Animals Information

Domestic Animals Defined and Zoning Ordinances Relating to Animals

DOMESTIC ANIMALS - Animals that are normally considered to be kept in conjunction with a dwelling for the pleasure of the resident family, rather than for economic reasons. This shall include dogs, cats, small birds, racing pigeons, gerbils, rabbits, lizards and other nonpoisonous animals commonly sold in retail pet shops

LIVESTOCK - Any living creature maintained for commercial use or profit, but not maintained as a pet

The number of domestic animals, fowl, and horses is addressed under the Zoning Ordinance Section 2101. 

  • In any zoning district, it is permitted to maintain as domestic animals five (5) dogs or five (5) cats, or a combination thereof, not to exceed a total of five (5) domestic animals, each over six (6) months of age, provided it is on a noncommercial basis. Where a shelter and/or exercise pen is maintained, it shall be located in the rear yard at least ten (10) feet from any lot line, and no closer than fifty (50) feet to the nearest dwelling other than that of the owner.
  • In any zoning district, it is permitted as a “conditional use” (a use specifically granted by the Board of Commissioners) to maintain up to a total of twelve (12) pigeons and fowl, provided it is in the rear yard, it is on a noncommercial basis and is strictly as an incidental use, the area in which the fowl or pigeons are kept is enclosed by a fence that will contain them, all parts of which are at least fifty (50) feet from any lot line, and is not closer than one hundred (100) feet to the nearest dwelling other than that of the owner.
  • In any zoning district, unless regulated by other provisions in this ordinance (specifically animals located on a farm), it is permitted to maintain up to two (2) saddle horses, provided no building, corral, or stable is less than one hundred (100) feet from any lot line and is not closer than two hundred (200) feet to the nearest existing dwelling other than that of the owner. A pasture fence shall be located at a minimum distance of ten (10) feet from the property line.
  • No manure storage facility or area shall be established closer than one hundred (100) feet to any property line.

Fence provisions are outlined in Section 2108 (PDF) of the Zoning Ordinance and requires a permit Zoning Permit Application (PDF).

Contact the Planning and Zoning Department for further information regarding the number or type of animals allowed under the Zoning Ordinance and the process to obtain permission for conditional use.

Dog Licensing and Other Dog Owner Responsibilities

Responsibilities of Dog Owners

Animal Complaints

To report a violation of the above Zoning Ordinance, or any Zoning Ordinance violation, do not hesitate to contact the Planning and Zoning Department.

The unsanitary or unsecure condition of a property causing the infestation of insects, rodents or other animals may be addressed under the Property Maintenance Code. Contact the Code Compliance Department for further information.

Nuisances such as barking dogs, leash and curb ordinances are all enforced by the Manheim Township Police Department. Under the Pennsylvania Dog Law, the Township is required to address stray dogs, which can be a safety problem for citizens.

Chapter 167: Animals of the Codified Codes addresses these and other issues not already addressed by the Zoning Ordinance. Contact the Manheim Township Police Department at (717) 569-6401 for further information.

To report a violation of the nuisance ordinances, call 911 if it is an emergency, or dial 717-664-1180 to report non-emergency violations.

Stray or Feral Cats

The Township does not have the trained staff and resources to provide animal control services such as trap/neuter/release for stray and feral cats. Local animal control firms and local animal protection and cruelty organizations offer these types of services to private homeowners and businesses.

Raccoons, Squirrels, Skunks, Groundhogs and Other Wildlife

Wildlife, such as raccoons, squirrels, skunks, and groundhogs sometimes become a nuisance in residential areas. Wildlife management is the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The Pa Game Commission offers some solutions to this problem on their Nuisance Wildlife webpage.

Here are the phone numbers for the Southeast Regional Office of the Pa. Game Commission:

610-926-3136 or 610-926-3137

Another solution is to contact a wildlife pest control agent.