Similar to hoarding old artifacts or clothes, some people hoard pets as a source of comfort. But the difference between collecting old coats and collecting dogs is that the dogs are living, breathing creatures that require care! If you have too many, their wellbeing will likely be compromised, and then you have an animal cruelty charge on your hands.

Getty, Canva
Getty, Canva

Remember the woman from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, who was convicted for animal cruelty for owning 84 Great Danes?

The fact that those poor animals lived in squalor and fear without enough food makes my heart break into a million tiny pieces.

This made me wonder how many dogs someone is allowed to legally own in the Granite State. I know the number is a whole lot less than 84.

I did a little research, and really couldn't find a set number or straightforward limit. Now, that is not to say the limit does not exist!

It seems to depend on ordinances set in place by your city officials, and also your unique situation. For example, If you own more than three or four dogs, some towns might require you to get a kennel license, while others do not. Most, if not all, cases of animal abuse or neglect are reported complaints by neighbors or observers. It's not like animal control goes knocking door to door asking how many animals you own.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: According to, even if a city doesn't have a set limit on the number of animals, neighbors who are bothered by too many animals may take legal action. If a court rules that the animals are indeed a nuisance – that is, that they interfere with neighbors' enjoyment of their property – the owner may be ordered by the court to get rid of some animals.

What do you think the limit should be? This might be a hot take, but I think any more than three dogs under one roof is too many!  That is, unless you have a live-in doggie helper to ensure all of your canines are well fed, groomed, and getting enough exercise, OR caring for animals is your full-time job.

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To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

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