Pets are really important to us here in Atlanta and we have a very special connection to every veterinarian in Atlanta.
Twice a year, a portion of diners’ tabs at a number of Atlanta restaurants goes toward helping homeless pets at the Atlanta Humane Society. It’s just one way that pet-owners and veterinarians in Atlanta show their love for dogs and cats.
With everything from pet-friendly patios to dedicated dog parks, Atlanta is a welcoming place for pets and pet owners. The BeltLine, a 22-mile loop of trails and parks being built along rail corridors that used to circle the city, is pet-friendly. Dog parks are located throughout Atlanta and its suburbs. Newtown Dream Dog Park in Johns Creek is one of the more elaborately appointed; it includes obstacles such as hoops and a tunnel, artificial turf, water fountains, and a hydrant with sprinklers. Piedmont Dog Park, one of five in Atlanta, includes three acres for dogs to run off-leash and concessions on weekends that include popsicles for dogs.
The city of Atlanta has a program that helps residents identify public spaces and circulate petitions for potential dog parks in their own neighborhoods.
A number of eateries have opened their patios to patrons’ pets, and some have gone a step or two further. Paolo’s Gelato in the city’s Virginia Highland area offers a soy-based, sugar-free frozen treat for pets. ParkGrounds, a café east of Downtown that serves coffee, beer, and wine, maintains its own off-leash dog park.
Dogs are allowed on leashes in all city parks, and owners are required to clean up after them. City law actually requires people to keep their dogs on a leash whenever they’re not confined to the owner’s home or fenced-in yard.
Among annual events for pet-lovers are the Atlanta Pet Expo and the Atlanta Pet Fair, both of which boast more than 100 vendors and exhibitors. Dogs get to take a dip at the Piedmont Park Aquatic Center every October when the pool closes for the season.
Pet owners in Fulton and DeKalb counties, which include Atlanta and a number of its suburbs, must register their dogs and cats. Georgia state law requires owners to vaccinate their dogs and cats for rabies through licensed veterinarians in Atlanta or around the state.
Other local laws include:
People can keep up to 10 dogs in one home. Rabbits and guinea pigs have a limit of 75. A local law specifies that city ordinances on dog ownership apply to all dogs and are not breed-specific. Pets are considered a nuisance if they bark, meow, whine or howl persistently for 20 minutes or more.
People are allowed to keep up to 25 chickens and turkeys in the city. Pot-bellied pigs are allowed as well, but people can only have one. Hoofed animals—horses, cows, sheep, and goats—are permitted but limited to five horses and cows and 10 sheep and goats. Georgia bans a number of exotic or wild pets, including hedgehogs, monkeys, alligators, cobras, and piranhas. Wolf hybrids and exotic cat hybrids are banned as pets.
Georgia lawmakers abandoned an effort in 2015 that would have barred cities from enacting breed-specific bans against pit bulls or other types of dogs. In 2016, a state law was passed that reaffirmed the right of local communities to write their own legislation regulating dangerous dogs. Atlanta does not ban pit bulls or any other breed. Nearby, Marietta bans pit bulls and Rottweilers from off-leash areas in the city. Lawrenceville requires owners to register pit bulls with the local police department. East Point requires owners of pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and German Shepherds to obtain insurance and a special registration.
For more information, visit:
Atlanta and Georgia laws