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Dog Licensing 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?

Purchase a One Year, Three Year, or Permanent license online.

Purchase a One Year license by visiting a Neighborhood Location. There are currently 34 locations throughout Cuyahoga County that the Fiscal Officer has granted permission to sell dog licenses.

All licenses are sold at the Cuyahoga County Administrative Headquarters and the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter (view the list of Neighborhood Locations for addresses).

How much does a dog license cost?

The cost of a One Year license is $20, a Three Year license is $60, and a Permanent license is $200. A license may also be assessed a $20 penalty fee if received after January 31st. Neighborhood Locations charge .75 cents for their services with the exception of the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter and the Cuyahoga County Administrative Headquarters. A convenience fee of $1.00 is added to a license purchased online.

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 1st and January 31st each year.

Where do the proceeds go from the dog license program?

The license proceeds support the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter and the issuance of licenses. A portion is paid to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine Canine Research Fund.

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 216-443-3513 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 1st through January 31st?

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 "Found a Lost Dog?" link to search for the owner or call the County Dog Warden at 216-525-4828 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 "Transfer Ownership" link or you can call (216) 443-3513 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 3-5 business days.

How long does it typically take before I receive my dog license?

Licenses are sent through the United States Postal Service and should arrive within 10 business days. Extra processing time may be necessary between December 1st to February 28th due to volume.