How Many Dogs Can You Have in Missouri?

While there is no state-wide limit on how many dogs you can own in Missouri, most municipalities and counties limit each household to four dogs each.
Written by Katherine Duffy
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
There is no state-wide limit on how many dogs you can own in
, but most municipalities and counties limit each household to four dogs each. 
While dogs are loving companions and important family members to dog owners across the country, there can be such a thing as too many dogs. State and local governments are responsible for keeping our communities clean and safe while allowing dog lovers to keep their furry friends. 
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Does Missouri have laws limiting how many dogs you can own? 

While Missouri has no state-wide laws governing how many dogs a person may own, many municipalities and counties impose limits on their residents according to zoning laws. Most municipalities in Missouri limit households to a maximum of four dogs each. If you also own cats, the limit is typically four animals per household. 
You can get around this limitation in certain municipalities by acquiring special permits. For example, in
St. Charles
, you may exceed the limit of four animals by obtaining a
Domestic Avocation Permit
. This special permit allows holders to keep more than four animals if 75% of homeowners within 75% of their property line are okay with it. These permit holders must have their property inspected for approval and pay $20 per year to keep their permit. 
In St. Louis, you can exceed the city’s limit of four animals if you obtain a non-commercial kennel permit. You must apply directly to the
Missouri Department of Agriculture
to get this kind of permit. 

Are there any dog breeds outlawed in Missouri? 

There is no state-wide legislature that bans or limits certain dog breeds, but many Missouri communities have breed-specific legislature that mainly targets pit bulls. In most cases, pit bull ownership is banned, but in some communities, such as
Kansas City
, pit bulls are deemed dangerous and owners must take extra precautions, such as neutering or spaying their dog. 
There’s also no state-wide legislature surrounding potentially dangerous dogs, but Missouri does have a state-wide Dog Bite Law. According to Missouri’s Dog Bite Law, a dog owner is liable for the victim’s injuries if: 
  • The injury was the result of the dog bite
  • The injured person was on public property or was lawfully on private property
  • The injured person did not provoke the dog to bite
The owner must pay a $1000 fine for the attack as well as cover any medical bills the victim incurred from the attack. 

What are the leash laws in Missouri? 

Missouri does have a state-wide State Lands Leash Law, which mandates that dogs must be kept on leashes no longer than 10 feet when they’re in state parks or state historic sites. 
Most Missouri municipalities also have local leash laws. For example, Jefferson County does not allow dogs to run at large and requires dogs to be physically restrained on a leash any time they’re in public with their owner. 
Cities such as
Saint Charles
, and St. Louis also require dogs to be on a leash when in public. Dogs can be off-leash at designated dog parks, but owners must be responsible for keeping them in control at all times. 

Penalties for breaking dog laws in Missouri 

As mentioned before, Missouri has a strictly-liable, state-wide Dog Bite Law that requires a dog owner to pay a fine of $1000 if the attack fits certain parameters. Owners can be held liable for injury-related bills as well, such as medical bills. 
Municipalities may fine dog owners for breaking leash laws, especially if their dog causes injuries to others, car accidents, or other dangerous interruptions within the community. Fines are specific to each municipality. Always check your local leash laws before letting your dog off the leash in public! 

Where to find affordable insurance in Missouri

Your chihuahua might be an effective alarm system for mysterious delivery men and shady passers-by, but to keep your home fully protected, you still need a solid
homeowners insurance
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