All the services and spaces to guarantee animal welfare in the city

Barcelona is an animal-friendly city, where animals have been considered fully fledged citizens since 1998. To this end, the city has a series of services, resources and spaces to guarantee their welfare, protect them and foster harmony with all citizens.

21/03/2024 14:41 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Dog areas

There are currently 118 dog areas, located all around the city and delimited with benches and waste bins for dog mess, as well as springs designed for dogs to drink from easily. Between them, the areas offer 45,900 square metres of space, divided into 49 dog recreation areas of more than 400 square metres, and 69 smaller dog areas. You can find them on the map on the animal welfare website.

Spaces for dogs off their leads during certain times

Each neighbourhood has streets, squares, avenues, parks and other public spaces where dogs can be let off their leads during certain hours of the morning and afternoon. These shared-usage zones are duly signposted and have all the necessary elements for correct maintenance, such as litter bins, lighting and appropriate signage. The goal is for 95% of local people to have a dog-friendly space within ten minutes of home. All of these areas are indicated on the interactive map on the website.

Cat colonies

Urban cat colonies are spaces managed in collaboration with cat protection organisations, where sterilised feral cats live freely in public space with dry food available. The goal is to avoid the overpopulation of cats in the city and improve the quality of life of these animals. The control of existing feral cat colonies living in particular locations is important to avoid issues with overpopulation and to ensure they are suitable integrated with the urban reality. To this end, Barcelona applies a model of capture, sterilisation and return. Once captured, the animals are checked by a vet to rule out any contagious diseases, then sterilised and a small mark made on their ears to identify them before returning them to the site where they were captured.

Barcelona Pet Shelter (CAACB)

The Barcelona Pet Shelter (CAACB) is the municipal facility that works for the welfare of animals lost or abandoned in the city, with numbers averaging over 2,500 a year. The shelter is supported by more than 150 volunteers, who help by walking dogs or playing with cats to stimulate them.

The shelter works to help owners get their animals back, to combat abandonment and promote adoption. To make this possible, the centre has a lost animal search tool and an animal adoption tool.

Animal adoption is a highly rewarding act of solidarity and humanity. The staff at the CAACB provide support in the adoption process so that everybody can choose the animal which best matches the characteristics of the new home. Information is also given on the needs of the animal in terms of walking, play and veterinary care, regulations on care and other matters.

Responsible ownership

An animal is not a toy, and owning one entails some commitments during its entire life, both to the animal itself and to society. Responsible ownership means:

  • it’s essential to identify the animal, with a chip and a tag with basic details so that it can be returned to its home if lost or stolen.
  • the animal must be registered on the municipal animal census.
  • the animal must be fed properly.
  • punishment, pressure and/or strangulation collars are not allowed.
  • animals must get daily exercise.
  • owners should avoid leaving dogs alone at home for more than 5 or 6 hours.
  • they must be taken to the vet at least once a year and whenever they need it.
  • dog mess must be cleared up and urine spots watered down.
  • animals must not ever be mistreated or abandoned.

The responsible ownership section of the website offers other advice and instructions.


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