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Animal Laws

Laws about Animals and Pets

Know your responsibilities and the laws related to pets:

  • Dogs must be on a leash when off the owner’s property except when walking in a designated off-leash area.
  • A dog owner must ensure their dog does not bite, injure, chase, threaten, bark, howl at or disturb anyone.

Barking Dogs :

Incessant barking can disturb the peace and quiet of a neighborhood. In addition, it is a violation of Douglas County Resolution 019-029

If Douglas County Animal Services has not contacted a dog owner(s) regarding nuisance barking, a Notice of Barking Dog Complaint brochure will be provided to the dog owner(s) by an Animal Law Enforcement Officer. If this step has already been completed, an officer will issue the owner a formal written warning providing the owner a final seven days to correct the problem. If the problem continues after these seven days and an additional complaint is received, Douglas County Animal Services will then contact the dog owner and issue a citation.

If a warning or citation has been issued within the previous 12 months, the officer will make contact with the owner and issue a citation for the alleged violation.

Douglas County Animal Services requires a signed statement from the complainant prior to being able to issue a formal warning or citation to a dog owner. A formal statement can either be obtained by an Animal Law Enforcement Officer in person or it can be submitted by the complainant filing an online animal complaint

If a second signed statement is provided by a complainant following the initial seven-day period from a written warning being issued to the dog owner, a Penalty Assessment can be issued. In order for a penalty assessment to be issued to the dog owner(s), Douglas County Animal Services requires that the complainant either provide 10 minutes of video or audio evidence or a witness from a separate household that is also affected by the barking to sign onto the signed complaint. 

Each violation is considered a separate offense and is subject to a separate penalty. Violations begin at $50 per animal and increase in cost for the second and subsequent violations. 

Dogs at Large :

Animals must be kept under control for their own protection and to preserve the public’s health and safety.  Dogs, found off the owner’s or keeper’s property are called “strays” and may be impounded.  The owner or keeper may also be fined.  To learn more, please read over Douglas County Resolution 019-029

Dog owners are in violation of this law if they fail to properly control or allow a dog to run at large in the county. This ordinance does not apply in designated parks where dogs are permitted to run off leash.

Violations begin at $50 per animal and increase in cost for the second and third violations. A summons for the dog owner to appear in court can also result.

Aggressive Animals :

DCAS monitors all domestic animal bite cases for Douglas County. Regardless of the extent of injuries, if the skin is broken, the bite must be reported.  Animals involved in bites to humans must undergo a 10-day quarantine. The purpose of the quarantine is to monitor the animal’s health for warning signs that the animal may be infected with the rabies virus.  Such animals may be quarantined at home or at a shelter, depending upon the situation. Please read over Douglas County Resolution 019-029 for more information.

In addition to these public health concerns, a dangerous animal presents a real public safety issue.

You can also review Colorado Revised Statute 18-9-204.5 Unlawful Ownership of a Dangerous Dog.

A person commits ownership of a dangerous dog if such person owns, possesses, harbors, keeps, has a financial property interest in, or has custody or control over a dangerous dog.

Any aggressive animal should be immediately reported to DCAS at 303-660-7529 or to 303-660-7500 after hours.