Laws & Fees

Illegal Pet Sales

Illegal Pet Sales

While we all agree puppies are cute, San Antonio has many more litters than are actually sold or given to good homes. In fact, a survey was done on the issue in the summer of 2019. More than 3000 people responded and the majority, some 80% of them in fact, strongly agreed or agreed that breeding animals for the sole purpose of selling them can lead to loose and unowned pets on our streets. Is there more that can be done? 

Animal Care Services wants to hear from you about several proposed ordinance changes based on the initial survey feedback. Give us your input by clicking the questionnaire below:

Proposed Pet Sales Law Survey

Please share the link with other residents who are interested in our City's pet laws!  Remember: City laws already require humane care for whelping mothers and their litters by mandating health requirements and local ordinance mandates litter permits and seller permits for residents interested in selling baby pets in San Antonio.

Learn more about the permit filing process here. Watch our latest commercial on unlawful pet sales here

While a litter permit ($50) must be purchased prior to a litter being born, a seller’s permit ($250) must be purchased to sell the animals in any way and the assigned permit number MUST be added on to any advertising, notices or displays for sale. Without that number, San Antonio’s animal care officers have the legal authority to not only confiscate any little ones but also their mother and require sterilization of the entire bunch. Sellers of puppies or kittens are also required to ensure the babies’ well being and needed vaccinations by giving a health guarantee to any buyers.

Some of the dogs most often offered for sale illegally are Pugs, Teacup and Applehead Chihuahuas, Malteses, Poodles, Maltipoos (Maltese-Poodle mixes), Yorkies (Yorkshire Terriers), Goldendoodles (Golden Retriever-Poodle mixes), Boxers, Labradoodles (Labrador Retriever-Poodle mixes), Rotties (Rottweilers), German Shepherds, English and French Bulldogs, Huskies, Boston Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Pitbulls (Pits, Pitties, red nose, blue nose) or other bully types. 


In an effort to fight San Antonio’s underground pet trade, it has always been ILLEGAL to sell, trade, barter or give away animals in locations including roadside, parking lots, flea markets, parks and other such outdoor public places. Check out the actual ordinance here.

A newly engaged ACS program is targeting these types of sellers and online merchants who flood Craig’s List or La Pulga with ads are not immune—required permits apply regardless of where the animal’s owner is trying to sell their pet. Violations can mean more than confiscation of the animals up for sale; citations from ACS can net hefty fines up to $300 each and state jail time for more heinous violations.

Report all illegal pet sales to 3-1-1 and be on the lookout for ACS' ads and commercials on unlawful pet sales!