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For the complete text of the ordinances related to Animal Care and Control, please refer to Title 7 of the Municipal Code found on the City Clerk's web page. The following is a brief summary of the most frequently used sections of the ordinances.


  • City of Bloomington ordinances prescribe a general level of animal care that is required. Specifically, every owner/guardian of an animal shall see that his animal: (1) Is kept in a clean and sanitary manner so as not to be forced to stand in its own excrement; (2) has proper and adequate food, water, shelter and protection from the weather; and (3) if diseased or injured, receives necessary care to prevent suffering. Violations of this ordinance shall result in fines of $50 per offense.
  • No guardian of an animal shall abandon such animal. Violation of this ordinance results in a fine of up to $500.00 for each offense.
  • All animals, except cats which have been neutered or spayed and are wearing identification or are ear-tipped or tattooed in the case of feral cats, shall be kept under restraint. However, altered cats not kept under restraint at all times are still subject to public nuisance laws cited in Chapter 7.28. Failure to properly restrain a first time will result in fines that vary depending on whether the animal is altered and on number of offenses. Failure to do so a second time requires mandatory spaying or neutering and a microchip.
  • No dog shall be tethered more than ten continuous hours or more than twelve hours in a twenty-four hour period. A tether must be at least 10 feet long and cannot weigh more than 1/8 of the dogs body weight.
  • You are responsible for preventing your companion animal from being a public nuisance (including barking excessively, acting in an aggressive manner, destroying other people's property, and defecating on property other than the owner's ). Failure to prevent your animal from being a public nuisance will result in fines of up to $50 per offense.
  • Either an annual or a 3-year rabies vaccination is required for any companion animal three months and older. Failure to vaccinate shall result in a fine of up to $200.
  • If you are bitten by an animal you should do the following:
    1) Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water;
    2) Call or visit your physician; and
    3) Report the incident to Bloomington Animal Care and Control (812-349-3492).
  • Dogs and cats that have bitten humans are required by state law to be quarantined for 10 days from the date of the bite. Report the incident to Bloomington Animal Care and Control at 812-349-3492. In general, animals are held in quarantine at the City of Bloomington Animal Shelter. Depending on the circumstances, an Animal Control Officer may allow a quarantine to be served at a veterinarian's clinic or approved boarding kennel. If your animal bites and does NOT have a current rabies vaccination, please do NOT obtain a vaccination until after the quarantine period is over.
  • Wild animals that have bitten must be captured and sent to the State Board of Health for a rabies test. Contact the Shelter for assistance capturing a wild or feral animal.
  • Some animals that may NOT be kept as pets in Bloomington and/or Monroe County:
    • All native wildlife: amphibians, reptiles, mammals, fish, and birds.
    • "Exotic" animals such as prairie dogs, primates, wild cats, monitor lizards, anacondas, etc.
    • All crocodilians: alligators, caimans, and crocodiles.
    • Pythons of any species that can grow more than 12 feet long.