Laws & Fees

Pet Sales In S.A.

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.

In fact, City leaders recently approved a new law that bans retail pet sales in San Antonio in an effort to stop inhumane puppy mills from bringing mistreated or ill pets into the community. Instead, pet stores will be required to work with local shelters and approved rescues to get their dogs and cats.

As with any new law, you may have questions about what this means and how this will work for area pet stores, the community and would be pet parents. This fact sheet details the facts vs. fiction behind some things you may have heard about the new ordinance which goes into effect January 1, 2021.  

The ordinance itself is available for review.

Remember: City laws already includes care requirements and permits for residents who choose to breed and/or sell puppies. This includes humane care for whelping mothers and their litters by mandating health requirements and mandated litter permits and seller permits for residents interested in selling baby pets in San Antonio.

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 (this includes online markets like Facebook and La Pulga), 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.

What About Selling in Public?

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.

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 or inhumane pet sales to 3-1-1Some 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.