provided by the City, visit APD’s Animal Services webpage. The number to call is 828-252-1110.