How do we become pet owners? 

As the title itself suggests, the legislation we are considering concerns pets, which are defined as animals that people keep in their homes for private recreational purposes.

However, we must first see the conditions for the commercialization of animals in general, on one side, and the possession of pet animals, on the other side. Thus, it should be noted that separating the mother and cubs for marketing is illegal until the age of at least eight weeks.

Moreover, people who want to own wild animals can only do so if they are authorized by the county’s veterinary health and food safety department, respectively the one from the municipality of Bucharest.

What are the owner’s obligations regarding the pet? 

The first important legal aspect is that the owners of common breed dogs must neuter the puppies at the age of 4-6 months old, for females, and the age of 6-8 months old for males.

In the case of non-spayed females, the owners must declare to the veterinarian the pregnancies, births, as well as the number of puppies born.

Moreover, pets can travel on the territory of Romania, only accompanied by their owners and having on them the health card attesting that the owner fulfills the legal obligations of identification and registration. Also, for dogs that are leashed, the collar must be designed in such a way as to eliminate the risk of strangulation. Dogs that are not on a leash will not be allowed outside the home without the supervision of the owner.

The transport of pets will be done in such a way as to ensure the temperature and ventilation corresponding to their needs.

Regarding the actual space where the animal is kept, the law stipulates that pets kept outdoors must benefit from an individual shelter, built according to their needs, which offers protection against the weather, must be made of materials that do not harm the health of the animal and which can be easily maintained. Also, the law stipulates that these shelters must be built and maintained in such a way that they do not have sharp edges or protrusions that can injure the animal.

Last but not least, the owners must provide the animals with medical assistance according to their needs. Medical assistance will be provided by competent persons.

What are animal abuse and cruelty against animals? How are they punished? 

Abuse means brutal behavior in the use of animals, as well as subjecting animals to the unnecessary effort.

As for the cruelty against animals, we give the following examples:

  • killing animals, with intention;
  • shooting domestic or captive animals;
  • organizing fights between animals or with animals;
  • the use of live animals for animal training or to control their aggression;
  • using animals for exhibitions, shows, advertising, filmmaking, and similar purposes, if these activities cause them physical and mental suffering, ailments, or injuries.

Of these, it constitutes a crime and is punishable by imprisonment from 3 months to one year or a fine:

  • killing animals, with intention, without right
  • shooting domestic animals or captive wild animals
  • organizing fights between animals or with animals
  • the use of live animals for animal training or to control their aggression
  • injuring or strangling animals
  • surgical interventions intended to change the appearance of an animal, such as ear cropping, sectioning of the vocal cords, claw removal, beak, and teeth pecking
  • the use of animals belonging to the vertebrate suborder, regardless of the degree of taming, born in captivity or captured from nature, in circus shows, traveling circuses, caravans, and troupes of traveling artists, as well as in any other types of similar shows

Raluca Iacob

Legal Intern R&R Partners Bucharest

If you would like to address more questions or if you need a legal consultation, you can contact us at or by accessing our site for more information.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel where new and updated content is posted monthly on various current topics!

Keep up to date with our latest articles!