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Animal Control Laws: Did You Know?

Submit an online Animal Control complaint here.


It is unlawful for any animal under the age of 6 months to be tied, chained or tethered outdoors. Animals over 6 months of age can be tethered providing all of the requirements of the county ordinance regarding tethering are met.

It shall be unlawful for any owner or person in possession of an animal and who confines the animal outdoors on private property to tie, chain or otherwise tether an animal that is over the age of six months except when the following conditions are met:

  • The animal is in the visual range of the responsible party or the responsible party is located outdoors with the animal;
  • The tether shall:
    • Be a minimum of 10 feet in length or at least five times the length of the animal
    • Terminate at both ends with a swivel
    • Not weigh more than 1/16 of the animal's weight
    • Be fastened on one end to an overhead pulley/running line
  • The overhead pulley/running line shall:
    • Be at least 15 feet in length
    • Be no less than 5 feet above the ground
    • Be secured on each end to a fixed location
  • The tether must be fastened on one end to a properly fitting body harness or buckle-type collar made of nylon or leather.
  • The tether shall be free from entanglement or other obstructions at all times.
  • The animal shall have access to potable water, shelter and dry ground at all times.
  • An animal shall not be tethered while sick, injured or in distress.
  • An animal shall not be tethered outside during a period of extreme weather, including, but not limited to, tornadoes, tropical storms or hurricanes.
  • Multiple animals must be tethered separately.

Sec. 10-16. - Cruelty to animals.

Rabies Vaccinations

Escambia County residents are required to have any dogs, cats and ferrets 4 months or older vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. These animals must be re-vaccinated 12 months after the initial vaccination.  Thereafter, the vaccinations shall conform to the vaccine manufacturer’s directions.

Sec. 10-8. - Vaccination of animals required

County License

Owners of all dogs, cats and ferrets are required to purchase an Escambia County animal license. Proof of rabies vaccination is required to obtain a county license. A metal numbered tag is issued with each license and must be worn by the animal at all times. County Animal license is valid for one year from date of rabies vaccination. In the event of a three-year rabies vaccination, the owner still must renew the license annually.

Sec. 10-9. - Unlicensed animals prohibited

Leash Laws

Owned animals are not permitted to roam freely on any private or public property in Escambia County without consent of the owner or lessee. The animal must be under direct control of the owner when off of the animal owner’s property.

Sec. 10-11. - Animal Control

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