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Ordinances & Enforcement

Aurora Ordinances for Animals

A large group of petsAnimal-related ordinances are located in Chapter 14 of the city of Aurora's Municipal Code. Here are the direct links:





To report any animal-related concerns to the Field Services Dispatch line, call 303.326.8288, option 6.

To report non-emergency animal-related concerns, call Access Aurora at 303.739.7000 or email 

Stray Dogs and Cats

Owners are responsible to keep their pets contained on their property. Animals that stray from their owner's property and are running loose are referred to as strays. These stray pets are commonly lost.

Stray Dogs - If a lost dog easily approaches you and you can safely handle the dog, you can bring the dog to the Aurora Animal Shelter (Shelter Hours and Location). However, if you are having difficulty securing the dog, believe the dog is unsafe to handle or unable to bring the dog to the shelter, please contact 303.326.8288 and one of our Animal Protection Officers will attempt to capture it. Please remember to never chase a dog as you could unintentionally chase them into oncoming traffic.

Stray Cats - A lost cat that has been found can be brought to the Aurora Animal Shelter (Shelter Hours and Location). Animal Protection Officers will not chase stray cats as they are nearly impossible to catch. For a fee humane traps may be loaned from the Aurora Animal Shelter to capture stray cats. However, please be advised that as of January 2021 the shelter no longer accepts feral cats and will not loan traps for trapping feral cats. Feral cats are wild, untamed and not used to human interaction.

Leash Law


Leashes are required for dogs whenever off their owner's property. The leash may be a maximum of 10 feet in length and must be held by someone physically capable of controlling the dog. Dogs loose in the front yard are considered at large, even if the owner is present, unless the front yard is securely fenced.

If tethered on the owner's property, the tether must be a minimum of 6 feet in length. The dog must not be able to enter upon public property, including sidewalks or the premises of another.

Leashes are not required for cats, but owners are required to prevent their cats from running at large and cats must be restrained in some manner whenever off their owner's property.  Although the ordinance does not specifically mention a leash, either a cat carrier or leash and harness is recommended. Many feline owners have kitty play pens in the backyard that allow their cat access to the outdoors while keeping it safely confined to their own property.  

Aurora Animal Services recommends all cats be kept as indoor cats with short, supervised excursions outside. Not only does this prevent your cat from running at large, but studies have shown indoor cats live significantly longer than a cat that is allowed both indoors and outdoors.

Group of Kittens

Maximum Number per Household

There is a limit on the number of pets allowed, depending on the species: 

  • 3 adult dogs - plus one litter of offspring under the age of 4 months

  • 5 adult cats - plus one litter of offspring under the age of 4 months

  • 3 ferrets - all of which must be spayed or neutered

  • 2 rabbits - both must be spayed or neutered

Removal of excrement
City ordinance requires immediate removal of excrement deposited by an animal on a street, sidewalk, play area, in a park or upon any other public property, except unlandscaped city-owned property. It must also be removed immediately from the privately owned property of others. Excrement must be disposed of in a sanitary manner and cannot be placed in storm sewers or street gutters. 

A Chicken


Aurora allows up to six hens in residential backyards of single-family properties of up to 20,000 square feet, and up to eight hens on single-family properties of more than 20,000 square feet. Roosters and hens of species other than chickens are not allowed. The ordinance requires a permit before any chickens are allowed on the property, and there are specific requirements for the chicken coop. Download a copy of the permit application form. 

More information

A barking dog

Barking Dogs

This ordinance makes it unlawful to allow a dog to bark, yelp or howl to such an extent that it disturbs neighbors or passersby. The Animal Protection Officer needs the exact address of the residence of the barking animal in order to address concerns with the owner. A general description of the vocalizing dog is also helpful. 

More information 

City Council removes dog-breed restriction

In January 2021, the Aurora City Council approved the removal of dog breed restrictions from city ordinance. This means that effective Feb. 14, 2021, residents are allowed to own American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier and Staffordshire bull terrier dogs inside city limits.


More information 

dog showing teeth

Aggressive, dangerous animals

Stories of dog attacks are frightening, but Aurora residents should know the city has a strong ordinance and effective process for dealing with these animals and their owners. The city holds owners responsible for keeping their pets well-socialized and under control at all times.

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