While there isn’t a state-wide restriction on the number of dogs you’re allowed to keep in Colorado, most counties and cities limit each household to four adult dogs each.
All dog lovers may agree that there’s no such thing as enough dogs, but for safety and zoning reasons, many municipal governments beg to differ. Before purchasing a fourth or even a fifth dog in Colorado, you may want to find out how many dogs are too many dogs in the area you live in.
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Does Colorado have laws limiting how many dogs you can own?
While Colorado doesn’t impose any statewide limits on how many dogs you can own, each county or city has its own laws which limit how many dogs one household can home. The limits are usually dictated by local zoning codes.
Most Colorado cities and counties limit each household to four dogs over the age of four months old. Some counties, such as Arapahoe County, limit most of their residential areas to three, while other communities, such as the town of Monument, allow up to six dogs per household.
Because these laws are typically dictated by local zoning codes, applying for a kennel license won’t solve this problem. In Colorado, kennel licenses are only granted to households that fall outside of strict zoning areas that prohibit households from having more than 3-6 dogs, depending on the area.
Are there any dog breeds outlawed in Colorado?
Just like limits on the number of dogs you can own, there’s no statewide breed ban of any breed across Colorado, but it’s incredibly common for municipalities in Colorado to ban pit bull ownership within their communities.
Denverhas had a pit bull ban within its city limits for the last 30 years, but Denver residents voted to repeal this law in November 2020. Now, you’re able to keep a pit bull in Denver, but you must obtain a provisional Breed-Restricted Permit from Denver Animal Protection.
Many other municipalities in Colorado have strict breed restrictions in place against pit bulls
Several other cities also have breed restrictions in place specifically against pit bulls. Here are a few other Colorado cities that restrict pit bull ownership:
While many cities have outlawed Pit bulls, they aren’t the only breed outlawed in many Colorado cities. Louisville and Broomfield ban all wolf-dog hybrid breeds, while One Tree bans all of the following:
- Cane Corsos
- American Bulldogs
- Tosa Inus
- Presa Mallorquins
- Staffordshire Bull Terriers
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Dogo Argentinos
- Fila Brasileiros
- Canary Dogs
If you breach these bans, your dog can be impounded and you’ll have to choose between surrendering your pet or moving to an area with no bans on your dog breed.
While the state of Colorado doesn’t impose any state-wide bans on specific dog breeds, it does ban the ownership, control, or interest in a dangerous dog outright, according to Section 18-9-204.5 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.
According to the law, a dangerous dog fits one of these descriptions:
- Injures or kills a person or domestic animal
- Demonstrates tendencies that reasonably show that the dog might injure or kill a person or domestic animal
- Engages in or is trained for illegal animal fighting
What are the leash laws in Colorado?
While the state doesn’t mandate any state-wide leash laws, Colorado does require that your dog is under control at all times. Each municipality has slightly different leash laws, but nearly all municipalities require dogs to be on leashes at all times and rule that dogs are unlawfully “at large” when roaming in public without a leash.
Some municipalities, such as Arapahoe County, allow dogs to be in public without a leash, but they must be with their owner at all times, and they must respond to voice commands.
If you neglect your local leash laws, you could face serious fines depending on where you live. It’s best to check if your community has a leash law in place before letting your dog off the leash on a walk!
Penalties for breaking dog laws in Colorado
Penalties for breaking dog-related laws in Colorado are unique to the kind of law broken and the severity of the situation.
If you break a dog ban law or local leash law, you may have to pay fines specific to the municipality, and you’ll have to relocate your banned breed if you want to keep it. Penalties become more serious when your dog attacks another animal or person.
A dangerous dog attack resulting in injury to a domestic animal or a non-serious injury to a person can be punished by:
- Up to 120 days in jail
- A fine of up to $750
- Payment for doctor or vet bills, etc.
If the attack is more serious and results in a serious injury or death of another person, the offense is considered a felony. You could face up to three years in jail time and a $100,000 fine in this case. Dogs who repeatedly attack or seriously attack may be euthanized.
Dog owners aren’t liable for their dog’s attacks under these particular circumstances:
- While the victim is unlawfully on public or private property, especially if it’s marked “no trespassing” or “beware of dog”
- While the dog is being used by a peace officer or military personnel on duty
- If the victim knowingly provoked the dog
- If the victim is a veterinary health-care worker, dog groomer, humane agency staff person, professional dog handler, trainer, or dog show judge and was working when the dog attacked
- While the dog is working as a hunting dog, herding dog, farm dog, or predator control dog on the property of or under the control of the dog’s owner
Where to find affordable insurance in Colorado
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