Pet Laws in Charlotte

Moving to a new city, county, or state usually means you’ll have to update some paperwork. Own a car? Get those tags and registrations current. Want to vote? Find your precinct and register before the election. But what about your furry friends? Don’t leave them in legal limbo. Familiarize yourself with a few local Charlotte pet laws that may pertain to your animals.

You Have How Many Pets?

According to the Mecklenburg Police Department, “If you have three or more dogs or cats (in any combination) four months of age or older frequently kept outside, you will need a permit.” The idea here is to ensure the noise and odor do not disturb your neighbors. And don’t worry, the permit application is online, costs only $40.00 and lasts as long as you don’t break its rules.



See Spot Run.

Leash Laws are very important for the safety of not only those around you, but also your pet. Charlotte takes these laws pretty seriously – violations can incur steep fines ranging from $50.00 citation for the first time offenders, and up to $500.00 and loss of your animal for the fifth violation. Don’t risk it!

Luckily, Charlotte has plenty of dog parks that offer the chance for Fido to run around free. Local favorites include Frazier Park near the Historic Wesley Heights neighborhood, Ramsey Creek Park located beside the beautiful Lake Normanand Reedy Creek Park . These parks allow dogs to run free off leashes, and even have separate areas for large and small dogs too, in case Marmaduke is scared of that little chihuahua.

Want to help support these parks? You can donate to Partners for Parks, and be sure to enter “Dog Park Fund” in the designated field.




Every dog and cat four months in age or older must receive a rabies vaccination by a licensed veterinarian. This is North Carolina Law (and also applies to ferrets within Charlotte city limits), and can incur a $50.00 fine for failure to cooperate, and a $50.00 fine for failure to display your pet’s rabies tag. Fortunately, Charlotte Animal Care & Control does offer occasional free rabies clinics. Take advantage of these events, and keep you and your pet safe!


Hide & Seek

Having your pet run away is never an easy experience. Just ask Michael Jordan’s daughter, whose dog Mila went missing for almost a week, and was later found by a family in another city. 

Social Media can be a great avenue for getting the word out, but you should also be aware of the Charlotte’s Stray Pet ShelterAnimals are held here for up to 72 hours while officers try to identify the pet (based on tags, microchips, or tattoos), and reunite them with owners. There’s even a very helpful Facebook Page for Found Pets

When you go to retrieve your pet, make sure you bring identification and follow their instructions to ensure a happy reunion.


Don’t have a pet but love animals?

Some of us aren’t lucky enough to have a furry best friend. Maybe you have allergies, or live in an apartment with a ‘No Pets’ policy. That doesn’t mean you can’t still help care for animals in need! Most local charities accept donations of all sorts – monetary, time, and supplies are all welcome. Carolina Paws, a local organization “devoted to helping abandoned and abused cats and dogs throughout the greater Charlotte area find loving homes,” makes donating even easier with an Amazon Wish List of needed supplies. How much more convenient can you get?