NC Animal Laws

Several NC state animal laws are listed below. There is also a publication available each year with all of the current NC animal laws. This is a great resource for rescues, humane societies, educators, animal control, local police and Sheriff’s departments. Follow this link to buy one:

* Click here to see NC County ordinances listed by County.


19A Protection of Animals

– 19A, Article 3 – NC Animal Welfare Act (AWA)
– 19A, Article 4 – Pertains to Animal Cruelty Investigators
 – 19A, Article 5 – Spay/Neuter program
 – 19A, Article 6 – Bonding Law


Cruelty to Animals:

 Article 47 – Cruelty to Animals [RTF] [PDF]


2013 Additions to Ch. 14 passed in SB 626 pertaining to dogs in hot cars:  (and see law below)


§ 14-363.3. Confinement of animals in motor vehicles.

(a) In order to protect the health and safety of an animal, any animal control officer,animal cruelty investigator appointed under G.S. 19A-45, law enforcement officer, firefighter, or rescue squad worker, who has probable cause to believe that an animal is confined in amotor vehicle under conditions that are likely to cause suffering, injury, or death to the animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or under other endangering conditions, may enter the motor vehicle by any reasonable means under the circumstances after making a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person responsible for the animal.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to the transportation of horses,cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, or other livestock.”


Chapter 52J – Animal Welfare Admin Codes (shelter rules):



Chapter 67 – Dangerous Dogs:


NCDA link to laws and inspections of shelters:


Rabies Laws: – scroll down to 130A-184 – this is where rabies laws start

* part of this law was amended with SB 626 in 2013 – – scroll down to 130A-192


NCGA website – animal bills and laws can be searched for here:


N.C. County Ordinances: