Open enrollment for dog licenses is Dec. 1 to Jan. 31

"Having a license for your dog isn’t only a law, but it’s also a lost dog's ticket home," says Mindy Natichionni, director of the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter. When your dog has its license attached to its collar, its assigned license number is all that is necessary for the shelter to identify the dog's owner. If you do not buy your dog’s license during the open renewal period, Ohio law requires a late fee equal to the cost of the license.

Ohio Revised Code 955.91 states that all dog owners are required to purchase a license in the county in which the dog resides. A recent inquiry to local shelters and social media shows a growing number of dogs without any identification including a required license. This causes delays in safely reuniting pets with owners. 

If a dog comes into a facility without a license the dog is held by law for three days and then can be adopted, relinquished to a rescue group or euthanized. If a dog has a current license state law requires a 10-day hold

Licenses are available through the county shelter's website,, at Discount Drug Mart and at Pet Supplies Plus. The cost is $20 for a one-year license, $60 for three years, or $200 for a permanent license.

Nancy Brown

Nancy Brown

Owner, Hot Diggity Dog, Inc.

Blog writer for Ohio Pet Expert

Advocate for lost, stolen and injured pets

Read More on Pet Care
Volume 12, Issue 23, Posted 9:58 AM, 12.01.2020