Pet Owners

RNRA is an enthusiastic supporter of responsible pet ownership and believes that pets make our neighborhood more welcoming, friendly and complete. Our Pet Owners Committee works with residents and local businesses on pet-oriented events and initiatives. If you would like to get involved, please contact us here.

Information is provided below about local dog-friendly facilities and related regulations. The Office of the City Clerk publishes a free comprehensive guide to owning a dog in the city of Chicago; to access a PDF copy, click here. For the safety, health and comfort of animals and humans alike, RNRA encourages full compliance with all applicable City and Park District rules.


For details on Chicago's Dog Friendly Areas, including locations, FAQs and participating veterinarians, please visit the Chicago Park District's page by clicking here.


Primary Ordinances

7-12-030 Animals Shall be Restrained
Each owner shall keep and maintain his animal under restraint; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to any dog being used for rescue or law enforcement work. It shall be unlawful for any owner to allow his or her animal to cross outside the property line of its owner to any extent, including reaching through, over or under a fence, or to keep or allow his or her animal to be outdoors on an unfenced portion of the owner's property, unless the animal is leashed and under the control of its owner or another responsible person; provided that any animal not secured by a leash or lead and that is outdoors on a fenced portion of the owner's property or outdoors on the premises of another person with consent of that person shall not be considered under restraint unless the fence is of sufficient height appropriate to the size of the animal to prevent the animal from jumping or reaching over the fence. In addition, it shall be an unlawful failure to restrain for an animal to attack, bite, threaten, or jump on any person without that person's consent, outside the property of the animal's owner. The provisions of this section shall be a positive duty of the owner and the offenses described herein shall be strict liability offenses.
Any owner who violates any provision of this section shall be subject to a fine of $300.00, if the violation does not result in severe injury or death to any person or damage to another person's property. If the violation results in severe injury or death to any person, the owner shall be subject to a fine of not less than $1,000.00 and not more than $10,000.00. In addition to a fine, the owner may be required to submit full restitution to the victim or may be incarcerated for a period not to exceed six months, or may be required to perform up to 100 hours of community service, or any combination thereof. If the violation results in damage to another person's property, the owner shall be subject to a fine of not less than $300.00 and not more than $1,000.00. In addition to a fine, the owner may be required to submit full restitution to the victim.

7-12-140 License Required
(a) It is the duty of the owner of each dog four months of age or older to obtain from the city a dog license for the privilege of owning such dog, unless such dog shall be temporarily within the possession of a veterinary hospital, pet shop, animal care facility, or humane society. The owner of each dog required to hold a license hereunder shall, when the dog is on the public way, either: (i) ensure the license is visible and securely attached to a collar, harness or similar device worn by the dog, or (ii) upon request by an authorized city official, make available the license for inspection. The license fee for each dog license shall be as set forth in Section 7-12-170.
(b) Upon determining that an owner has violated subsection 7-12-140(a), an authorized city official shall issue a notice of violation. The notice required by this subsection shall either be served by hand upon the person in possession of the animal at the time the violation is identified or sent by first class mail addressed to the owner at the most recent address shown on county rabies vaccination records.
(c) The penalty for any violation of subsection 7-12-140(a) shall be no less than $30.00 and no greater than $200.00. Each day that a violation continues shall be considered a separate offense to which a separate fine shall apply.
(d) The provisions of Article I of Chapter 2-14 of the code shall apply to this section.

7-12-170 License Fees
(a) A dog license may be issued for either a one-year or three-year period as limited by subsection (e) of this section. The fee shall be paid at the time of the issuance of the license and shall be as follows:

  • Male or female animals, not sterilized
    • One-Year Fee - $50.00
    • Three-Year Fee - $150.00
  • Male or female animals, sterilized
    • One-Year Fee - $5.00
    • Three-Year Fee - $15.00
7-12-420 Removal of Excrement
No person shall appear with a pet upon the public ways or within public places or upon the property of another, absent that person's consent, without some means for the removal of excrement; nor shall any person fail to remove any excrement deposited by such pet. This section shall not apply to a blind person while walking his or her guide dog.
Any person found to have been in violation of this section shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00 for each offense.