It’s state law to license your dog


Auditor, dog warden explain dog licensing process

By Jennifer Woods - jwoods@aimmediamidwest.com



The Fayette County Dog Shelter has two play yards to allow the dogs staying there to play and socialize. This sign hangs on one of the fences of the play yard area.

The Fayette County Dog Shelter has two play yards to allow the dogs staying there to play and socialize. This sign hangs on one of the fences of the play yard area.


Jennifer Woods | Record-Herald file photo

Those locals who choose not to license their dogs through the Fayette County Auditor or Dog Shelter can be issued a citation and be charged with a minor misdemeanor.

The registration of dogs and the associated fees are in accordance with the appropriate legislation: Ohio House Bill 59 and payment to OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Registering pets is not only a legal requirement from the state but it can help get pets home, explained Fayette County Dog Warden Nelson Prater.

“Minus the fact that it’s a state law to purchase the dog’s license and have your dog registered through the county auditor,” he said, “if a dog is wearing a tag, nine-out-of-10 times that dog will never make it to the shelter. Somebody will call us and we can look it up through the dog license system and we can contact you.”

If the dog did end up at the shelter, there would be a reliable way to track down its owners. When dogs end up at the shelter without a license, that advantage of tracking down owners is lost and the license must be purchased when owners do locate the dogs.

Fayette County Auditor Brenda Mossbarger explained that the fees go into the county and benefit everyone, as it allows documentation of who has what.

Payments can be made all year to both the dog shelter and the auditor’s office.

The dog shelter is located at 1550 Robinson Road in Washington Court House. It only accepts cash payments and will only issue one-year registrations.

The Fayette County Auditor’s Office is located in the county administration building, suite 303, 133 S. Main St. in Washington Court House. Cash and checks can be accepted at this location and they can issue multi-year and permanent licenses.

Mossbarger was recently authorized in a Fayette County Commissioners’ meeting to begin accepting payments for 2020 dog license fees.

During that same commissioners’ meeting the fees for dog licensure were set: $14 per year, $42 every three years, $140 for permanent license. These costs are per dog and dog specific; the license cannot be transferred to another dog. The license must be renewed when they expire, unless the permanent license is purchased.

The kennel fee was set for $70.

The time for open registration is Dec.1 through Jan. 31. If licenses are purchased during this time there are no fees or penalties. If the license is purchased outside of this time a late fee of $14 will be charged.

Mossbarger explained that typically when a person registers late they will pay the late fee and the yearly registration cost, then have to register again during the open registration. This would bring the total to $28 to finish out the year for one dog’s license. The late fee is waived if the dog has been newly-adopted or born.

In other words, if a person has a new dog that is either a puppy or proven to be newly-adopted, they can purchase the license without a late fee. If a person has had a dog but never got a license, a license for the dog can be purchased anytime, however purchasing the license outside of December and January will incur the late fee. Waiting until December or January will incur no late fee, just the registration cost.

When registering a dog, the information that is needed includes an estimation of the dog’s age, the dog’s breed (mixed breed is an option), the address for the owners, the owners’ names and the dog’s name.

Tags bought at stores or out of machines are identification tags. Identification tags do not count for the state law so even with this type of tag a citation and misdemeanor can be issued.

Information in this article came from the Fayette County Commissioners’ office, Fayette County Dog Warden Nelson Prater and Fayette County Auditor Brenda Mossbarger.

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.

The Fayette County Dog Shelter has two play yards to allow the dogs staying there to play and socialize. This sign hangs on one of the fences of the play yard area.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2019/08/web1_graphic-rescued-pets-1.jpgThe Fayette County Dog Shelter has two play yards to allow the dogs staying there to play and socialize. This sign hangs on one of the fences of the play yard area. Jennifer Woods | Record-Herald file photo
Auditor, dog warden explain dog licensing process

By Jennifer Woods

jwoods@aimmediamidwest.com