The Rabies vaccine works to protect our pets and keep them safe. Did you know that when it comes to dogs, vaccinating and licensing isn’t just a recommendation but the law? In Maricopa County, all dogs three months of age and older require a vaccine and license. Owners should vaccinate cats as well, but our feline friends do not need to be licensed.
Let’s break down why licensing is so important not only for our dogs but for our community.
Our shelters intake thousands of dogs and cats each year. Many arrive as strays without any form of identification to help get them back home safe and sound. By licensing your dog, you have an additional form of ID that helps staff and Maricopa Animal Care & Control officers reunite you with your pet.
Rabies isn’t a common disease in our community (thanks to vaccination and licensing requirements). However, cases have been appearing in wildlife like bats, squirrels, and rats. Accidental interaction with an infected animal could cost your pet their life.
What is a license anyway?
A license is a tag with a unique identification number placed on your dog’s collar. A database stores this number with your address and contact information. If your dog becomes lost and is picked up or turned into Maricopa Animal Care & Control, they can immediately contact you. Officers will make every attempt to bring a dog directly home if they have an up to date license. This saves both you and your pet a trip to the shelter! Trips to the shelter can be stressful for your pets and costly for their owners. Fees for unlicensed dogs are higher than those licensed dogs and start the moment the pet arrives. Other shelters or individuals can also use this tag to get in touch with you by contacting animal control and reporting the license number on your pet’s tag.
If your dog happens to be in a situation where they bite someone, whether it is a personal acquaintance or a stranger, a 10-day quarantine period is required. A home or vet clinic quarantine may be available if your pet has a valid license and proof of current vaccination.
How much does it cost?
Licensing fees are relatively affordable. And did you know, Maricopa County Animal Care & Control receives little to no tax dollars? They rely almost solely on licensing fees and donations to fund valuable, life-saving, shelter services such as adoption programs and spay and neuter, as well as the daily care of the homeless animals who enter their facilities.
Spayed or neutered pets: a license costs $17.00 per year.
Unaltered pets: a license costs $42.00 per year.
Owners age 65 or older: a license costs $6.00 per year.
Applications for licenses are due within 15 days of vaccination. Residents new to Maricopa County and new dog owners must purchase a license within 30 days. Licenses can be purchased at either Maricopa County Animal Care & Control locations, online here: license now , or via mail in application that can be downloaded here: application.
Licensing your dog works to fund shelter programs and serves as an extra form of identification if your furry friend becomes lost. It’s a win-win program, so we hope you will choose to “Tag Your Wag” today!