City Animal Regulations
- Adoption - If an animal is not claimed within 7 days, the animal becomes available for adoption. Our adoption fee for Rio Rancho residents is $89, which includes the spay/neuter of your animal, a rabies vaccination, a microchip, and a city license. Our adoption fee for non residents is $85, which includes all of the above with the exception of the city license. If the animal has been previously spayed/neutered the fee will be either $44 for residents or $40 for non residents. There may be extra charges if additional surgery is required.
- Abandonment - Don’t abandon any animals within the City limits, as it is AGAINST THE LAW! Fines can be in excess of $500 and/or 90 days in jail! Failure to reclaim your animal(s) is also considered abandonment.
- Barking- City of Rio Rancho has an animal disturbing the peace ordinance 90.21(A)(1). It requires all owners to control their animals from excessive noise (barking, squawking, or howling) whether the owner is home or not and maintaining the animals environment as not to create a noxious or offensive odor to the inhabitants of the City.
- Bite Cases - It is required for you and the victim to report any bite of an animal that requires any vaccinations within 24 hours of the occurrence. 90.16 (A)(1) “The owner of an animal that bites a person and a person bitten by an animal have the duty to report that occurrence to an Animal Control Officer within 24 hours.”
- City Ordinances - The City of Rio Rancho has ordinances regarding animal issues. To view the City ordinances regarding animals you can view the Municipal Code and look under Title IX General Regulations, Chapter 90 - Animals. You can also call Animal Control at 505-891-7237 for any questions you may have or you can obtain a copy of the ordinance through the City Clerk's office.
- Leash Law - Restrain all animals to your property according to ordinance 90.17(A)(1). Animals that are running at large within the City will be impounded and the owner will be required to pay fees for release and subject to citations.
- Limits – You are only allowed five animals per household in any combination of dogs/cats.
- Livestock - You cannot own domestic livestock, unless your property is zoned for it. This includes, farm animals (horses, pigs, goats, sheep, cows), fowl (ducks, chickens, geese, peacocks). Ordinance 90.30
- Lost & Found - Report all lost and found animal’s within the City within 24 hours. If you find an animal, please bring it to Animal Control or your vet to check to see if the animal has been micro-chipped. Found animals that are in your possession for more than 5 days, will be considered your responsibility.
- Pet Licenses - City of Rio Ranco’s animal ordinance number 90.18(A)(1) requires you to license all cats and dogs annually. Pet licenses are $2.00 for Seniors Spay/Neutered Animals, $4.00 for Spayed/Neutered Animal, and $25.00 for Unaltered Animals.
- Rabies Shots - Vaccinate your dog, cat or ferret pets annually for rabies, as specified in ordinance 90.15 (A)(1), annually for rabies, as specified in ordinance 90.15 (A)(1).
- Strays - Animals claimed at the Rio Rancho Animal Control Facility will require the following: The owners must provide current rabies and city license. If current rabies and city license are not available during reclaim, citations could be issued. Owners must provide proof that the animal has been altered (spay/neuter/or chemical). If the animal is not altered, the owner will have three options available:
A. Sterilization Deposit of $35.00 will be paid along with other impound/board fees. This deposit is refundable, when animal has been altered within the time specified.
B. Unaltered Animal Permit of $50.00 will be paid along with other impound/board fees. “UAP” has added restrictions which must be complied.
C. Hobby Breeder Permit of $100.00 must be obtained if owner intentionally breeds more than once or violates the “UAP” Prior to approval, the owner must apply for a Conditional Use Permit through Planning and Zoning Commission, if litters are sold, a business license is also required.
- Surrendering Animals – Owners may surrender their animals, if space allows, due to illness for a fee of $30.00 per animal. The facility does not accept surrenders on the weekends due to space limitations.