Current animal welfare laws

Dog enjoys time outside in the dog playyard

The following links will provide you with information on animal welfare related laws, statutes, and codes. If you have questions, please contact our Humane Investigations team.

Federal laws

Animal Welfare Act (AWA)

The Animal Welfare Act ensures that animals are provided with humane care and treatment during transportation, purchase, sale, housing, care, and handling by persons or organizations using them for research or exhibition purposes or as pets. That includes dealers who sell animals to laboratories, animal exhibitors, carriers, and intermediate handlers, dog and cat breeders, puppy mills, zoos, circuses, roadside menageries, and transporters of animals. It excludes retail pet stores, state and county fairs, livestock shows, rodeos, purebred dog and cat shows, and fairs or exhibitions intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a division of the United States Department of Agriculture, is charged with enforcing the AWA.

Minnesota companion animal statutes

Local ordinances and licensing requirements

Animal licenses and ordinances are established to protect both people and animals in your community. Requirements for keeping a companion animal differ among the various cities. Contact your local animal control or law enforcement offices to determine the guidelines that have been set for your community.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline