City Rules and Regulations

Dog Licenses

Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 140, Sections 137 and 141, and City Ordinance 10-1.9C mandate that every dog owner must obtain a license for their pet each year. Proof of rabies vaccination is required to purchase a license and puppies upon reaching six months of age are required to be vaccinated and licensed accordingly. Unlicensed dog owners may be cited for violation of city and state dog licensing laws (16-1.9D) in the amount of $50.00.

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Spaying & Neuturing Your Pets

It's good for you...

Spayed and neutered pets are better, more affectionate companions.

Spaying a female dog or cat eliminates its heat cycle. Female dogs go into heat twice a year, lasting anywhere from three to fifteen days. During this time dogs are known to show nervous behavior and attract unwanted male animals.

Owners of spayed and neutered dogs receive a discount on their license fee.

It's good for your pet...

Spayed and neutered dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.

Neutered animals are less likely to roam or fight.

It's good for the community...

As responsible pet owners, as well as a caring and concerned citizen, prevent a litter by having your pet spayed or neutered.

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering »

Leash Laws

An essential rule to be followed by all responsible dog owners:

  • When your dog is off your property, it must be on a leash. The purpose of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 140, Section 173 and City Ordinance 16-1.9 is intended to protect people from free roaming dogs.

    Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 140, Section 173 »
    City Ordinance Section 16-1.9 »

  • When not confined to your property either inside the house or in secured fenced yard, your dog must be under control. A responsible dog owner does not allow their pet to be a menace to their neighbors, chasing cars and children, getting into trash, not to mention soiling their neighbor's yards.

  • While enjoying our city's parks with our pets the same rules apply. We must respect the rights of those with whom we share the city's parks in order to ensure a clean and safe environment.

Dog Fouling

The City of Boston's Dog Fouling Ordinance, Section 16-1.10A of the City Code, requires dog owners to remove and properly dispose of any feces left by their dogs. This ordinance covers waste left by your dog on sidewalks, streets and parks, and on your neighbor's yards.

City Ordinance Section 16-1.10A »

When walking your dog, the law necessitates you to be prepared for such occurrences and be equipped with a bag or some other means of feces removal. After it is removed, it is important to dispose of the feces properly, either in a toilet or in a trash container (after being secured in a plastic bag).

These laws are intended to protect the public from potential hazardous health conditions, and prevent environmental pollution caused by dog waste.


  • 2016 Dog Licensing & Low-Cost Rabies Vaccine Clinics

    It's that time of year again! The 2016 Schedule of area low-cost rabies vaccine clinics as well as dog licensing information is now available.

    2016 Clinic Flyer

Video & Multimedia

  • Tails of Boston-Summer Pet Care Tips

    Summer Pet Care Tips with Dr. Motamed.

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  • Tails of Boston-Winter Pet Care Tips

    Winter Pet Care Tips with Dr. Motamed.

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  • Tails of Boston-Holiday Pet Safety Tips

    Holiday Pet Care Tips with Dr. Motamed.

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  • Tails of Boston-Getting Your Pets Ready for the New Baby

    Learn tips on how to prepare with Dr. Stephanie Schwartz, Veterinary Behavior Consultant.

    Watch Video

  • Tails of Boston-Pet Grooming

    Learn how to groom pets, brush teeth, and clip nails with Dr. Motamed.

    Watch Video

  • Tails of Boston-Hawks

    Learn about hawks with Dr. Marla Issac, hertpetologist.

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