Pets & Animals

Are there limits on the number of pets for a household?

South Whitehall does not limit the number of small domesticated companion animals which are sheltered, fed and exercised within cages or containers within a dwelling unit and not permitted to move freely within the Dwelling, Building or Structure, such as but not limited to domesticated rodents, fish, reptiles, and some birds. This shall not include animals raised or kept for agricultural or farming purposes, venomous or poisonous animals, Wild or Exotic Animals, feral animals, and wild/domestic animal hybrids.

South Whitehall does limit the number of House Pets (specifically dogs, cats, ferrets, Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs, and rabbits) that are kept, fed and sheltered in a Dwelling Unit but may be exercised outdoors.  The housing of as many as six House Pets over three months old within a Dwelling Unit is permitted.

South Whitehall also limits the number of pets (specifically dogs, cats, ferrets, Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs, and rabbits) that may be kept outside of a dwelling unit.  The outdoor housing of as many as four Pets over three months old shall not be within the front yard and shall be no closer than four feet to a Lot Line and not closer than twenty  feet to a Dwelling on an adjoining premise is permitted.

The outdoor housing of as many as five but not more than eight Pets over three months old shall not be within the front yard and shall be no closer than one hundred feet to a Lot Line and not closer than two hundred feet to a Dwelling on an adjoining premise.

The outdoor housing of as many as nine Pets but not more than twelve pets more than three months old shall not be within the front yard and shall be no closer than two hundred feet to a Lot Line and not closer than four hundred feet to a Dwelling on an adjoining premise.

Chickens.  The keeping of up to four chickens (hens only) as pets is permitted on a lot that contains a Single Detached Dwelling Unit residence  located in one of the following districts: the RR-3, RR-2, or R-R Rural Residential and Agriculture.  When outdoors, such hens shall be contained in an enclosed structure, a fenced area or run or a combination thereof. The containment area and/or Structure shall not be permitted in the front yard and shall be Setback at least ten feet from rear and Side Yard Lot Lines, and be at least one hundred feet from a Dwelling on another property.

Please contact the Zoning Officer with questions related to the information above.


My pet ran away… Who should I contact?

You may contact the Police department to advise us your animal is missing and to check if it was found. (Please recontact us if you locate your animal.) Stray dogs will be held at the Township kennels until they can be transported to the Sanctuary at Haafsville, 901 Nestle Way, Breinigsville, PA 18031 or the owner is located. Per South Whitehall Township Ordinance, there is a penalty assessed in the amount of $50; additionally, the owner is responsible for paying all reasonable expenses that the Township incurs for keeping the animal (including a charge for daily board) prior to release of the dog.  This applies to both licensed and unlicensed dogs.

You may also contact the Sanctuary at Haafsville at 484-788-8062 to check if your animal has been turned in to them.


What can I do about the skunks (or other nuisance animals) in my yard?

Police officers do not dispatch nuisance animals, only those that are visibly sick or injured. Please contact an animal control company for assistance.


Animal Licenses

South Whitehall Township does not license animals. Lehigh County does license dogs. Dog licenses may be purchased at the Lehigh County Government Center (17 South Seventh Street Room 119 Allentown, PA) at one of the designated issuing agents or by mail. The license is valid only for the calendar year. Visit Lehigh County Government Center for more information.


For questions or issues regarding wildlife please visit Pa Game Commission or contact

The Pennsylvania Game Commission 2001 Elmerton Avenue Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797 (717) 787-4250