Animals in Parks - Rules & Regulations

San Mateo Municipal Code

Chapter 8.04: Animal Care and Keeping

8.04.010 ABUSE -- NEGLECT. It is unlawful for any person to abuse, misuse, beat, torture, or maltreat any animal, or for the owner or person having custody of any animal to deprive such animal of proper food, water, care and attention. (Prior code § 64.30).

8.04.020 ANIMALS AND FOWL PROHIBITED. No person in the city shall keep or permit to be kept on premises owned, occupied, or controlled by him any swine, cows, bulls, calves, sheep, goats, horses, mules, jacks, jennies, peafowl, roosters over four months, or other animals which are exotic or wild, except nonpoisonous reptiles. With a special permit approval from the board of zoning adjustments, the above animals may be kept in an A zone two hundred feet from any property line. (Ordinance 1982-1 § 4, 1982: prior code § 64.50).

8.04.030 KEEPING DOGS OR CATS -- NUMBER. No person shall keep or maintain more than two dogs or more than four cats over three months in age upon the premises within the city; provided, that this provision shall not apply in respect to the operation of boarding kennels and animal hospitals otherwise permitted by this code.

When necessary for security reasons, up to two watch dogs may be kept on any commercial use property. Watch dogs must be kept in a manner approved by the department of animal control of San Mateo County, must be licensed and must be registered with the city police department.

If CC&R's for any property are more restrictive than those restrictions stated in this section, the more restrictive conditions shall apply.

The keeping of dogs or the keeping of cats in violation of this section is a public nuisance and each animal control officer is authorized and directed to abate such nuisance by impounding all dogs or cats not permitted by the provisions hereof. (Ordinance 1982-1 § 5, 1982: Ordinance 1971-43 § 1, 1972: prior code § 364.52).

8.04.040 CANINE FECES. It shall be unlawful for any person owning or having control or custody of any dog:

(a) To permit or allow the dog to defecate upon the public property of the city or upon the private property of another person without the consent of the occupant or owner of that property unless the owner or the person having control or custody of the dog immediately removes the feces and properly disposes of it;

(b) To walk a dog on public property of the city or upon the private property of a person without carrying at all times a suitable container or other suitable instrument for the removal and disposal of canine feces; or

(c) To fail to dispose of the container of the feces in a sanitary manner. (Ordinance 1983-7 § 1, 1983).


No owner or possessor of any animal shall cause or permit it to do any of the following:

(a) To be upon any public street, sidewalk, park, school ground, any public property, or upon any unenclosed premises in this jurisdiction unless the animal is properly licensed, if such licensing is necessary here under, and under the control of the owner by being saddled, harnessed, haltered, or leashed by a substantial chain, lead rope, or leash, which chain, lead rope, or leash shall be continuously held by some competent person capable of controlling such animal.

(b) To trespass upon any private property without the consent of the owner thereof, and to knowingly permit the animal to remain upon the property or to habitually continue to trespass thereon.

(c) To suffer or permit such animal to habitually bark or meow or act in such a manner as to continuously disturb the peace of any citizen or to be a public nuisance.

(d) To be without proper and adequate food, water, shelter, care, and attention as described in section 597(f) of the Penal Code.

(e) Subsection (a) of this section shall not be applicable to cats.