Fort Lauderdale, FL, is an amazing place to live and work. Not only does it offer some of the best beaches in the entire United States and have an exciting and hopping nightlife, it’s a great place to raise a family, and that includes the four-legged kind. However, just like any city, Fort Lauderdale has certain laws in place regarding pets, designed to keep you and your furry family members safe. Let’s look at some of the Fort Lauderdale pet laws and resources to keep your four-legged friends safe, healthy and happy for many years to come.

Fort Lauderdale Pet Laws

Fort Lauderdale pet laws are set by Broward County, and involve a number of statutes outlined under the Broward County Code, Chapter 4, covering everything from leash laws to nuisance animals.

Leashes and Confinement

Dogs must always be restrained; that is on a leash, cord, chain or confined behind a fence. Cats are permitted to be at large, but if they become a nuisance, they can be trapped.

Nuisance Animals

Any dog or cat that becomes a nuisance on another’s property may be humanely trapped and turned over to Broward County Animal Care and Adoption


An animal picked up by Animal Care may be taken to an Animal Care or Adoption Center where it will be held for up to 72 to 120 hours as the owner is sought by officials; after this, the animal is up for adoption.

During Heat

When an animal is in heat, it must be confined in a house or building to avoid access by other animals.

Nuisance Laws

When an animal defecates in any public or private area that doesn’t belong to you, you are required to immediately clean it up. Otherwise you may be subject to penalties including fines. You may also not permit your pet to habitually howl, whine, bark at or damage someone else’s property.

Vaccinations and Registration

Every dog or cat older than four months is required to be vaccinated annually against rabies. Dogs and cats are also required to wear rabies registration tags proving this vaccination, which must be renewed every year.

Dangerous and Aggressive Animals

There are specific laws, criminal penalties and fines associated with keeping dangerous and aggressive animals, which are outlined in the county code.

Guard Animals

Only specific companies with proper licensing may sell, train, lease, rent or loan guard animals. In addition, anyone who uses a guard animal must abide by specific legal requirements.

Animal Cruelty and Abandonment

Beating, tormenting, overworking, mutilating, killing, fighting, abandoning or otherwise abusing or mistreating animals or maintaining facilities where they are mistreated is against the law.

Harboring Stray Animals

If you take in a stray, you must notify Animal Care within 48 hours. Animal Care may choose to shelter the animal and if so, you are required to surrender it.

Vehicle Laws

No animal may be left in a vehicle without proper ventilation, or in situations where they’ll be subjected to extreme heat and cold. Animal Care officers are authorized to take any and all steps to remove pets from such situations, including breaking into the car, and they are exempt from liability for doing so.

Fort Lauderdale Pet Resources

If you’re looking for pet-friendly places to go in Fort Lauderdale, you’ll be happy to know that it’s an incredibly dog-friendly city overall. There are tons of dog parks, beaches, puppy boutiques, dog spas and even sidewalk cafes that are welcoming to furry friends. There’s lots of groomers and even over 100 pet-friendly hotels in the region.

For a list of all the pet-friendly resources in Fort Lauderdale, check out the Greater Fort Lauderdale Hello Sunny page. Here are just a few:


Bru’s Room Sports Grill at Deerfield Beach

123 NE 20th Ave


America’s Backyard at Fort Lauderdale

100 SW 3rd Ave


Café La Bonne Crepe, Fort Lauderdale

815 E Las Olas Blvd


Dirty Blondes, Fort Lauderdale

229 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd


Pet Spas

Camp Canine Country Club & Spa (Cageless)

808 W. Broward Blvd, Fort Lauderdale


Java Cat & Dog Spa

3318 NE 33rd St, Fort Lauderdale


Pet Boutiques

Central Park Doggy Day Care & Retail

3045 N Dixie Hwy, Fort Lauderdale


Tea Cups Puppy Store Bakery & Boutique

5195 University drive, Davie


Parks and Recreation

Markham Park Dog Park

16001 W State Road 84, Sunrise


Canine Corner Dog Park

1101 N Federal Hwy, Pompano Beach

Fort Lauderdale Dog Beach

Located North of Sunrise Blvd


Pet Van Lines

Of course, if you’re looking to move to Fort Lauderdale, you’ll want a company that can get your pets there in comfort and safety. Pet Van Lines animal care experts bring decades of combined experience to the table in getting dogs, cats and other animals to their new forever homes in safety and security. Give us a call for more information today!

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