San Diego Humane Society and SPCA
Tis the Season

Licensing

We provide pet licensing for pets residing within the city limits of Escondido, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos and Vista. Those residing within San Diego County outside of our jurisdiction should contact County of San Diego Department of Animal Services.

SAN DIEGO SHELTERS BY AREA >

 

Why Get a License?

If your dog is ever missing, a license tag provides a quick and accurate way of notifying you if someone else finds your pet. It also provides proof that your dog has been vaccinated against rabies, as required by law.

Once your dog has been assigned a license, the number and the information about your dog is permanently filed in our records. Your dog keeps the same license tag number for life.

The owner of every dog over the age of four months is required by law to ensure that his or her pet is currently vaccinated against rabies (OCC 4.26, VMC 6.08.050, SDCC Section 62.610) and licensed (OCC 4.17, VMC 6.07.010, SDCC Section 62.620[a]). You must purchase a license:

  • Within thirty (30) days after reaching the age of four (4) months, or
  • Within thirty (30) days of acquiring the dog, or
  • Within thirty (30) days after entering the jurisdiction.

 
Important Licensing Info

  • Failure to obtain a license as listed above, or to renew the license by the expiration date will result in a late fee.
  • Rabies vaccination of dogs (a prerequisite for licensing) has been highly effective as an animal and public health measure, and is especially important in areas like ours where the potential threat of exposure to rabies from wildlife is a significant concern. The primary or first rabies vaccination is good for one year, and the second vaccination given one-year later, and subsequent (or booster) vaccinations are valid for three years.
  • Rabies Vaccination must be effective through the entire licensing period. License expirations are assigned the longest time period permissible under current state and local laws based on the license duration you select and the time left remaining on the rabies vaccination submitted with the application.
  • A dog's license tag, which must be securely fastened to the dog's collar or harness and worn by the dog at all times (OCC 4.20[a], VMC 6.07.040[a], SDCC Section 62.620[e]), provides a uniform system of identification, as well as a visible means of ensuring that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies.
  • Dog license fees are not refundable.

 
Licensing Fees

  Oceanside Vista Escondido/Poway/San Marcos
License Term 1 yr / 3 yrs 1 yr / 3 yrs 1 yr / 3 yrs
Unaltered $50 / $150 $50 / $100 $30 / $72
Altered $15 / $40 $15 / $40 $14 / $36
Late Fee $20 $20 $10
Transfer/Replacement $5 $5 $5

License Fees are an investment in the health and safety of our pets and assists SDHS in providing care to stray and homeless animals and our efforts to eliminate animal cruelty and neglect. Licensing FAQs >

 
How to Apply for a License

  1. Visit us at our Escondido or Oceanside location or at a Mobile Clinic Event (see below) and complete a licensing form. For Oceanside and Vista, download this license application. For Escondido, San Marcos, and Poway, download this license application.
  2. Provide proof of current rabies vaccination.
  3. Provide proof of spay or neuter, if applicable.
  4. Make check payable to the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA.

 
Pet License Incentive Program

In support of our pet licensing efforts and to offer pet owners peace of mind as they invest in the health and safety of their pets, we have launched this new Pet License Incentive Program with four exciting benefits:

Licensing - fast track

Fast Track: Found pets with current licenses can be quickly reunited with their owner or rushed to an appropriate veterinarian if severely injured.

Licensing - free ride

Free Ride Home: The first time a licensed pet is picked up or brought to SDHS, it will receive a free ride home or free pass to go home, reducing its stay or even skipping a trip to SDHS altogether.

Licensing - vacation alert

Vacation Pet Alert: When you leave home for vacation, call 760.730.8850 to register your pet with the contact information of who will be caring for your pet and who is allowed to act on your behalf while you are away. This will allow us to quickly return your pet to the person you choose and will also allow for the Extended Stay program to go into effect.

Licensing - extended stay

Extended Stay: When found, your licensed pet will be cared for by us for up to 14 days prior to being put up for adoption.

 

Mobile Clinic Events

To provide a convenient resource for the residents in our community, our Escondido Campus provides $6 rabies vaccines at their facility during normal business hours. No appointment is necessary, and walk-ins are welcome.

In addition, on the first Sunday of every month from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m., our Oceanside Campus holds an affordable vaccine clinic at 572 Airport Rd. in Oceanside.

There are also monthly Mobile Vaccine Clinics at various locations throughout the cities of Oceanside and Vista. Please note that the vaccines are CASH ONLY at these events. These clinics will be held on the fourth Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

To find locations and dates, search for "Affordable Licensing" on our calender.

 
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