We know our petcentric readers are not only devout animal lovers, but also law-abiding citizens. So, just to keep you and your pets out of jail, we thought we'd make sure you're aware of some of the lesser-known laws that may still be on the books where you live or travel.

Now we didn't actually sniff around law libraries to find these! We found them in various books and web sites – and it's possible that some of them have been humorously characterized from how the law was actually written! Every city and state has their share of odd laws on their books – we're just bringing you a few that relate to your pets.

Most of these apply to dogs and cats, but since many of you may have other pets (and because laws governing other animals are so much funnier) we've provided a few of those too.

Proper Attire

Berea, OH

Any animal that goes out after dark must wear a tail light.

Creskill, NY

All cats venturing outside must wear three bells to warn birds of their approach.

French Lick Springs, IN

All black cats must wear bells on Friday the 13th.

Waterboro, ME

Dog leashes may not be over eight feet in length.

South Dakota

No horses are allowed into Fountain Inn unless they are wearing pants.

Drinking and Smoking

Chicago, IL

It is illegal to give a dog whiskey.

Zion, IL

It is illegal to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, or any other domesticated animal.

Tuscaloosa, AL

If you're in a public park you may not give any animal any alcoholic beverage or tobacco.


North Brook, IL

It's against the law for a dog to bark more than 15 minutes.

Little Rock, AR

Dogs may not bark after 6 PM.

Collingswood, NJ

Dogs are not allowed to bark or howl between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Columbus, GA

Cats are not allowed to howl after 9 p.m.

Berkley, CA

It is unlawful to whistle for your escaped pet bird before 7 a.m.

Memphis, TN

If a frog's croaking keeps you awake at night, you can have that frog arrested.



Birds have the right of way on public highways.


It is illegal to blindfold cows on public highways.

McDonald, OH

You may not march your goose down the main street.

Out on the Town

Chicago, IL

You may not take a French Poodle to the opera (no matter how well quaffed!).

Baltimore, MD

It's illegal to take a lion to the movies.

Juneau, Alaska

Animals are not allowed to enter barbershops for the practice of hairdressing.

Hartford, CT

It is illegal to educate dogs.

Wallace, ID

No person is allowed to sleep in a dog kennel.



People who make "ugly faces" at dogs may be fined and/or jailed.

International Falls, MN

Cats are forbidden from chasing dogs up telephone poles.

Reggio Emilia

If your pets share a meal, they must be given equal portions, or the owner will be fined up to €324 ($424).

Foxport, WI

Dogs are prohibited from acting as though they are “vicious animals.” This includes excessive barking, growling or making menacing gestures.

Madison, WI

Dogs are not allowed to “worry” squirrels in the public park next to the capitol.

Miami, FL

It is forbidden to imitate an animal.

Honolulu, HI

Within the limits of any public park, it is unlawful to annoy the birds.

Norfolk, VA

Spitting on a seagull is not tolerated.

Reed City, MI

If you own a cat, you may not have a pet bird. There's a $25 fine for the offense.


Dogcatchers are prohibited from bothering cats while looking for wayward dogs.


It's against the law to teach a bear to wrestle.

Leahy, WA

You may not blow your nose outdoors, as it may scare a horse and cause it to panic.

Ft. Thomas, KY

Dogs may not molest cars.

Belvedere, CA

City Council order: “No dog shall be in a public place without its master on a leash.”


Any dogs bearing tattoos must be reported to police.


Dog owners can be fined €500 ($652) if they don't walk their dog at least three times a day.

Get a Room

Ventura County, CA

Cats and dogs are not allowed to mate without a permit.


Animals must not be allowed to mate publicly within 500 yards of a tavern, school, or place of worship.

New Castle, DE

Couples are not allowed to make out, or even hold hands, while walking a dog on a leash.

Law Enforcement

Palding, OH

A police officer may bite a dog to quiet him.

Denver, CO

The dogcatcher must notify dogs of impounding by posting, for three consecutive days, a notice on a tree in the city park and along a public road running through said park.

Houston, TX

You must submit to psychoanalysis before being considered for the job of dogcatcher.

Sources: The Book of Strange and Curious Legal Oddities by Nathan Belofsky; You May Not Tie Your Alligator to a Fire Hydrant by Jeff Koon and Andy Powell; Whacky Laws, Weird Decisions & Strange Statues by Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts, K.R. Hobbi, Ted LeVallian & Marcel Theroux; Loony Laws That You Never Knew You Were Breaking by Robert Wayne Pelton; dumblaws.com; squidoo.com; dogsinthenews.com; humantimes.com; and strangefacts.com.