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Dog Licenses


About Licensing

Photo of dog licenseDid you know that over 12,500 pets are currently licensed in Monterey County?

Why License your pet?

A properly licensed pet assures that the rabies vaccination is current. Because the rabies virus is present in Monterey County, current rabies vaccinations are mandatory for dogs and cats over 4 months old. Licenses are mandatory for dogs and voluntary for cats.

In addition to being required by law, other benefits that come with having a licensed pet include a reliable form of identification if your pet becomes lost and less chance of your pet ending up at an animal shelter.

Get a new License

If you live in unincorporated Monterey County, the cities of Carmel, Sand City or Greenfield, or at CSUMB, your dog must be licensed after it is 4 months old. Cat licensing is voluntary but a rabies vaccination is required once the cat is 4 months old.

A proof of a current Rabies Vaccination is required to obtain a license. Rabies vaccinations can be obtained at your local veterinarian or at local low cost vaccine clinics. For more information, please call (831) 769-8850.

To get a license by mail:

    1. Print out and complete the license application.
    2. Mail it along with the appropriate fee, proof of spay/neuter (required for altered license) and a current rabies vaccination to: Monterey County Animal Services
      • ATTN: Licensing Dept.
      • 160 Hitchcock Road
      • Salinas, CA 93908

The fee schedule is available here. Please remember to include a $20 late fee if the license has been expired for more than 30 days.

Renew you license

Dog License must be renewed every one to three years depending on when you last licensed your pet and the amount you paid.

Click here to download the license application in English / Aplicacion para la licencia de su mascota 2016.

purple pawDid you know? Discounted rates are available for Seniors and Certified Guide/Service Dogs. For the Senior discount, the pet must be spayed or neutered.

Licensing Is Good For Your Pet

Would Your Pet Want to Be Licensed?

dog resting with sunglasses

They sure would, if they knew it could mean the difference between life and death.

Licensed pets are more likely to:

  • Be reunited with their owners if they stray and become lost.
  • Receive emergency veterinary treatment if they are injured and you are not home to authorize treatment.
  • Be vaccinated against rabies, protecting them and you from contracting this fatal virus.
  • Be spayed or neutered, which is of definite benefit to the health of your pet and it reduces many unwanted litters that end up at our shelter.

Licensing your cat and your dog provides your pet with an identification system that can trace your pet back to you any time, day or night. That’s why it is often described as a “security system”.

For extra insurance in the event your pet does get lost, consider micro-chipping. It’s the latest in animal identification. It’s a chip smaller than a grain of rice that is inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades of the animal. When scanned, it will have a number that can be linked back to the animal’s owner, as long as the information is current. Most animal control officers and shelters scan animals for microchips these days. It can literally be a lifesaver, should your pet lose its collar and tags. You’d be surprised how many times our shelter has heard from people searching for a lost pet, “I just gave him a bath and forgot to put his collar back on. He never leaves the yard.” Contact your local veterinarian for more information.

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