Pet Licenses & Permits

Dogs & Cats

All dogs and cats over six months of age that reside within the city limits of Columbus are required to be licensed. City residents may purchase their animal licenses at the Animal Control office or at the following Veterinary Clinics: Columbus Animal Hospital, Pet Care Specialists, Redstone Veterinary Hospital, and Twin Rivers Veterinary Clinic, or Paws and Claws when adopting a pet. Proof of rabies vaccinations (a rabies certificate) is required.

Exotic Animals

The City of Columbus requires an Exotic Animal Permit for wild or exotic animals. The following animals do not require a permit. If you have an animal that is not listed below, please contact Animal Control to inquire if a permit is required. Our officers will assist you with the process.


No residential property shall have more than 15 birds over six months of age at any one time.

  • Parakeet
  • Bunting (member of Finch family)
  • Canary
  • Cockatiel
  • Finch
  • Lovebird
  • Pigeon

Fowl or Poultry

No residential property shall have more than five fowl at one time.

  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Geese
  • Guinea
  • Pheasant
  • Quail
  • Turkey

Small Animals

  • Domestic Rabbit (No residential property shall have more than five rabbits)
  • Ferret (Requires a Rabies Vaccination)
  • Gerbil
  • Guinea Pig
  • Hamster
  • Hermit Crab

Wild/Exotic Animals

Shall mean any animal which is not normally considered to be a household pet or farm animal and which is potentially dangerous.

Wild animal includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Nonhuman primates.
  • Venomous cold- blooded reptiles and other cold- blooded animals that, if in contact with a human being, are capable of inflicting fatal injury to the average human being.
  • All poisonous animals.
  • Cats of the wild family including, but not limited to, bobcat, cheetah, cougar, jaguar, leopard, lion, lynx, mountain lion, panther, puma, or tiger.
  • Non-domesticated carnivores (for example, bears and wolves).
  • Crocodiles and alligators.
  • Struthie (for example, ostriches or emus).
  • Poisonous spiders or venomous or poisonous insects.
  • Proboscides or pachyderms (for example, elephants).
  • Periasodactyla (rhinoceros).
  • Artiodactyla (camel).
  • Otherwise normally wild animals (including, but not limited to, a wolverine, badger, deer, raccoon, skunk, or coyote).

Acceptable exotics include but are not limited to:

  • Large Birds over 12 inches.
  • Chinchilla
  • Rat
  • Lizards (Bearded Dragons, Chameleons, Skink, Gecko, Iguana, Etc.)
  • Salamanders
  • Snakes (Ball Pythons, Red Tailed Boas, Corn Snakes, Milk Snakes)
  • Large Tortoises
  • Hedgehogs
  • Sugar Glider
  • Tarantula

Animals not on either list must be addressed by Animal Control prior to acceptance into the City.

For additional information see the City Code.