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Weird Animal-Related Laws In The U.S.
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Weird Animal-Related Laws In The U.S.

Critter Culture Staff

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Did you know it's estimated that 66% of households in the United States owns a pet? Beneath the surface of our affectionate bond with these furry, feathered, and sometimes scaly friends lies a collection of peculiar and often hilarious pet-related laws scattered across the United States.

From felines forbidden to chase dogs up telephone poles to the prohibition of waking up sleeping bears for snapshots, these unusual regulations add a touch of eccentricity to the already diverse landscape of pet ownership. So fasten your seatbelts, but only if you don't have an alligator in the backseat!

1

Cats may not chase dogs up telephone poles in Minnesota

In International Falls, Minnesota, a rather peculiar law has found its way into the books. According to local regulations, cats are strictly prohibited from chasing dogs up telephone poles. This quirky law seems to have been put in place to ensure the safety of both cats and dogs, preventing any potential accidents or harm from such a pursuit.

beautiful fluffy cat playing and trying to climb on a wooden post in the spring outside in the Sunny garden Nataba / Getty Images

2

Tigers are not permitted in apartment buildings...anywhere

While it might seem absurd to need this law, tigers are large and dangerous wild animals. Though we're definitely curious why it was deemed necessary, it's safe to say this law is crucial for public safety and ensures that potentially dangerous exotic animals are not kept in urban residential areas. But...how often is it enforced?

The tiger rests on the bed. jenyhanter / Getty Images

3

You may not disrobe in front of your dog in Ohio

In Ohio, it is illegal to disrobe in front of a pet dog. The reasoning behind this law might be to maintain public decency and privacy, but it's unclear why it specifically mentions dogs. One plausible explanation could be that dogs, being loyal and perceptive animals, might become uncomfortable or disturbed by such behavior.

However, this law could also be a lighthearted nod to the strong bond between humans and their canine companions, acknowledging the need for respectful boundaries in our relationships with pets.

Beautiful morning with my dog supersizer / Getty Images

4

Pets may not be blindfolded in the car in Alabama

In Alabama, it is illegal to drive a car with a blindfolded pet. This law seems to be a common-sense safety measure, as driving with impaired visibility due to a blindfolded pet would be hazardous for both the animal and the driver. Additionally, a blindfolded pet might become frightened or anxious, leading to unpredictable behavior that could result in accidents.

cute small jack russell dog in a car wearing a safe harness and seat belt. Ready to travel. Traveling with pets concept Eva Blanco / Getty Images

5

No gorillas in the backseat in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, the law that prohibits gorillas from being in the backseat of cars might seem amusingly absurd at first glance. However, it serves as a testament to the variety of peculiar laws that can find their way into the legal codes over time. While it is highly unlikely that people would transport gorillas in their cars within the state, the law likely stems from a more practical consideration: the need to prevent dangerous or reckless behavior involving wild animals.

Young woman sitting in car with a gorilla Chris Tobin / Getty Images

6

Dogs may not be educated in Connecticut

In Hartford, Connecticut, it is illegal to educate dogs. This odd law likely stems from a misunderstanding or misinterpretation, as it would be challenging to prohibit educating dogs, especially considering the various training classes and programs available for pets.

The intention behind the law remains unclear, but it might have been originally enacted to address concerns related to certain forms of training that were deemed harmful or abusive.

Sadeugra / Getty Images

7

Get your cat a tail-light in Kansas

In states like Illinois and Kansas, if you own a cat, it must have a tail light. This law is undoubtedly outdated and was likely intended to be humorous, playing on the idea of treating pets like vehicles. While it's doubtful that pet cats were ever adorned with literal tail lights, this quirky ordinance might have arisen from a desire to promote the safety of outdoor cats during nighttime hours.

Similar to how vehicles require lights to be visible on roads, the intention could have been to encourage cat owners to ensure their feline friends are visible to motorists to prevent accidental collisions.

Woman and cat on sunset hocus-focus / Getty Images

8

Do not make faces at dogs in Oklahoma

The law in Oklahoma that imposes fines or potential jail time for making ugly faces at dogs may seem unusual or comical at first glance, but it likely has its roots in animal welfare and a desire to discourage cruel or harmful behavior towards animals. While dogs may not comprehend human expressions in the same way we do, they are perceptive animals and can sense emotions through body language and facial cues.

Making aggressive or threatening facial expressions, commonly referred to as "ugly faces," might cause fear, anxiety, or distress in dogs, even if unintentional.

Woman Training Her Pet Golden Retriever RyanJLane / Getty Images

9

Canaries must stay lost until after 7 AM in California

In California, it is illegal to whistle for your lost canary before 7:00 AM. This peculiar law appears to address potential noise disturbances during the early morning hours. Canaries are known for their melodious songs, and while their chirping may be delightful to some, it could be bothersome to others in the early hours.

While this law might be more of a playful local ordinance than strictly enforced, it reflects consideration for the peace and quiet of neighborhoods during certain hours of the day.

Guy whistling South_agency / Getty Images

10

Dogs must receive permission to get dentures Vermont

In Vermont, it is illegal for dogs to wear false teeth without a permit. This odd law may have been enacted as a humorous way to emphasize the importance of responsible pet ownership and to discourage any unnecessary or potentially harmful modifications to pets.

Close up black nose of Welsh Corgi Pembrok dog. in sunny day. Beautiful comic animal. Concept of veterinary dental care. Ekaterina Zaitseva / Getty Images

11

No camels on the highway in Nevada

In Nevada, the law that prohibits driving camels on the highway may seem strange, considering that camels are not native to the state and their presence on the roads would be highly unusual. However, this law is likely rooted in historical context and reflects the influence of the Wild West era.

Camel crossing the road pawopa3336 / Getty Images

12

Pets may not smoke cigars in Idaho

In Idaho, the law that prohibits giving pets a lighted cigar might seem humorous, but it reflects the state's commitment to promoting responsible pet ownership and protecting animals from harm. While it's highly unlikely that many people would consider giving their pets cigars, this law serves as a lighthearted reminder that animals should be treated with care and respect.

cat by cigarette Serkan Toröz / Getty Images

13

No tying pets to trees in Washington

In Washington state, the law that prohibits attaching vending machines to trees extends to pets and highlights the state's commitment to preserving the natural environment and protecting its trees. While the original intention of this law might have been to prevent damage to trees caused by attaching structures like vending machines, the extension to pets adds a touch of humor to the regulation.

Dog tied to tree with its bowl of food or water next to it looking at camera Jon Vallejo / Getty Images

14

Pay to park your elephant in Florida

The law in Florida that prohibits tying an elephant to a parking meter without paying the parking fee is an amusing and quirky piece of legislation. While elephants are not typical pets, and the scenario of tying an elephant to a parking meter is highly improbable, the law likely serves a dual purpose: to entertain and to draw attention to parking regulations.

Elephant in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand chuchart duangdaw / Getty Images

15

No horse races on the highway in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, you can't race horses on a public highway. While horse racing is a popular and regulated sport, the law specifies that it cannot take place on public roads. This prohibition aims to maintain traffic safety and protect both horses and motorists from potential accidents or hazards associated with high-speed horse racing on public thoroughfares.

Horse racing themed photograph. Horses running on the race track. Wirestock / Getty Images

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