Laws & Fees

Ordinances (Laws)

Responsible Pet Ownership is governed by a framework of humane laws and policies to ensure the protection of both pets and people. The City of San Antonio Animal Care Services enforces both City (Chapter 5) and State (Health & Safety Code, Chapters 821-829) animal laws.

Chapter 5 Animal Code and community survey 

The current Chapter 5 City laws on animal-related issues can be accessed here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

The City of San Antonio is currently engaged in community meetings to discuss potential revisions to our local animal laws and updates to the 2011 ACS Strategic Plan. ACS will gather input/feedback from special interest groups, City leadership (ACS
Advisory Board and City Council), and San Antonio residents through public forums(see the schedule of dates and locations here) and on-line surveys (take your survey in English here or in Spanish here). 
Some background to consider while completing your survey:

Animal Care Services History

  • In 2004, the City euthanized 90% of animals at the Animal Care Services (ACS) Shelter.
  • In response to high euthanasia rates, ACS create a Strategic Plan in 2006 with a goal to achieve a 70% Live Release rate by 2012
  • ACS revised the strategic plan in FY 2011 to reach the 70% Live Release goal by 2015
  • The ACS strategic plan focuses on a balanced approach between safe communities and ensuring positive outcomes for all pets that enter the ACS shelter                                                                           

ACS Strategic Priorities

  • The balanced approach was implemented through the following strategic priorities:
    • Enforcement of existing laws and codes
    • Increase live placement (Live Release Rate)
    •  Controlling and reducing the stray animal population
    • Promote responsible pet ownership through education outreach and resources 

Chapter 5 of City Code Proposed Changes

  • Tightening Spay/Neuter Requirements
  • Expanding Tethering Laws
  • Strengthening Breeding and Selling Regulations
  • Revising Excess Animal and Other Animal Permits
  • Additional Restrictions for Housing of Fowl and Roosters
  • Tightening Nuisance Ordinance to be Enforceable

Animal Laws - Did You Know?

One-page flyer summarizing Important City Animal related laws (.pdf) can be accessed and printed.

Responsible Pet Ownership Courses

For more information on Responsible Pet Ownership courses, please see our partner websites below:

San Antonio Pet Trainer's Alliance (SAPTA)