We’ve all heard about the old laws that are still on the books in some cities and some of them are pretty far out there. In some cities, you can be fined for spitting on the sidewalk or jaywalking across the road. There are thousands if not more, of these outdated laws, but the most ridiculous we’ve seen are the ones pertaining to dogs. Here are 20 of the most bizarre dog laws still on the books today throughout the world.
1. It’s illegal to give a dog a lit cigar in Zion, Illinois
While we agree that this probably isn’t a good thing to do, it makes sense that smoking isn’t good for people and it certainly couldn’t be for dogs either. This raises the question, who would give a dog a lit cigar anyway? We’re assuming that it must have happened at some point and the town rallied behind the local dogs to save them from pet owners who probably thought the act was funny. It also could have been a publicity stunt. We’re not sure what prompted the legislation behind it, but it is a law that is still on the books. By the way, there is an additional law attached that forbids any person to give a dog whiskey. This is also illegal in Zion. There are quite a few laws on the books in this state that are designed to protect dogs and other pets from mistreatment.
2. Dogs and cats are not allowed to fight in Barber, North Carolina
This is another bizarre law that we discovered in Barber, North Carolina. It is actually against the law for dogs and cats to fight in this city. If your cat beats up a dog, you could be issued a citation and vice versa. This crazy law is one way that litigious dog and cat owners could take their neighbors to court, even if there are no damages. Since the wording of the law doesn’t make it clear as to what precisely constitutes fighting, we’re left wondering if the dog and cat actually need to resort to violence or if a growling and hissing match would be considered verbal assault? How can you tell which one instigate the fight? We’re wondering just how many pet owners have been in court debating that one. One final question on the topic is what happens when a dog and cat who are both strays are caught fighting in an alley?
3. It’s illegal for dogs to bark after 6 p.m. in Little Rock, Arkansas
Now this is one for the record books. The law reads, “dogs may not bark after 6:00 p.m.” Okay, so if it’s illegal for them to bark in the evening, what are the consequences then? All dogs should get their barking done from sunrise to 5:59 p.m. or their owners could get into trouble. It seems that six o clock is the magical time when all barking must cease or the offenders will be held liable. It’s understandable to require owners to attend to noisy dogs when the neighbors are trying to sleep, but isn’t six a little early?
4. It’s illegal to make faces at a dog in Oklahoma
This very unusual law states the “people who make ugly faces at dogs may be fined or jailed.” We know that laws are not created just for the fun of it. Although there is no reason cited for the legislation behind this law, we must assume that something extreme must have gone on to prompt the discussion that started the writing of this law. This leads us to believe that someone must have been severely antagonizing a dog by making faces at it. So, does this include little kids who stick their tongues out at a mean dog? We’re not sure how far the law extends or if it is still being enforced.It is plain to see that Oklahoma is pro dog and they are all about making sure that no animal is abused physically or emotionally. Hey, we don’t have a problem with this one. If you’re making ugly faces at your dog, maybe it’s time to talk to a professional.
5. In Connecticut, any dogs with tattoos must be reported to the Police
How many dogs go into the tattoo parlor to get a tat of their mom? All joking aside, some pet owners have their dogs tattooed to prove ownership. This could be on the tongue or on any other part of the body. There are a few reasons why this law may have been enacted. The police could have been looking for a certain dog, or it could be that people were having their dogs tattooed for other reasons, which would be considered inhumane treatment. It doesn’t say if there will be consequences or not, just that they must be reported.The most common sense explanation for this is that tattooing is an excellent way of ensuring that lost dogs are easier to return to their owners. In this case, kudos to the police department for taking an active interest in the well being of the canines in their jurisdiction.
6. In Palding, Ohio, it is legal for the cops to bite a dog
Here is another strange dog law. It’s perfectly legal for a police officer to bite a dog to quiet him. It could be that this technique is effective for quieting service dogs and that is why the law was placed on the books. While it may seem cruel to actually bite a dog, under certain circumstances, the barking could cause serious consequences. We’re hard pressed to find any other plausible reason for such a law to be drafted. We’re hoping that there aren’t a lot of police officers biting the ears of dogs in Palding.In a side note, it’s only legal for them to bite the dogs’ ears when it is in the line of duty.
7. You can’t sleep in your dog’s bed in Wallace, Idaho
A weird dog law that relates to people is on the books in Wallace, Idaho. It reads “No person is allowed to sleep in a dog kennel.” This means that if a person is caught sleeping in a dog kennel, they are breaking the law. We can’t imagine why anyone would want to trade places with Fido, but he can sleep in your bed, you just can’t sleep in his.This could be an effort to maintain health and safety standards with the rising number of homeless persons in society.
8. Chicago, Illinois has banned French poodles from the opera
This is a law that we certainly can understand. It’s probably still a good law to keep on the books, but unless you understand the history, it may seem like a truly bizarre law. In years gone by, it was the habit of ladies from high society to pamper their French poodles and spoil them rotten. It was in vogue to take their dogs along with them to the opera. As you can imagine, having a pooch, or several of them at such a public event could result in a number of different problems, not to mention, issues for people with allergies, or the need to clean up after pet accidents.There are some very good reasons for the ban, and public health and safety are at the top of the list. Secondarily, it’s tough to enjoy the show when there are dogs yapping incessantly behind you.
9. It’s illegal to have more than one dog in China
Well, if there is a limit on the number of children you can bear, it’s only fair to extend the law to dogs as well. Each family within the country is held to this strict limit. This is one heck of a way to encourage pet owners to spay and neuter their dogs to avoid breaking the law on many counts by having a litter of puppies. In all fairness, China has had an ongoing problem with overpopulation of people and if every family had multiple dogs in their homes, they would also have an excessive number of animals as well.
10. The breeds you can own are limited in China
There is another bizarre dog law in China. It states that all dogs owned by private citizens “must be under fourteen inches of height.” There are a lot of dog breeds, some native to the country of China that are not legal for people to own when they live in the country. We’re assuming that this law also has something to do with the limited resources that are available in China which include living space. Larger dog breeds would definitely take up more space in an already small home.
11. It’s illegal to not walk your dog in Turin, Italy
Here is another truly weird law that is actually very good for dogs, in Italy. If you live in the city of Turin, you must walk your dog a minimum of three times a day or you could be fined a sizeable amount. This truly amounts to a lot of walking and it would definitely help both pets and owners to get some amazing exercise, but it wouldn’t work out very well for owners who are not physically able to walk their dogs.This is a law that discourages many would be dog owners from taking on the responsibility. Not everybody can commit to taking the time to walk their dogs more than three times every day of the week. Not everyone can afford dog walking services.
12. Rome is no exception to the walk three times a day rule
In the city of Rome, Italy, dog owners who fail to walk their dogs three times a day or more are subject to a fine of $650. This isn’t chump change and over a year’s time, the fines could add up to a sizeable amount. In Italy, it is clear to see that the country takes charges of pet neglect very seriously. We’re wondering if the law applies to small puppies and dogs who have health problems as well?
13. Public dog walking is illegal in Saudi Arabia
The Saudi’s are just the opposite of the Romans. If you’re caught walking a dog in public, you’re breaking the law. If you own a work dog, they do make exceptions. Dogs are almost totally banned in the country, but they do allow only dogs who serve as guards, hunters or service dogs for the blind. There aren’t a lot of pet dogs in this region because it is not dog friendly. Visitors are also expected to comply with these rules so it isn’t a good idea to take your pet along with you when you go.
14. Small dogs are taxed in Germany
This is another extremely weird dog law. In Germany, any dog that weighs under ten pounds is taxed at the same rate that a rodent is. This is a monthly pet tax that is enforced for all pet owners. The small pet dog tax, along with the rodent tax is one third the amount of a larger dog. Germany is one of the few countries that still require all pet owners to pay an additional fee in the form of taxation just for the privilege of ownership.
15. You must take classes to own a dog in Switzerland
This is a somewhat bizarre dog law, but it’s good for the canines. Before you can own a dog in Switzerland, you must take a practical dog training class and pass a test. This is just for previous dog owners. If you’re a first -time dog owner, you must take a theoretical class in addition to the practical training class. While these laws may seem way over the top for people who live in America, we do see how it could cut down on the number of dogs who are neglected or abused by their owners. This is a problem that is rampant throughout the world. It’s particularly problematic in countries that have lax laws for animal protection. The classes are designed to ensure that potential pet owners understand fully how to properly care for their pets, and how to train them to behave appropriately.
16. It’s illegal for cab drivers in the UK to transport a rabid dog
We can’t imagine what would possess a cabbie to place a rabid dog in his taxi to begin with, but it’s true. This law is on the record books in the United Kingdom. All cab drivers are placed on notice. We’re wondering if they would still get in trouble if they didn’t know that the dog was rabid? Such a bizarre law would make anyone question what event happened prior to the legislation of the rule. Perhaps there was an incident that involved the transport of a rabid dog and it resulted in harm to humans. We’re not sure about this one, but one would think that common sense would prevail and discourage anyone from doing this, even if it was not a law.
17. No mating near churches or schools in California
Here’s another really good law. In the state of California, no animals are allowed to mate within five hundred yards of a school or church. We hope that all of the dogs and cats in the neighborhood have been informed. While it’s not something that anyone particularly wants to watch, it does happen from time to time. The law does make people want to be a little more aware of the whereabouts of their animals though. Who really wants to get out after a rough day at elementary school and see two dogs making public spectacles of themselves?
18. No illegal assembly in Oklahoma
There is a law in Oklahoma that states that “dogs may not congregate in groups of three or more on private property unless they have a permit signed by the mayor.” While we can assume what the intention of this law is, the wording does leave a bit to be desired. It could just as easily be interpreted as the dogs must first ask the mayor to issue them a permit before they can have the guys over for a party. It really sounds like a kennel law that prohibits the dog owners from having three or more dogs on their property without a kennel license, but it isn’t worded that way.
19. Don’t tie your dog to the car roof in Anchorage
This is another weird dog law. It states that “you cannot tie your pet dog to the roof of a car in Anchorage, Alaska.” You mean that somebody has already done this? We could more easily envision them tying a dog to the bumper, but the roof? Either way, it’s not a good idea.
20. It’s illegal for cats to chase dogs up a telephone pole
This is not a practical joke. There is a law in International Falls, Minnesota that reads, “cats are not permitted to chase dogs up telephone poles.” We think that something may have gotten turned around before this law made it to the books. Aren’t dogs usually the ones chasing cats up telephone poles?