Livestock, Pet Shows, Boarding and Grooming

You're required to obtain a permit to keep any type of livestock, including horses, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks, and turkeys in Palo Alto. Geese, roosters, guinea hens, and peacocks are not allowed, except in areas zoned for agriculture or open space. There are special provisions for keeping more than six chickens, in addition to these rules. If you are having a party and hired a petting zoo, that also requires a permit.

DOWNLOAD: Permit Application
(Permit also used for special events)

Once you download an permit application, and when your coop is built and ready for inspection, return the application to our office (or email it to and we will schedule an Animal Control Officer to inspect. Once approved, we will collect the permit fee, and mail you the permit.

Generally, the issues we find with owning livestock is dealing with neighbors and coop safety. If your coop or run is less than 25ft from your property line, you must obtain written permission from that neighbor(s) to own the hens. We keep those letters on file, and if a neighbor moves away and a new one moves in, they have the option of revoking permission.

Second, is coop size and safety. The coop must be large enough to house the number of hens you have, kept clean, and does not allow access for nuisance animals like rats, and predators like raccoons.

Release of Information

If you would like a copy of an Animal Services report, please complete an Application for Release of Information and return to Animal Services via mail, email, or in person. Report releases require supervisor approval, and a fee of $11 which needs to be collected prior to the reports release.

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