Kentucky Animal Laws

These laws have been gathered to help anyone that might have a question concerning animal laws. We are not lawyers or legal representatives. These are not intended to supply anyone with legal advice. These are just to be used as general reference. With any legal questions, you should always consult an attorney.

  • Pet Collar & Tags – All owned dogs are to have a collar with two tags: a rabies tag, and a dog license tag.
  • Defense Against Animals – Any person may kill or seize any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing or wounding any livestock, or wounding or killing poultry, or attacking human beings, whether or not such dog bears the license tag required by the provisions of this chapter. There shall be no liability on such person in damages or otherwise for killing, injuring from an attempt to kill, or for seizing the dog.
  • Animal Bites – If you, your spouse, or children are bitten by any animal you must report it to local authorities. (Animal Control and the Health Department.)
  • Leash Law – Keep your dog confined at all times. If your dog is running at large you are liable for all of his actions. The only dogs exempt from this law are hunting dogs.
  • If you feed it, you own it – If a stray dog wanders to your house, and you feed it, you own it.  It’s not fair, but it’s the law.
  • Heat Law – If you own a female dog, you can not leave her unattended while she is in heat. Chaining her up outside is not good enough. She has to be kept up and away from all dogs other than your own.
  • Abandonment – It is against the law to abandon an animal. It is against the law to leave an animal when you move.  This is a serious offense. If caught, you could face a ticket, court, large fine, and possibly jail time.
  • Neglect – You are required by law to provide food, water, shelter, and medical care for your pets. If not, you could face a ticket, court, fine, and possibly jail time.
  • Animal Cruelty – Fighting animals, beating animals, mutilating animals, torturing animals, poisoning animals, or allowing an animal to suffer are all considered animal cruelty.  Animal Cruelty is now considered a felony.  If caught, you can be fined thousands of dollars and sentenced for up to five years in prison.
  • County Responsibility – The fiscal court of each county shall employ a dog warden, and establish and maintain a dog pound as a means of facilitating and administration of this chapter.

Source: Kentucky Revised Statutes