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State and federal laws regulate the health and safety of pets, but most state laws apply only when the animal is within a domestic animal facility. You may check a list of US state laws by clicking here.

For more information, call 616-783-9052.

Can I bring and keep a stray pet?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the American Animal Hospital Association (AHA) and the American Humane Association (AHA) state that the law forbids animal owners from intentionally harboring or keeping wild animals or stray, abandoned, or abused pets. These animals are not capable of contributing to any health or safety hazards and are not allowed to enter an animal facility without advance veterinary approval. Keep a stray pet indoors.

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Can pets live with humans?

In order to prevent dogs from becoming pets and thereby jeopardizing the safety of others, the American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that pet owners keep dogs away from cats. Cats are known to be very difficult to train; they may not get along with other breeds or can become aggressive if they feel trapped. Additionally, cats are known to be territorial, and can make their owners miserable if they are moved from an apartment to a house. Cats should only be allowed inside when accompanied by a responsible human. Some cats are too shy to enter houses with people. You should also consult your local city, county or town council office to see if there are local ordinances that regulate the behavior of animals.

Where can I have pets in the home?

If your home is unsupervised, your pet could be harmed or end up in the care of someone else who’s a relative or friend of the family. To limit risk, pet parents should avoid keeping their pets in areas of the home that are prone to fires, like attic or basement areas and bathrooms. A backyard or patio should contain pet-free. Pets should be left outdoors only in the summer months if they are able to move around, like small ferrets, donkeys, rabbits, goats, or sheep. In addition, be sure that people and dogs have a clear view of your cat or dog, as they travel through the neighborhood in search of food. Avoid leaving pets outside if you can avoid it, like in the middle of the day when temperatures are hot.


You can ask your landlord or property manager for help with pet-free living policies and practices through the National Tenants Union. Click here for a list of local National Tenants Union offices.

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