Pets and Animals

Understand the responsibilities of pet owners, regulations about dogs in public places, and dogs considered potentially dangerous in Colombia...

According to Colombian regulations, a pet (mascota) is any domestic animal that does not violate any laws relating to wild life or exotic animals. Failure to comply with this law will result in the animals being taken away by the relevant authorities, and severe fines being imposed. Neighbors can file a complaint if they consider that an animal is not being looked after, or is being left alone for long periods of time.

Dogs in Public Places

Outside the home, in public spaces and on public transport where animals are permitted, dogs must be kept on a leash and if the dog is considered potentially dangerous it must be muzzled. Dog owners may be fined, and the dog may even be taken away from the owner if these rules are not complied with.

Picking up dog droppings is mandatory and not doing so can result in a fine.

Dangerous Dogs

Owners of dogs that are considered potentially dangerous are responsible for any injuries, damages or nuisances they may cause to other people, public property and the environment in general. Minors may not be be registered as the owners of these dogs.

If a potentially dangerous dog attacks another pet, its owner will be fined by the authorities up to the amount of two months’ minimum wages, in addition to being required to pay for any costs incurred. If more than one incident occurs, the dog will be taken from its owner and euthanized.

Dogs considered as potentially dangerous include the following breeds and cross breeds of them: American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Mastiff, Doberman, Argentine Dogo, Dogo Bordeaux, Fila Brasileiro, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pitbull Terrier, American Pitbull Terrier, Canary Dog, Rottweiler, Staffordshire Terrier, Japanese Tosa.

According to Article 108-E of Chapter 3 of Law 746 (enacted 9 July 2002), Colombia prohibits the importation of certain breeds of dog. These include:

  • Pitbull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Pitbull Terrier
  • Cross breeds of the above

Further details regarding the importation of animals are available online on the Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario - ICA website (in Spanish).