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Dog License Information


Does my dog need a license?
- Yes. Every person who owns a dog which becomes three months of age after January 31st and before July 1st must file an application within 30 days of the January 31st deadline and pay the full annual fee. If the dog becomes three months of age after July 1st, the fee is one-half the annual fee.
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Why should I get a license for my dog?
- Because it's the law! And a license is a lost dog's ticket home! When your dog has its license attached to its collar, its assigned license number is all that is necessary for our office to identify the dog's owner.
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What do I do if I find a lost dog?
- Please call your local Dog Shelter or Animal Control.
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How do I report my dog as having been lost?
- Please call your local Dog Shelter or Animal Control.
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How often does the license have to be renewed?

  • One Year Tag
  • Dog licenses are valid for the calendar year in which they are issued and through January 31st of the following year.

  • Three Year Tag
  • The State of Ohio has passed new code for County Auditor's to provide dog owners the option of purchasing a three (3) year tag.

  • Permanent Tag
  • The State of Ohio has passed new code for County Auditor's to provide dog owners the option of purchasing a permanent tag.

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    How much does a dog license cost?

    The cost to purchase a dog license in Athens County is set by the Board of County Commissioners (O.R.C. 955.01).

  • One Year Tag
  •           $26 - Regular fee per dog
              $16 - Spayed/Neutered per dog
  • Three (3) Year Tag
  •           $78 - Regular fee per dog
              $48 - Spayed/Neutered per dog
  • Permanent Tag
  •           $260 - Regular fee per dog
              $160 - Spayed/Neutered per dog
  • Kennel Tag
  •           $70 for five (5) tags
                   Must own at least five (5) dogs
                   Must own a state issued vendor's license
              $1 per additional tag
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    How does my dog qualify for a discount license rate?
    - Athens County implements a Spayed/Neutered Exemption that reduces the license rate by $10.00 per dog. To qualify, the dog must be one of the following:
    • Spayed or Neutered.
    • Advanced in years or has a medical condition preventing the dog from being spayed or neutered.
    • Used or intended to be used for breeding, showing, or hunting.
    • Too young to alter (9 months or younger).
    The Spayed/Neutered Exemption is ONLY available online for renewal of Spayed or Neutered dogs previously approved as such by the county. First time Exemption is NOT available online. Exemption may require visual proof not easily accomplished via the Internet. Such proof may include:
    • Rabies vaccination form referencing spayed/neutered status.
    • Veternarian letter stating dog's age or medical condition as it relates to spaying/neutering.
    Please contact the county for a dog qualifying for the Exemption for the first time, or a dog who qualified as a puppy last year as that qualification is not available upon renewal.
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    How can I avoid a late fee?
    - Ohio law requires licenses to be renewed between December 1 and January 31 each year. After January 31, if you wait more than thirty (30) days to license a dog over three (3) months of age, Ohio law requires the Auditor to assess a late fee equal to the cost of the license. There are no provisions in the law to waive the fee.
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    How do I get a duplicate license? How do I replace a lost license?
    - If you or your pet loses a license, you can request a duplicate license from the County Auditor's Office for a small fee. Please contact your County Auditor's office for the necessary form.
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    How do I transfer a license to a new owner?
    - The ownership of a current dog license can be transferred to another owner for a small fee. The current owner on file, or executor of the current owner's estate, must sign the transfer form. It is also advisable for the new owner to sign the form. Please contact your County Auditor's office for the necessary form.
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    What if I move?
    - If you move within your current County, you can call your County Auditor's office with your new address and telephone number so they can keep the information up-to-date. If you move to another county, call that County's Auditor for licensing information.
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    Where do the proceeds go from the dog license program?
    - The license proceeds support the County Dog Shelter and the issuance of licenses. They are often the sole support for day-to-day operations at the County Dog Shelter.
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    Where can I find the laws that apply to dog licensing?
    - The laws governing dog licensing in the State of Ohio can be found in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), sections 955.01 thru 955.99.
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    How do I know that purchasing a license online is safe?
    - The system is PCI DSS compliant and uses industry-standard technology for the secure handling of user and credit card information. All passwords and credit card numbers are encrypted. Hard drives in production servers are encrypted. During a transaction any sensitive data is transported via SSL. Firewalls guard against intrusion. Any unnecessary server application is turned off. Periodic scans by a third-party are done to detect vulnerabilities and maintain PCI DSS compliance.
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    Do County officials have access to my credit card information?
    - No. Credit card information is not made available to County officials. If for any reason your credit card cannot be processed, you will be notified via email or telephone and directed with how to make corrections. Credit card orders for dog licenses will not be accepted over the telephone.
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    How will I know that my order was placed?
    - After completing the check-out process, you will see a confirmation page with a transaction number. We recommend you print or save this page for your records.
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    How long does it typically take before I receive my dog license?
    - Licenses are sent through the postal mail and should arrive within 10 business days. Please contact the County if your license doesn't reach you within this period. Extra processing time may be necessary between December 1 to January 31 due to volume.
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    What is the definition of a Kennel Owner?
    Ohio Revised Code Section 955.02 - A kennel owner is a person, partnership, firm, company, or corporation professionally engaged in the business of breeding dogs for sale.
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    How can I avoid late fees?
    If your application and payment is not received by the auditor’s office on or before January 31st, a penalty equal to the Dog License Fee will be assessed in addition to the standard Dog License Fee.
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    How do I replace a lost license?
    If you or your pet loses a license, you can obtain a duplicate tag for $5.00.
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    How do I transfer a license to a new owner?
    The ownership of a current license can be transferred to another owner for $5.00.
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    Where can I purchase a dog license?
    • Athens County Auditor's Office
      15 S. Court St., Room 330
      Athens, OH 45701
      (740) 592-3223

    • Athens County Dog Shelter
      13333 SR 13
      Millfield, OH 45761
      (740)593-5415
      Note: The shelter only sells single year tags. All other business must be conducted at the Auditor's office.

    • Online via the Athens County Dog Licensing System

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    Can I purchase a dog license by mail?
    Payments can be made in person with cash, check, or money order. Applications and payments can also be made through mail by check or money order (no cash please) to:
    • Jill A. Thompson
      Athens County Auditor
      15 S. Court St. Room 330
      Athens, OH 45701
    Please include a copy of your application, payment, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Your tag and receipt will be mailed back to you.
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    For more information call the County Auditor's Office at (740) 592-3223.
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