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This entry was published on 2022-12-23
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Animal housing
Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 26-C
* § 425. Animal housing. 1. Each licensed animal shelter shall provide
each animal in its custody or possession with a suitable primary
enclosure that meets the requirements prescribed in this section.

2. Unsupervised tethering for periods exceeding thirty minutes is

3. Animal housing shall meet the following requirements:

(a) materials used in housing construction shall be non-porous,
water-resistant, non-toxic, and able to withstand regular cleaning and

(b) drainage shall prevent accumulation of water or other liquids on
floors; and

(c) housing shall be structurally sound, in good repair and maintained
in a safe, working condition to properly confine animals, prevent
injury, keep animals safe from predation, keep other animals out, and
allow animals to remain dry and clean.

4. Wire or slat-bottom cages are prohibited unless a solid tray is
provided for the cage bottom to prevent injury to the animal.

5. Animal populations shall be segregated appropriately, in accordance
with the following requirements:

(a) dogs and cats shall be housed in separate rooms with efforts made
to minimize the exposure of cats to the barking of dogs to the extent

(b) animals of the same species shall be separated by age groups (e.g.
neonates and juveniles; adults) except that nursing animals may be
housed with their offspring;

(c) animals with known or suspected infectious diseases shall be
housed in isolation areas as prescribed in subdivision nine of section
four hundred twenty-four of this article;

(d) nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prevent the
temporary housing of animals in areas without such segregation for
medical care and in pre- and post-operative surgical areas.

6. Well-socialized, healthy animals may be housed with one or more
conspecifics. Animals housed together shall be compatible and have
similar environmental requirements. Such housing shall not allow
exposure to numerous different animals on a frequently changing basis.

7. Prior to being housed with one or more other animals the following
conditions shall apply:

(a) all animals are vaccinated and dewormed against the pathogens
specified in section four hundred twenty-nine of this article;

(b) physical examinations verifying the absence of clinical signs of
infectious diseases have been performed;

(c) surgical sterilization or housing in same-sex groupings, except
littermates under twelve weeks of age; and

(d) the animal has a collar or tag to facilitate visual
identification, unless the animal's age or condition is such that
application of visual identification is not practicable or would be
detrimental to the animal's health.

8. Animals that are poorly socialized, fearful, or aggressive towards
other animals or that are ill, injured, or within a week of whelping or
queening shall be housed individually in a suitably sized, enriched
primary enclosure.

(a) Littermates under the age of twelve weeks may be co-housed in an
isolation area if all individuals are infected with the same infectious,
contagious, parasitic or communicable disease.

(b) Dogs and cats within a week of giving birth or until separation
from the offspring shall be provided with a box with a solid floor large
enough to allow the animal to lie fully stretched on its side,
permitting all offspring to nurse and to accommodate all offspring until
weaned; and an area large enough to allow the dam or queen to leave the
whelping box.

9. Each enclosure shall clearly indicate the identities of all animals
contained within, specifying each animal's unique identifier as required
under section four hundred twenty-three of this article. Each animal
shall also be individually identified.

10. All primary enclosures shall provide sufficient space to allow
each animal, regardless of species, to:

(a) make all normal postural adjustments;

(b) fully stretch its body and have sufficient room to circle, lie
down, and stand upright without the head or tail touching the sides of
the enclosure even with the presence of water and food bowls, beds,
litter boxes, and other normal cage objects; and

(c) allow animals to sit, sleep and eat away from areas of their
enclosure where they defecate and urinate.

11. Any primary enclosure housing two or more animals shall provide
the following:

(a) sufficient space and quality of environment to allow all animals
to maintain social distances;

(b) adequate areas for hiding, resting, feeding, and elimination with
sufficient space to separate areas and the ability for all animals to
access those areas.

12. Regardless of the size of the primary enclosure, the number of
animals cohoused in a primary enclosure at one time shall not exceed the
following thresholds:

(a) twelve adult cats;

(b) two litters of kittens not to exceed ten kittens total;

(c) five adult dogs; or

(d) one litter of puppies.

13. Puppies and kittens less than sixteen weeks of age shall not be
housed in the same enclosure with adults other than their dam or queen,
or foster or surrogate dam or queen.

14. All animals housed with one or more conspecifics shall be
separated for feeding or observed at feeding times for antagonistic
interactions that pose a safety and welfare concern.

15. Animals shall not be housed outdoors for more than twelve hours
within a twenty-four-hour period, with the exception of free-roaming
cats under the care of the animal shelter.

16. Outdoor primary enclosures shall comply with all housing
requirements prescribed in this section and shall provide the following:

(a) protection from the elements at all times;

(b) adequate drainage to prevent the accumulation of excess water in
or around the enclosures;

(c) a moisture-proof, insulated shelter structure large enough to
simultaneously accommodate all animals in the enclosure, unless
immediate entry to an indoor portion of the enclosure is accessible;

(d) security from unauthorized entry of other animals into the

(e) a separate, shaded area sufficient to simultaneously accommodate
all animals, except when animals have immediate access to an indoor
portion of the enclosure;

(f) clean dry bedding at all times and a heat source when the outdoor
temperature falls below fifty degrees fahrenheit; and

(g) enclosures that allow outdoor access for cats shall be fully
enclosed to prevent escape from the enclosure.

17. For any animal in the custody or possession of any animal shelter
for fourteen days or longer, alternative housing shall be provided in
one of the following formats:

(a) enriched cages at least twice the size otherwise required for an
animal's size;

(b) foster care in a private home, office, or other suitable off-site
location; or

(c) room housing.

* NB Effective December 15, 2025