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Celebrate National Bird Day

State Pet Shop Laws: Georgia

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  • Animal: [defined indirectly below]
  • Bird dealer: any person [includes businesses] engaged in the business of dealing in, purchasing, breeding, or offering for sale, whether at wholesale or retail, any exotic birds, pet birds, or birds customarily kept as pets. (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-10-3)
  • Exotic bird: a bird not native or indigenous to the U.S. (GA. COMP. R & REGS. § 40-13-12-.01)
  • Pet bird: a bird kept or intended for sale as a companion animal. (GA. COMP. R & REGS. § 40-13-12-.01)
  • Pet dealer or pet dealership: any person [includes businesses] who sells, offers to sell, exchanges, or offers for adoption dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, or other animals customarily obtained as pets in this state. Excludes breeders who sell 30 or fewer animals annually if they bred the animals and if they don’t have sale tax number or local business license. (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-11-2)

Vet Care:

  • Anyone importing a psittacine or exotic bird designated “as a potential carrier of disease” must follow USDA quarantine regulations. (Penalty: misdemeanor and destruction of birds) (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-10-7.2)
  • Prohibits anyone from shipping an animal into the state for resale without a certificate of health. Exceptions: equine, livestock, birds, rodents and cold-blooded animals. (Penalty: Misdemeanor) (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-11-11)


  • Pet shops must “provide sufficient space to allow each animal to turn about freely and to easily stand, sit, lie, perch, swim, etc. in a comfortable and normal position.” (GA. COMP. R & REGS. § 40-13-13-.04)

Lemon Laws:

  • Pet dealers and employees must take reasonable care to sell animals free of disease or injury. (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-11-10)

Food and Water:

  • N/A

Sanitary Conditions:

  • Pet dealers (and employees) must keep the premises in “clean and sanitary condition” and disinfected. (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-11-10)

Unweaned Animals:

  • N/A

Miscellaneous Provisions:

  • License required for pet dealers. (Penalty: misdemeanor) (GA. CODE ANN. §§ 4-11-3, -7)
  • Bird dealers must be licensed (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-10-4) except licensed bird dealers who sell only birds do not need a pet dealer license. (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-11-5)
  • Agriculture department is responsible for enforcement. (GA. CODE ANN. §§ 4-11-9, 4-10-9) Health Department also has the power to regulate pet dealers and bird dealers. (GA. CODE ANN. §§ 31-12-9, 4-10-10) Animal control and law enforcement can enforce and impound animals. (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-11-9.2)
  • Pet dealers and employees must keep the premises “adequately ventilated.” (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-11-10)
  • Pet dealers and employees must provide “humane care for any animal.” (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-11-10)
  • Pet dealers must provide sufficient lighting to “protect animal health” and allow “adequate inspection.” (GA. COMP. R & REGS. § 40-13-13-.04)
  • Pet dealers must keep records for 1 year of all animal transactions and health records. For dogs, cats, birds and equine, this also includes purchaser information. Records can be inspected by Agriculture Department. (GA. COMP. R & REGS. § 40-13-13-.04)
  • Inspections of pet dealer animals and premises are allowed “at any time.” (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-11-9)
  • Bird dealers must keep records for 1 year of all birds possessed or sold, all ill or dead birds, and the chain of ownership of the birds. (Penalty: license revocation or misdemeanor) (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-10-6, -12)
  • Certain non-native birds are banned from import (or permit is required). Agriculture dept issues rules specifying the species. (Penalty: misdemeanor and seizure/destruction) (GA. CODE ANN. § 4-10-7.1)


  1. Where “adequate space” is not defined the state has not established a definition for the term.
  2. The definition of “animal” may actually be broadly written while the types of animals covered by the law (e.g., veterinary care, sanitation, food and water) may be more narrowly drafted.

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