Licensing

Dog with License

We provide pet licensing for pets residing within the city limits of Escondido, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos and Vista. Those residing within San Diego County outside of our jurisdiction should contact County of San Diego Department of Animal Services. For questions about licensing, feel free to email [email protected].

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Licensing FAQs


Why Get a License?

If your dog is ever missing, a license tag provides a quick and accurate way of notifying you if someone else finds your pet. It also provides proof that your dog has been vaccinated against rabies, as required by law.

Once your dog has been assigned a license, the number and the information about your dog is permanently filed in our records. Your dog keeps the same license tag number for life.

The owner of every dog over the age of four months is required by law to ensure that his or her pet is currently vaccinated against rabies. You must purchase a license:

  • Within thirty (30) days after reaching the age of four (4) months, or
  • Within thirty (30) days of acquiring the dog, or
  • Within thirty (30) days after entering the jurisdiction.

Important Licensing Info

  • Failure to obtain a license, or to renew the license by the expiration date will result in a late fee.
  • Rabies vaccination of dogs (a prerequisite for licensing) has been highly effective as an animal and public health measure, and is especially important in areas like ours where the potential threat of exposure to rabies from wildlife is a significant concern. The primary rabies vaccination is good for one year. The second vaccination is given one year later. Subsequent (or booster) vaccinations are valid for three years.
  • A dog’s license tag must be securely fastened to the dog’s collar or harness and worn by the dog at all times. Dog licensing is the best way to ensure your pet is identifiable, if found, and is also a visible means of ensuring that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies.
  • Dog license fees are not refundable.

Licensing Fees

License fees are an investment in the health and safety of our pets. These small fees also assist San Diego Humane Society in providing care to stray and homeless animals and further our efforts to eliminate animal cruelty and neglect.

Oceanside

  • 1 yr / 3 yrs  License Term
  • $50 / $150  Unaltered
  • $15 / $40  Altered
  • $20  Late Fee
  • $5  Transfer/Replacement

Vista

  • 1 yr / 3 yrs  License Term
  • $50 / $100  Unaltered
  • $15 / $40  Altered
  • $20  Late Fee
  • $5  Transfer/Replacement

Escondido/Poway/San Marcos

  • 1 yr / 2 yrs / 3 yrs  License Term
  • $30 / $52 / $72  Unaltered
  • $14 / $26 / $36  Altered
  • $10  Late Fee
  • $5  Transfer/Replacement

Imperial Beach

  • 1 yr / 2 yrs / 3 yrs  License Term
  • $30 / $52 / $72  Unaltered
  • $14 / $26 / $36  Altered
  • $10  Late Fee
  • $5  Transfer/Replacement


How to Apply for a License

  1. Visit us at our Escondido or Oceanside location and complete a licensing form. For the incorporated cities of Escondido, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos, and Vista, download this licensing application
  2. Provide proof of current rabies vaccination. If your pet cannot get a rabies vaccination due to a medical condition, please complete this rabies exempt form with your veterinarian.
  3. Provide proof of spay or neuter, if applicable.
  4. Make check payable to San Diego Humane Society.
  5. Questions? Email [email protected].

Pet License Incentive Program

To offer pet owners peace of mind – and some benefits – as they invest in the health and safety of their pets, we provide the Pet License Incentive Program:

Fast Track

licensing_fasttrack

Found pets with current licenses can be quickly reunited with their owner or rushed to an appropriate veterinarian if severely injured.

Free Ride Home

The first time a licensed pet is picked up or brought to San Diego Humane Society, it will receive a free ride home or free pass to go home, reducing its stay or even skipping a trip to San Diego Humane Society altogether.


Vacation Pet Alert

Before you leave for vacation, call 619-243-3420 to register your pet for the Vacation Pet Alert service. Provide us with the contact information of who will be caring for your pet and who is allowed to act on your behalf while you’re away. This will also put the Extended Stay service into effect.

Extended Stay

When found, your licensed pet will be cared for by San Diego Humane Society for up to 14 days before being put up for adoption.



RESIDENTS OF IMPERIAL BEACH, poway AND SAN MARCOS CAN PURCHASE A DOG LICENSE ONLINE AT PETHUB.COM

San Diego Humane Society is working with PetHub.com to help pet owners living in Imperial Beach, Poway and San Marcos to purchase a license or renew a license through an online portal. In addition, the license tag that you receive can be activated at PetHub for additional features to help return your pet if they escape (and avoid a trip to the animal shelter).

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