Dog licenses help get lost pets back home, purchase online or over the phone

Dog licenses help get lost pets back home, purchase online or over the phone



By law, all dogs must be licensed in Washington County. But that’s not the only reason to license your furry friend! A license tag also provides your dog with identification that can help get them back home if they are ever lost. And if your dog does end up at the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter, a current license will save you money on redemption fees when you pick them up.

Additionally, the money collected from licensing helps us provide important services for animals in the county. These include investigating animal neglect and abuse cases, investigating dog bites, helping stray and injured pets, and more. By doing the responsible thing for your dog, you are also helping our community.

Dogs must be licensed when they reach the age of six months or get their permanent canine teeth. We offer a special free tag to puppies younger than six months. Your pup can wear this “puppy license” until they are old enough for a dog license. When the puppy is old enough, you or your veterinarian need to submit the dog’s rabies vaccination certificate to us to convert the puppy tag into an adult dog license. You will start paying for the license at that point and then renew the license throughout the life of your dog.

Proof of current rabies vaccination is required for a license to be valid. It can be confusing, but the rabies tag provided by some veterinarians is not the same as a dog license.

The cost of a license varies. A license will cost less if you buy it for multiple years at a time instead of renewing it annually, if your dog is spayed or neutered, or if you are at least 65 years old with a spayed or neutered dog.

Washington County dog licenses can be purchased in person, online, by mail or over the phone.


For more information on these topics and more, please visit The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th Ave in Hillsboro. If you have a question for the animal shelter, email