Animal Regulations

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The City has established regulations for keeping animals in order to minimize nuisances and disturbances, minimize the impact on the environment, and prevent cruelty to animals.

There are limits both to the type of animals that may be kept and the number of animals on any given property. The Municipal Code also defines the size of animal enclosures, where enclosures may be kept on a property and the condition they must be kept in.

Permitted Animals

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Small animals such as Hamsters, Gerbils, Mice, Reptiles, Fish, etc., that are kept in aquariums, terrariums, cages, or similar containers
  • Rabbits and similarly sized animals
  • Chickens (hens only)
  • Birds
  • Bees (up to four hives)
  • Small livestock such as sheep, goats, and swine under 120 pounds and under 20 inches tall
  • Large livestock such as cattle or horses (see space considerations below)

Prohibited Animals

  • Roosters
  • Peacocks and peahens
  • Swine over 120 pounds and 20 inches tall
  • Mink
  • Nutria
  • Foxes
  • Venomous snakes
  • Nonhuman primates and prosimians
  • Bears
  • Nondomesticated species of felines
  • Nondomesticated species of canines and their hybrids, including wolf and coyote hybrids
  • The order Crocodylia, including alligator, crocodiles, caimans and gavials

Number and Space Considerations

Dogs and Cats

  • There is no limit for altered cats kept inside
  • All dogs must be kept in a confined area or on a leash at all times
  • Unaltered cats and dogs are limited to three per household
  • Cats that are allowed outside and dogs are limited to three per household on lots under 20,000 square feet. One additional animal is allowed with each additional 5,000 square feet of lot area, up to a maximum of 20 animals.
  • Additional cats and dogs may kept over the limits noted above if a hobby kennel or hobby cattery license is obtained. Hobby kennel and hobby cattery information and requirements can be found in Sections 6.20.080 through 6.20.120 of the Shoreline Municipal Code.

Small Animals (including Chickens and Rabbits)

  • There is no limit for the number of small animals kept exclusively inside a house.
  • Chickens (hens only), rabbits, and other small animals that are kept outside are limited to any combination of six animals (e.g. 4 hens and 2 rabbits). On lots of at least one half acre, the limit is 12 per each half acre.

Birds (other than Chickens)

  • Birds must be kept in an aviary or loft that provides one-half cubic foot of space for each parakeet, canary or similarly sized birds, one cubic foot for each pigeon, small parrot or similarly sized bird, and two cubic feet for each large parrot, macaw or similarly sized bird.
  • Aviaries or lofts can not exceed 2,000 square feet in footprint.

Bees

  • Beehives are limited to four hives on sites less than 20,000 square feet.
  • Hives must be at least 25 feet from any property line. If the lot size doesn't allow for 25' per side, then the hives must be placed in the center of the widest point of the lot, so long as it is at least 50' wide.
  • Owners must register with the Washington State Department of Agriculture
  • Hives must be maintained to avoid overpopulation and swarming.

Small Livestock (Sheep, Goats, etc.)

  • The total number of outside animals is limited to three per household on lots under 20,000 square feet. One additional animal is allowed with each additional 5,000 square feet of lot area, up to a maximum of 20 animals.
  • This number includes the household's dogs and outside cats (e.g. 2 goats and 1 dog are permissible; 2 goats, 1 dog and 1 outside cat are not permissible).

Large Livestock (Cows, Horses, etc.)

  • The minimum lot area to keep large livestock is two acres. Each animal is required one-half acre dedicated to the animal's occupancy.

Exemptions

  • Service animals
  • Temporary use of animals such as goats for the purpose of vegetation management

Maintenance Standards

  • In order to prevent odor, flies, and other pests, all animal enclosures must be maintained so they are free from litter, garbage and accumulated of manure.
  • Enclosures must be large enough so that each animal has room to fully extend themselves and turn around.
  • Manure can not be allowed to accumulate on the property.