Q&A with the Animal Shelter: Does my dog have to wear his license tag?

Q&A with the Animal Shelter: Does my dog have to wear his license tag?

Each month, you will have the chance to have your questions answered by the animal shelter.

I received a letter from Washington County Animal Services asking me to license my dog. How do you know I have a dog?  

You may receive a letter from us when your dog receives their rabies vaccination because Washington County code requires veterinarians in our county to share their rabies vaccination information with us. When we receive rabies information from a veterinarian, we then take that information and cross-check it to update the rabies vaccination expiration date for the dog licensed at the address listed with the rabies certificate. If we don’t see any indication that your dog is licensed, we’ll send you a letter as a courtesy to remind you of the requirement and importance of having your dog licensed. If you do not license your dog after receiving this, you may receive a follow-up letter indicating that your dog is overdue for a license. We may also learn that you have a dog if they come to our shelter as a stray, a complaint is made involving your dog, or because you licensed your dog on your own prior to us contacting you. Having your dog licensed helps them get home quickly, you avoid a citation for failure to license, and the cost of a first-time redemption fee at the shelter goes from $65 to $10!


Does my dog always have to wear his license tag? 

If your dog is microchipped and the chip number is registered with Washington County Animal Services, then your dog does not have to wear the physical license tag. However, we do encourage you to make sure your dog always has identification on them, such as a collar with an ID tag in case they get lost. If your dog is not microchipped, they must wear their license tag on their collar along with their identification. If the clanking of multiple tags bothers you, consider using a dog tag silencer that can be purchased online or at a pet supply store. Although the word “silencer” doesn’t exactly warm the heart, these affordable tag covers made from silicon or fabric make it more pleasant to keep your furry friend’s collar on them at all times, increasing your chances of a reunion should they ever get lost.

For more information on these topics and more, please visit www.WashingtonCountyPets.com. The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located in downtown Hillsboro at 1901 SE 24th Ave. Email your questions to: Stacy_Beckley@co.washington.or.us