How Many Pets (Dogs/Cats) Can You Own in Indiana?

Two identical twins and their dogs

Passionately nicknamed "the Hoosier State", Indiana is a place renowned for its rich limestone deposits. But how many domestic pets is a person allowed to own here? This seems to be the most frequently asked question by animal lovers in the state. To begin with, there is no statewide limit on the number of pets you can own in Indiana. However, some municipalities have local ordinances imposing a limit on the number of dogs and cats you can own.

This means that the allowable number of pets you can own depends on where you reside within the Hoosier State and your local laws. For example, in Indianapolis, there currently is no limit on the number of dogs or cats you can own, although the city code prohibits animals causing a nuisance. But in the city of Huntington, known as the "Lime City," each household is restricted to no more than a total of three dogs or cats.

To determine how many pets are permitted per household in your area, check your local ordinances. Alternatively, you may contact your local animal control office or Municipal Clerk's office. In the meantime, let's look at the allowable number of pets per household in these Indiana municipalities.

Fort Wayne

If you are a dog person in Fort Wayne, IN, the number of dogs you can own is limited to FIVE. Cat people, on the other hand, may own no more than Seven cats. If you love both animals, the number of cats and dogs you can keep in any combination is limited to 7.

The city code states that you can't own more than one unsterilized dog or cat unless you obtain a kennel/cattery permit. For example, if you have five dogs, only one is allowed to stay intact. However, with a kennel/cattery permit, you can own up to three unaltered dogs or cats.


In the City of Bloomington, IN, you may own up to 4 dogs and 5 cats. A noncommercial kennel permit is required to exceed those numbers. Unless you obtain an Intact Animal Permit, you are required by law to sterilize all your dogs or cats.


The city of Elkhart's municipal code states that no person shall keep more than a total of 4 dogs and cats 6 months of age or older on any 1 parcel of real property. Nevertheless, you may own more than 4 dogs or cats over the age of 6 months if you meet certain requirements, such as having at least 1,000 additional contiguous square feet of land for each additional animal.


Each household in any residential area zone in Mishawaka, IN, is restricted to a total of three pets. For example, you may own 3 cats, 3 dogs, 2 dogs and 1 cat, or 2 cats and 1 dog. However, in no event shall the total number of such animals exceed three per household, as stated in the city's municipal code. This restriction does not apply to property of at least 14,520 square feet.


In Columbus, IN, owning five or more dogs, or cats over the age of four months is deemed a kennel. This means that the total number of dogs and cats you can own without a kennel license in the city is 4. The city's municipal code makes it unlawful to own or harbor unvaccinated dogs or cats. It also requires that all dogs and cats of any age have current and valid identification on them.

Banned or Restricted Dog Breeds in Indiana

While Indiana has no statewide Breed-specific legislation (BSL), individual municipalities are authorized to enact their own BSL. For example, the city of Greendale's municipal code declares the following dog breeds "VICIOUS:" Pit bull, Presa Canario, Rottweiler, Doberman, and Chow Chow. Consequently, owners of these breeds are required to constantly restrain their dogs.

In Gary, IN, American pit bull terriers are declared "potentially dangerous dogs." The town of Kirklin has an ordinance banning the ownership of Pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, or cross-breeds thereof. Pit Bull owners in Lake County, IN, are subject to certain mandatory requirements outlined in the County Code. In Merrillville, IN, a license is required to own an American Pit Bull Terrier.
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