Licensing Your Dog
- Why Should I License My Dog?
- How Can I Get/Renew a License?
- What Do I Need to Start?
- What Else Should I Know?
Why should I license my dog?
There are many benefits that highlight the importance of licensing your dog every year:
- It’s the law. In Maricopa County, all dogs over three months of age are required by law to be licensed and vaccinated against rabies. The tag you receive the first time your dog is licensed should always be attached to their collar – it is proof that your dog has been licensed and will help you avoid a citation and fees for failure to license.
- Helps prevent rabies. Dogs must have a current rabies vaccination to apply for, or renew, a dog license in Maricopa County. Rabies is a potentially fatal disease for humans and animals, and due to widespread vaccinations, there has not been a confirmed case of rabies in a dog in Maricopa County for over 40 years.
- Free ride home! If your dog is picked up at large by an Animal Control Officer, having a current license and contact information on file means your dog will be returned directly to you that same day (when possible), without your dog having to come into the shelter.
- It’s life-saving. The fees collected from licensing directly support the daily care of the 30,000 animals that enter the shelter each year; licensing your dog helps all the other dogs and cats at MCACC that are waiting to find their forever homes too.
- Your dog will be safer. When you license your dog, you are registered as the dog’s owner and your information is entered into our database – if your dog is ever lost, this helps us to more quickly reunite you with your dog. Also, MCACC follows a minimum of 120 hours for Hold-Notify of a licensed dog that comes into the shelter, compared to a minimum stray hold of 72 hours, giving you more time to find your lost pet.
- It can save you money. If your licensed dog is lost and picked up by MCACC but we are unable to reach you, the first 24 hours at the shelter will be at no charge. Also, if a licensed dog bites someone, it may be eligible for home quarantine, rather than being quarantined at the dog owner’s expense in our facility or at a veterinary hospital.
How can I get or renew a dog license?
You have several options to request a new license or submit your renewal:
What do I need to start the process?
We have tried to make the licensing process as simple as possible for our community. When starting your application, please be prepared with the following:
- Completed rabies vaccination certificate (if required)
- Up-to-date contact information
- Fee payment method (credit card for online, check or money order for mail, all options for in person)
What else should I know?
The term of a dog license is based on the month and day of the most current rabies vaccination certificate on record; licenses are renewed annually, even if your dog’s vaccinations are still current.
- A completed rabies vaccination certificate will include the following:
- Owner’s name and address
- Pet information (name, breed, color, age, etc.)
- Administration date for the rabies vaccination
- Manufacturer and serial/lot number of the vaccination used
- Term of the vaccination or date the next vaccination is due
- Veterinarian hospital/clinic where the dog was vaccinated
- ID/license number and signature of the veterinarian administering the vaccination
- Licensing fees:
- Spayed/neutered dogs: $22 (discount of $3 for each license completed online)
- Unaltered/intact dogs: $55 (discount of $5 for each license completed online)
- Senior discounted rate for owners 65 years of age or older: $10 for each spayed/neutered dog (no additional discounts for completing online); $10 fee per dog applies to all altered dogs in the household registered to an owner 65 years of age or older
- Licensing penalties:
- Late fees accrue every 30 days at a rate of $3 a month for an altered dog and $6 a month for an unaltered dog
- Unaltered/intact dogs under 1 year of age are charged $55 for their initial licensing, and once altered, they will be eligible for the $22 renewal rate the following year
- You will need to renew your dog license by mail or in person if you receive an adjustment or waiver of late fees or penalties
- State statute requires all dogs over three months of age that reside within Maricopa County for at least thirty consecutive days of each calendar year be licensed and vaccinated