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Are you obligated to register your dog with the city/county?
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
    I ran across a discussion on another forum where a person was complaining about a newly enacted ordinance in their country requiring owners to register dogs and cats, with a discount for spayed/neutered animals. It was a little comment in a larger discussion, but it struck me as an odd thing to have a problem with.

    I was wondering who else is required to register your dogs? Is it annually or once? Do you get a discount for spay/neuter or obedience/good citizen titles?

    In my city, when you go for your first rabies vaccination (the only vaccination required by law) the vet sends the record to the city and Animal Control sends a letter to your home with the amount and a deadline. If you miss the deadline, they send you a new letter with a fine/late fee tacked on. I don't know what happens if you just ignore it, I presume probably nothing unless you get in trouble for something else (bite, noise, whatever). You're not required to register outside of the city limits.

    I don't have a problem with this law. It encourages spay/neuter, because the fee is half the price of an unaltered animal. It also creates a database of animals that they can use to find lost animals; I personally have called 3 or 4 times to find out where a strange critter belongs, and then trucked them back home to (usually) relieved owners. I figure it saves the officer time/resources if I just take Fido the 3 blocks myself. I also think it promotes responsible pet ownership because you can only register a certain amount of cats or dogs, so you're discouraged from taking on more than you can handle.

    It never crossed my mind that some people might believe "it's my land, my house, I'll keep whatever I want" until I read this particular opinion. What do you guys think???

    Post edited by McYogi at 2012-01-21 18:28:41
  • BrewSterBrewSter
    Posts: 193
    some do some dont...for example i live in nj and it differs from county to county...however it is state law to register dogs like pits etc that can be danderous...thec ounty i live in only requires us to have our dog chipped and have a rabies shot but the town over reqires all dogs to be chipped,utd with all shots,rabies,and to be registered at the local p.d and a fee paid
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    The town I lived in in St. Louis did not require a license, but Josephine County (where I live in Oregon) does, so I am required by law to license my dogs. If they are picked up without a license or I am caught by AC without it, I can be fined and the dogs impounded until I pay a the fine and licensing fees.
  • NekopanNekopan
    Posts: 403
    In my city we're supposed to, but if you don't have your dog licensed, it just means if they are roaming and picked up by Animal Control, you have to pay a hefty fine to get your dog back.

    Here it is annual, $20 for spayed/neutered and $60 for intact dogs. Apparently, if you own more than two dogs, you also have to pay for a kennel license.
    Posts: 1507
    NYC its the law. Hefty fines for non-compliance. $8 neutered $35 non-neutered annual fee. +1.5% if you pay by credit card.
  • My country makes us register. I don't remember exactly how it works---I know it has something to do with the rabies tag but if I remember right you had to pay a fee and go to AC yourself to do some sort of registering as well. It doesn't require a dog to be registered until about 4 months old (or it might have been 6 months) so I'll be looking it up again sometime after we bring our puppy home next week to make sure that we get it done when it needs to be done.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    I live in San Francisco.My vet sent in the rabies vaccination and told me that the city will send me a form or notification that I will have to register my puppies. I have not received anything. I did hear from fellow dog owners at the dog park that you just have to pay a $20~30 additional for "late registration" (if your dog is older than 4 months...or if you have acquired the dog for more than 30 days). I do know its cheaper for altered dogs. :)
  • Wow, that's a lot more than here. I think we paid like 6 or 8 dollars to have Kona Licensed here in Fargo, ND. and i think it was like 10 if he wasn't neutered.
    I dont "think" that its required here, but our apartment complex required it so we had to get it. But that's not the same as the city/county requiring it.

    Edit: oh wow, i was off, according to our city website it costs,"$2.50 per year if your pet has been spayed or neutered, and $4.50 per year if it has not".

    Also, it is required (but not enforced) in the city. Here's what the city website says.

    " You will not be subject to a $60 fine for failure to license your dog or cat.
    If your animal has a current city license, you will not have to pay a $25 penalty if the pet is ever taken to the pound (you will still be responsible for the $35 impound fee and boarding fees).
    If your animal is wearing a current city license, community service officers will try to return the pet to you before taking it to the pound."
    Post edited by kaysejean at 2012-01-22 17:54:08
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    I'm not sure if it's required by State or Local law here (upstate NY), but I know we're supposed to. It's up to us, though. The vets don't forward our information.

    There's a "must be registered by this age" thing, but I forget what the age is.

    There's definitely a discount for being spayed/neutered. I have friends whose dogs are still unregistered. I think the only penalty is a fine if they get loose and are picked up by animal control and found to be unregistered.

    I still plan to register Hammond once he's been neutered.

    Edit: A quick search of my city's website gave me more answers:


    All dogs four months and older that reside in the City of Rochester must have a valid dog license.
    Owners must provide a current rabies certificate issued by a veterinarian.
    If the dog is spayed or neutered, proof must be provided.


    $8.50 for spayed or neutered dogs
    $20.50 for dogs not spayed or neutered

    $23.50 for each purebred dog
    A fee of $3.00 is collected for a lost dog tag.

    Service and guide dogs will be licensed free of charge (documentation required)."

    Not sure what to think about the Purebred fee. Maybe it's a method to try to encourage people to adopt from the shelters? Maybe it only applied to intact purebreds you intend to breed?

    I kind of want to get annoyed at the huge price difference, but then I remembered I have vanity plates for my car that cost more than that to renew, so I kind of lost my self-righteousness about it, haha.
    Post edited by Anna at 2012-01-22 02:02:26
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
    This is really interesting, especially the differences in prices e.g. $60 for unaltered where @nekopan lives, and ~$10 in North Dakota. My city is $35 for unaltered and half that ($17.50) for speutered.

    Does anyone object to paying these fees? Our registration application has a "donate to _________" box that you can check and you can pick "spay and neuter programs," "education," "adoption programs," and maybe another option. Do other areas use a similar fund-raising system?

  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    I object to the fees. In nyc the money goes completely to animal control a portion of which goes to euthanasia. None of this money is going to legislation that will actually help dog owners, such as giving incentives to landlords to allow dog ownership. It was also in this same year they let public housing reduce the weight limit of dogs from 45 to 30 pounds. The increased fee was sponsored by someone who felt not fixing your animal is a sign of lack of good ownership. The funny thing is that most people who do not care for their animals do not register with the city in the first place. As far as helping your lost dog get returned to you, the poor quality of the tags means that even in light use in under a year's time they are barely readable, and most people find the process of reading them to be too much of a hassle because you do not have any direct information to the owner on the tag(you also have to pay an additional dollar every year if you want a new tag). I paid for the tag once, and just change the sticker, though most cops just check to see multiple tags. I refuse to contribute to a bill that was highly unjust and imposed during a time of economic depression. 36 bucks may not seem like a lot, but it adds up when you also have to factor that in NYC your tags are not valid unless you submit your dog to a rabies vaccine every year, 3 year shots are not recognized in city limits.
    Posts: 1507
    @Inoushi- my sentiments exactly NYC just tripled the unneutered fee. My boy INU has had a local reaction the last two times to the rabies vaccine and a vet told me to only have the titre done. I have to see how I get around the yearly requirement.
  • Oh wow, that's really sad. Is there any proof that the yearly is more effective than the 3yr vaccine?
    *Grumble grumble, legislation being enacted by illenformed govt, grumble grumble*

    As far as my opinion, I suppose i don't have an issue with being required to register my pet, especially as an added protection to keep him out of the pound. But that said, my opinion is definitely influenced by the amount that it costs for the registration, and what ELSE that money is going to be used for. So, definitely negotiable.
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    NYC is very backwards when it comes to the rabies vaccine. Every vet I have had has found the requirement to be very outdated. Kenshin received the 3 year shot upon turning a year. I don't see the need to over vaccinate him on the ground of here say instead of science. The risk of getting caught over a missing license is extremely low, I think only a little more over 10% of dogs are registered in the city anyway (statistics from the city itself). Most cops don't even know what they are looking for to begin with. My rottweiler hasn't gotten a new tag in 7 years and they never notice the date when we get randomly asked (this mostly occurs in the poor areas, go figure).
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
    I'm also surprised that they don't recognize the 3 year vac, inoushi... As far as I can find on the internet (no real definitive or reliable sources, though) the 3-year and the 1-year are the exact same shot. Does anyone have information that shows they are a different formula or amount?

  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    I'm pretty sure they are the same, the vet didn't say otherwise. I think the only difference is the state feels ones vaccine is labeled for 3 years as opposed to one. I'm not sure how they reach that conclusion (maybe the company proved effectiveness up to 3 years). From what I have been told its a legal thing. I just chose to give him the 3 year shot because while its not recognized in the city it is for the state, at least last time I checked.
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    We live in a rural area in north Texas & we're not required to register our dogs with either the city or the county. We're also only required to do the rabies vaccination every 3 years, which I'm thankful for. The next county over has the 1 year requirement, which I think is ridiculous (and my vet agrees).
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • NekopanNekopan
    Posts: 403
    Three year rabies and one year rabies is exactly the same, just with different labels. Most vaccines have been shown to last 7+ years, but legislature has not caught up with it yet. Of course, that is an entirely different topic. For those interested, check out this link:

    I wanted to mention that my city is VERY dog un-friendly, which may account for the high fees. We have very few dog parks, and most of them are just small fenced in dirt areas. There are several miles of lakefront beach but dogs are not allowed. It's very frustrating living with a dog here for many reasons.
  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 882
    The city I live in has a law required to registered dogs, but not everyone does it. The county I live in does too, but some cities have to register within their respective cities and others just with the county.

    The fee's are $24 for under 6 months or spay/neutered dogs. It's also $24 if you are a senior citizen.

    It is $100 for unaltered dogs.
  • britkotsubritkotsu
    Posts: 210
    We have to register our dogs and cats in NC but I had no idea until this post and I've owned pets my entire life here. You learn something new every day. Guess I better get on this :)
  • KibaInuKibaInu
    Posts: 214
    Here in Fairfax County, VA, the vets notify the county that you have a dog once they've administered the rabies vaccine. County sends you a 10 dollar annual license invoice shortly after.
  • I don't even know what the law is here. I always thought it was a city law to register dogs, and so I never registered any of mine because I don't live in the city. But it could be a county law, in which case I'd be in violation. Certainly I never got any notice in the mail, and no one, not even my vet (also outside the city) mentioned it, so it may be city wide.

    After reading this thread, though, I decided to look up the rules. Turns out my county has lots of regulations about animals. You have to have a permit to own an intact animal, and to breed dogs, you have to have a permit as well (a hobby breeder permit), and it states that the female may only be bred once a year (thankfully!).

    And yes, apparently every animal in the county is supposed to have a liscence. It covers cats, dogs and ferrets. Confusingly, it says everyone must have a breeders permit if they have more than 4 animals (a combo of dogs/cats--ferrets are not mentioned again),but then right under that, it says you can have six dogs and/or cats if all are sterilized. You can have up to 4 canine hybrids, as long as all are sterilized (they're pretty specific about canine hybrids being dog/wolf or dog/coyote crosses) and you're not breeding them.

    (I totally don't get the variation in numbers on this). Apparently you must have a liscence to own a hybrid, too. I also discovered that we are not allowed to have elephants. Ok then!

    Well, it was an interesting exercise. I don't know anyone who HAS a license for their animals, though, so I guess it's not widely enforced. In the 10 years I've lived here, no one has ever mentioned it to me. Odd.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    @shibamistress LOL you didn't want an elephant, did you?

    My local laws are very... nonexistant. The only thing I can find is that you have to license and what the fees are. ($18 altered, $38 intact) Nothing on what you can or can't have, limits, other licenses, or whatever. I have a feeling I would have to call someone to find out, and I'm really not that curious. I might ask when I re-register Conker in a couple months though, just to see what they are.
  • Ours is $14 a year which is collected by county. They ask color and give you 5 options to check tan, black, brown, red, white. Then you check if dog has rabies shot or not and put their name and breed. I know people who have checked no rabies (for over 5 yrs) and nothing has happened. Their is a $15 late fee tacked on unless you register the dog under another person in the house (that's what the county dog warden office's page says:)) Wish we had a higher fee or discount for unaltered animals. They mail you your renewal every year they keep putting that Toby is a mixed breed. When I called they said it was not in their book (how old is that book then). I informed them that Shiba Inus are an AKC registered breed and I would like him listed as such on his license. My grandmother got a visit from the dog warden because she forgot to send hers in marked that her dog had passed away so they do follow up for people who try to follow the rules but most people I know around here don't bother registering their dogs at all and never get in trouble.

    I did read in some areas of the country they give you a discount if your dog is microchipped and you give them the info, I would guess it saves them money because they would not have to send you the little metal tag.
  • The vet I work at sends all rabies certificates to the towns. Not sure what happens after that. In Hanover, MA we have a 2 dog limit (stoopid) and they have to be licensed every year. I think for altered/micro chipped dogs it is $12 per pet.
  • LaurenLauren
    Posts: 42
    Yes, Marysville, WA:

    Unaltered – not spayed or neutered or implanted with a microchip – dogs or cats
    $25.00 per year; seniors age 60 and older, $15.00 per year. No lifetime license.

    Implanted with a microchip
    $10.00 per year

    Neutered or spayed dogs or cats
    Free and a lifetime license

    "The penalties for failing to license a dog or cat pursuant to this section are $150.00 for each offense in the 2005 calendar year and $250.00 for each offense after December 31, 2005" (Obviously they haven't updated the codes online)
  • KikkiKikki
    Posts: 73
    Guess there's a big issue with over population of dogs where I live because it costs $100 annually for an unaltered dog vs. $28 for an altered dog. (Orange County, CA)
    photo 09add2ab-be4c-4b53-98a7-1a6bc4311b43_zps71ebc933.jpg
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    I got a form in the mail. I tripped and accidentally dropped it in the trash.

  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    Lol @tatonka. Gotta be careful! So clumsy.

    Pretty much every town here in NJ requires registration, it's around $20-30. I have yet to register Sansa oops. Between registering her microchip, AKC and everything else, town registration is pretty low priority.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I didn't know anything about registering dogs in my city, but when I was at the dog park in the next city over, I was told by one owner to make sure I have my dog's rabies and city registration proof with me at all times since the animal control truck stops people there all the time. Well, I didn't have proof of rabies on me, and had never heard of city registration for dogs. Turns out another man there, who was a city (my city) officer said the same thing. I looked it up and our city doesn't require it.
  • We have had this in Calgary (Canada) for as long as I can remember. I just do it because if my dog ever ran away and the city impounds him it will cost me much less to get him back if he is registered vs. not registered and so far I only had to pay $28.00 to register him. You can also register your micro chip number and tattoo number so if he is not wearing a collar they still know its my dog and can contact me right away so I can get him back. They also gave me a "i love my pet card" which gets discounts at pet stores and automotive glass shops and lots of other places.
  • Alyssa L.Alyssa L.
    Posts: 149
    I tried to register Nanook with NYC license and for proof that he is neutered so I can get the discount and still have to pay 35$ not saying it's an issue but I was told by the vet tech that once the proof is mailed out then I would only need to pay the 8$ unless I have to wait a long time for a reply back? IDK exactly how it works
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I don't know exactly how it works, but when my dogs get their rabies they are automatically through my vet registered. My old vet did discounted shots without the registration and I got several notices I hadn't sent in my fee and proof of rabies, so I know they track it and the vets must be reporting the animals getting rabies shots even the discounted shots. I think it was $35 I paid just to stop the county from killing trees with all the notices.
    Post edited by redcattoo at 2013-06-17 18:21:31
    Posts: 1507
    @Alyssa L in NYC once they have the proof of neutering they will charge you $8 for your next years registration. They will not refund the difference even if the procedure was done prior to the initial registration.
    Post edited by INU RYUU at 2013-06-17 19:51:54
  • ShibaLoveShibaLove
    Posts: 554
    So for Dallas it states that any animal over 4 months old is required to be registered but it does not state a late fee or the consequences of not registering. Here are the details:
    Registration Fees:

    $7 for spayed/neutered (sterilized) dogs and cats
    $30 for intact (not surgically sterilized) dogs and cats
    Free for up to 3 sterilized dogs and/or cats if the owner is over 65 years old. There is no discount for unsterilized pets.

    If your animal is not spayed/neutered (sterilized), you will also need an Intact Animal Permit. This permit is an additional $70 and must be renewed annually (yearly). In order to obtain an Intact Animal Permit, the following guidelines must be met.

    Dog/cat must be current with its vaccination, registration, and have a microchip
    Owner must be a current member of a purebred dog/cat club OR successfully complete the Responsible Pet Ownership course taught at Dallas Animal Services. For more information about the Intact Animal Permit, please visit our Spay/Neuter page.

    So basically unaltered pets are $100 and altered are $7. I do not know why they give a discount to senior people. I would understand a lot more if they were talking about senior animals to encourage or reward people adopting senior animals.

    I have never registered my pets. I have received notices but mainly for all of my fosters after bringing them in to get vaccinated. So I don't even own or house the five animals they are sending me notices for.

    As for Ember's notice that was received in the mail, I had left it out to remind myself to do something about it and came home to find that Ember shredded it. Guess that solved that problem (-:
  • Nothing in Fort Lauderdale beside the rabies tag, it's a different color and shape every year. No rules of neutered or intact pets... At least as far as I know.
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Registering your dog should let you take your dog everywhere annoying kids are allowed to be, instead of arbitrary "no dogs" areas like Amtrak and REI.

    I'd pay registration $$$ for that.

    Stupid city.
  • Alyssa L.Alyssa L.
    Posts: 149
    Ok thank you inu ryuu something told me that u only pay the 8 $ when u re register but wasnt too sure
  • Just ran across this thread, and it has lived so long :-)

    I'm in a unique position, my chosen dog breed--who I have mostly acquired through resecue by my state's definition is considered a "dangerous and restricted breed." Quite frankly, I can understand how and why that happened. It is the Australian Cattle Dog, Blue (or Red or Queensland) Heeler. I have a rescue, that I adopted at 8 months, that only human interaction was when fed...picked her right off the pig farm she was supposedly rescued from. She is a sweetie, trained in SAR...and enjoys the training. Thankfully, noone tried to dock her tail...barbarious practice put on this breed. If they do not want a tail--then pick the Stimpy Tail Australian Cattle Dog born that way. (See, I am getting on my soap box now.)

    What most pet licensing in places I have lived in paid for "in spirit" , was low cost spay/neuter clinics...and that is something I do support wholeheartedly. I have only lived in this area 8 years now, so I also know this "dangerous breed" designation of my ACDOs (although this is the first area who designated them as dangerous) usually means because this is considered an "at risk" breed getting rescued (and they do not present well in shelters for adoption--they are velcro dogs, need and appreciate a human to keep them busy.)

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