Pet Ownership in Midtown Manhattan

Dog Laws You Should Know

There's more to being a responsible pet owner in Manhattan than regular visits to East Side Animal Hospital. It's also important to understand and observe New York City's dog laws. Not only will you avoid possible fines and penalties, but you'll help keep your dog safe.

There are several laws that govern pet ownership in New York City and violating them can lead to fines as large as $2,000. The most common NYC pet laws include:

Dog leash law

If you are walking a dog in a public space or adjacent to a public area, you must have your dog on a leash that is no more than six feet long.

Canine waste law

You must clean up after your dog on the street. If you fail to obey this law, you may receive a very large fine.

Rabies vaccination law

Any cat or dog you own in New York City over 3 months of age must be immunized against Rabies. If your pet has not received a Rabies shot or if you are unsure about your pet’s Rabies immunization status, please call East Side Animal Hospital in Midtown to schedule a vaccination.

Animal nuisance law

The NYC animal nuisance law is meant to protect New York residents from being unfairly disturbed by pets. Per the law, any person who owns a cat, dog or any other animal must not allow that animal to create a public nuisance in either a public place or an open area, wall, fence, window next to a public place.

Dog Licenses in Manhattan

Licensing your dog is an important part of keeping your pet, as well as your fellow Midtown residents, safe in Manhattan. In addition, licensing fees help fund New York City’s dog eLocator system, an important and useful way to reunite lost dogs with their owners. Licensing is also important for reuniting dogs with their owners in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.

According to the NYC dog license law, your dog must wear a valid metal tag displaying the license obtained from the New York City department of health at all times. New York State law requires that all dogs be licensed and the NYC Health Code §161.04 requires every dog owner to have a dog license tag attached to their dog's collar. If you violate this law, you may be fined. For more information, please click here.

To have an NYC dog license application mailed to you, please call 311 or you can download it online.

There is an additional surcharge to license any dog that has not been spayed or neutered. The City of New York strongly encouraging spaying or neutering, because it helps reduce the stray animal population and may help reduce unwanted behaviors. To have your dog spayed or neutered, please contact East Side Animal Hospital at (212) 751-5176.

How to Replace a Lost License Tag

A dog license tag may be replaced online or by sending a copy of the license certificate with a check or money order for $1.00 payable to NYC DOHMH. The mailing address is:

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Veterinary Public Health Services
P.O. Box 4768, Church Street Station
New York, NY 10261-4768

Replace a Dog License Certificate by Mail

Dog license certificates will be replaced at no charge. Requests must be made by writing to the Health Department's Dog License Unit. Requests must include owner’s name, address and dog name or license number. The mailing address is:

Veterinary Public Health Services
Dog Licensing Unit
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
125 Worth Street, CN-61
New York, NY 10013

Cat Ownership in Midtown Manhattan

While there are fewer laws in New York City that affect Manhattan cat owners, there are still some important rules designed to keep you and your cat safe and happy.

If your cat is permitted to roam outdoors, you are required to spay or neuter them. This is designed to reduce the population of feral cats. Feral cats create public nuisances and have the potential to spread illness, including Rabies.

Spaying or neutering not only ensures that your cat will not contribute to New York City's overpopulation of feral cats, but also decreases the likelihood your cat will roam far from your home, and can curb aggressive or otherwise unwanted behavior.

Additionally, all cats over 3 months of age must be immunized against Rabies. If you are unsure whether your cat has received a Rabies shot, or if you have any other cat vaccine concerns, please call East Side Animal Hospital at (212) 751-5176.

Following New York City's pet laws will save you money and most importantly protect overall canine health and feline health. After you visit our veterinary hospital in Midtown for vaccinations, and license your dog with the city, you can take him to one of Manhattan's many off-leash dog parks or "dog runs."