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Dog License Frequently Asked Questions

Ohio law requires every dog owner to renew their license between December 1st and January 31st of each year. No matter what your dog likes to do make sure it has a license to do it.  

Where can I get my dog license?

You can now purchase your dog license online. You can also obtain your dog license at:

Cuyahoga County Administrative Headquarters
2079 East Ninth Street
Cleveland, OH 44115

There are also over 25 substations throughout Cuyahoga County that the Fiscal Officer's Office has granted permission to sell dog licenses. They charge 75 cents for their services. Click here to view locations.    

How much does a dog license cost?

The cost of a One Year license is $20.00.  Also available for 2016 are Three Year licenses (expiring January 31, 2019) for $60.00 and Permanent licenses for $200.00.

What are the Duplicate/Transfer fees?

Duplicate and transfer fees are $5.00.

Are there low cost spay/neuter programs?

There are low cost spay/neuter programs available to you. Cleveland APL (216) 377-1624 and Northeast Ohio SPCA (216) 351-7387    

How long is a dog's license valid?

Ohio Law Requires license be renewed between December 1 and January 31 each year.    

Where do the proceeds go from the dog license program?

The majority of license proceeds go to the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter. The remaining funds are used to run the dog license department.    

How old does my dog have to be before it is required to get a license?

Your dog can be up to three months old before it is required to get a license.    

Why should I get a license for my dog?

Because it's the law! And, a license is a lost dog's ticket home! When your dog has its license attached to its collar, its assigned license number is all that is necessary for our Office to identify the dog's owner. Call us during working hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm at 216-443-7028 for assistance. We also share our computer database with all dog wardens and the Animal Protective League.    

What if I forget to buy my dog's license during the renewal period of December 1 through January 31?

Ohio law requires a late fee equal to the cost of the license. There are no provisions in the law to waive the fee.    

Can I let my dog run loose if he is licensed?

NO! It is against the law. Ohio law specifies that all dogs must be confined to your property or under reasonable control - such as on a leash when being walked. It is not safe to let your dog roam the neighborhood.    

What do I do if I find a lost dog?

If the dog is wearing a current Cuyahoga County license tag, you can click the link above to search for the owner or call the County Dog Warden at 216-525-7877 to find out the owner's name.    

What if I move?

If you move within Cuyahoga County, you can complete a transfer form by clicking the link above or you can call (216) 443-7028 with your new address and telephone number so we can keep the information up-to-date. If you move to another county, call that County's Auditor for licensing information.    

Does my dog need a rabies vaccination?

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets that reside in the Boards health jurisdiction are vaccinated against the rabies virus when they turn 4 months old. Protecting pets against rabies creates an effective barrier between potentially disease-carrying wild animals and the human population. By vaccinating your pet against rabies, you also protect your loved ones from this deadly virus.  

How do I know that purchasing a license online is safe?

We use the highest encryption standards to protect your information and make the system safe. Our system is certified by a nationally recognized company, Verisign, who specializes in this kind of work.

Is my Credit card information retained in any county record?

No. The information required to register your dog, such as address and name, is retained in county record, but all financial account information is sent directly to the financial institution.    

How will I know that my payment was made?

The financial institution will send a confirmation to the email address you have provided. In addition you will see a confirmation page with an authorization number after completing the payment process. We suggest you print this page for your records.    

When will this charge be posted to my account?

Normally this charge will be posted to your account within three business days.