LICENSING YOUR DOG
All dogs 3 months or older must be licensed. Dog licenses are an important way to identify and locate your pet if they get lost. Our shelters have a 90% return to owner rate because of licensing. Licenses must be renewed yearly and start at just $19.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many benefits to licensing your dog every year:
- A free ride home! If picked up at large by an Animal Control officer, your lost dog will be returned to you the same day (whenever possible) without having to come to the shelter.
- Saves you money. If we pick up your lost dog and can’t reach you, the first 24 hours at the shelter will be at no charge. Also, if your dog bites someone, it may be eligible for home quarantine, rather than being quarantined at your expense in our facility or at a veterinary hospital.
- Keeps your dog safer. You are registered as the dog’s owner in our database, which helps us to reunite you more quickly with your dog. We follow 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.
- 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.
- Saves other pets. Licensing fees directly support the daily care of the 30,000 animals that enter the shelter each year as they wait to find their forever homes.
- It’s the law. In Maricopa County, all dogs three months and older must be licensed. The tag you receive the first time your dog is licensed should always be attached to its collar as proof that your dog has been licensed. This will help you avoid a citation and fees for failure to license.
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
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)
First time licensing your dog? Follow this step-by-step guide.
Adding a new dog under your account? Follow this step-by-step guide.
For additional information and assistance, contact us by email or by phone at 602-506-7387 (option "5" for licensing)
First Time Renewing your dog’s license? Follow this step-by-step guide.
You have several options to request a new license or submit your renewal:
- Online – complete the application online and receive a discount on the licensing fee
- By Mail* – download and print the application then mail it in with any required documentation and your payment method
- In Person – visit our shelter to complete the process in person with a member of our dedicated team
*Please Note - Our Licensing mailing address is different than our shelter locations:
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control
P.O. Box 52014
Phoenix, AZ 85072
Chip chip hooray!
Luna was missing from her family since October but is now back home! Her family says Luna escaped during a storm and they were devastated. Weeks, months passed, and eventually they moved to northern Arizona. Yesterday, our Field Officer got a call about a stray dog and scanned for a microchip—it was Luna! Not only did she have a registered microchip, her family also filed a lost pet report with us. We called them and they happened to be in the valley for the day! They couldn’t wait to see their girl.
“I believe in the Chip, 100%. This is living proof.”
10-year-old Starlight was brought into the shelter in mid-March. She was blind, a little timid, and mostly kept to herself. Then, Kammi saw her on social media and couldn't believe it--it was her mom's dog who went missing 5 years ago! She said her mom was inconsolable when she lost "Killa," and she never stopped looking for her. Sadly, her mom passed away two years ago. When Kammi came to the shelter, Killa smelled her and couldn't stop wagging her tail and giving her kisses!
Kammi said Killa wasn't blind before she went missing, but she's ready to take on that challenge as long as it means having a piece of her family back home.
A 13-year-old old Chihuahua named Layla came into our shelter as a stray on March 27th. At the time, we didn't know her name was Layla or that a family had been looking for her for TWO YEARS! And Layla soon learned, her family never gave up looking for her.
Layla was not microchipped, but luckily her determined mom, Connie, scrolls through social media websites for lost pets every night, hoping Layla pops up. Sure enough, she saw a picture of Layla on our MCACC Field Officers Facebook page.
Connie came to the shelter and the two immediately recognized each other! Layla is now microchipped and back home with her family.