State Holding Period Laws for Impounded Companion Animals

Label code (short name, no spaces)Label descriptive nameColor (Hex code, e.g. #80BFB9)
Label-2State without a law#D8B365
Label-5State with a law#01665E
Map data: 
StateURL (relative path, e.g. /statute/name-of-page)Label code (must match Label code from Label creation table)
Alabama/statute/al-dog-consolidated-dog-laws#s3_7A_7Label-5
AlaskaLabel-2
Arizona/statute/az-dog-arizona-consolidated-dog-laws#s11_1013Label-5
ArkansasLabel-2
California/statute/ca-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s31108Label-5
Colorado/statute/co-impound-colorado-pet-animal-care-and-facilities-actLabel-5
Connecticut/statute/ct-dog-consolidated-dog-laws#s332Label-5
Delaware/statute/de-cruelty-consolidated-cruelty-statutes#s3004fLabel-5
FloridaLabel-2
Georgia/statute/ga-cruelty-chapter-11-animal-protection#s95Label-5
Hawaii/statute/hi-dog-general-dog-provisions#s8Label-5
Idaho/statute/id-dog-license-chapter-28-dogsLabel-5
Illinois/statute/il-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s510Label-5
Indiana/statute/cruelty-consolidated-cruelty-statutes#s5Label-5
Iowa/statute/ia-dog-iowa-dangerous-doggeneral-dog-laws#s37Label-5
Kansas/statute/ks-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s47_1710Label-5
Kentucky/statute/ky-impound-chapter-258-animal-control-and-protectionLabel-5
LouisianaLabel-2
Maine/statute/me-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s3913Label-5
Maryland/statute/md-cruelty-consolidated-cruelty-statutes#s617Label-5
Massachusetts/statute/ma-dog-consolidated-dog-laws#s151ALabel-5
Michigan/statute/mi-impound-chapter-287-animal-industry-use-dogs-and-cats-researchLabel-5
Minnesota/statute/mn-impound-chapter-346-animalsLabel-5
Mississippi/statute/ms-dog-licenses-chapter-53-dogs-and-rabies-controlLabel-5
Missouri/statute/mo-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s100Label-5
MontanaLabel-2
NebraskaLabel-2
NevadaLabel-2
New Hampshire/statute/nh-impound-chapter-436-diseases-domestic-animals-rabies-controlLabel-5
New Jersey/statute/nj-dog-chapter-19-dogs-taxation-and-liability-injuries-caused#s32Label-5
New MexicoLabel-2
New York/statute/ny-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s117Label-5
North Carolina/statute/nc-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s321Label-5
North DakotaLabel-2
Ohio/statute/oh-dog-chapter-955-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s16Label-5
OklahomaLabel-2
Oregon/statute/or-dog-consolidated-dog-laws#s433_385Label-5
Pennsylvania/statute/pa-dog-law-chapter-8-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s302Label-5
Rhode Island/statute/ri-impound-§-4-13-15-collaring-dogs-impoundment-and-disposition-uncollared-dogsLabel-5
South Carolina/statute/sc-dog-consolidated-dog-laws#s47_3_60Label-5
South DakotaLabel-2
Tennessee/statute/tn-rabies-chapter-8-rabies#s107Label-5
TexasLabel-2
Utah/statute/ut-impound-chapter-46-animal-welfare-act-part-1-general-provisions#s103Label-5
VermontLabel-2
Virginia/statute/va-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s6546Label-5
WashingtonLabel-2
West Virginia/statute/wv-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws#s19_20_8Label-5
WisconsinLabel-2
WyomingLabel-2

Holding period laws are state requirements that determine how long an impounded animal must be “held” by a government entity (or contracted agent) before it can be released or euthanized. Currently (2017), approximately 34 states and the District of Columbia have such laws. The laws work to give animal control, a local pound, or a contracted humane society/animal shelter the authority to impound and hold animals for a specified period so that owners can redeem their pets. Some laws apply to all domestic animals and some only apply to dogs (California and Rhode Island have separate cat holding period laws). These laws do not apply to private parties who have taken in stray animals. Owners typically have between 48-hours (Hawaii) and 10 days (Missouri) to redeem the animal before the animal can be placed for adoption, sold, or euthanized. The majority of states require a holding period of 3 to 5 days. In states with such holding laws, the decision of what happens to the animal after the holding period has expired is left solely up to the animal shelter or organization that has impounded the animal (whether the animal is to be destroyed, adopted out, or given to an animal rescue).