Dog Licensing Information
Before Licensing Your Dog
A California-approved rabies vaccination of your dog and a valid Rabies Certificate is a prerequisite for licensing. Rabies vaccinations are highly effective as an animal and public health measure, and are especially important in areas like ours where the potential threat of exposure to rabies from wildlife is a significant concern. The primary rabies vaccination is good for one year. The second vaccination is given one year later. Subsequent (or booster) vaccinations are valid for three years.
Dog licenses for unaltered dogs are charged at a higher rate. For a list of low-cost spay or neuter services in San Diego please visit sdhumane.org/alterations.
Failure to obtain a license, or to renew the license by the expiration date will result in a late fee.
A dog's license tag must be securely fastened to the dog's collar or harness and worn by the dog at all times. Dog licensing is the best way to ensure your pet is identifiable, if found, and is also a visible means of ensuring that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies.
For Cities Outside San Diego Humane Society's Jurisdiction
If you reside in Chula Vista, Coronado, Lemon Grove and National City, please contact with your local jurisdiction for licensing information.
Residents of unincorporated North County and Unincorporated South County must contact the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services for licensing.
San Diego Humane Society partners with DocuPet.com so pet owners can purchase a new license or renew an existing license through their online portal. Residents of Carlsbad, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista can purchase a dog license online at DocuPet.com.
San Diego Humane Society has partnered with DocuPet to provide residents with a simple online solution for pet registration. Not only does your pet's DocuPet tag act as their official pet license in the communities that San Diego Humane Society serves, but it also comes equipped with the free HomeSafe™ 24/7 lost pet service. Your pet's tag links to their very own comprehensive online profile via a unique code on the back of their tag.
Please note, online licensing takes up to 30 days.
For immediate licensing needs, visit San Diego Humane Society’s campuses in El Cajon, Escondido, Oceanside or San Diego.
Service dog licenses, Rabies exemption licenses or any other special dog licenses cannot be completed through DocuPet.com. Information must be emailed to [email protected] or done in-person.
License your dog in person at one of these locations:
San Diego Campus: 5480 Gaines St., San Diego, CA 92110
License your dog by mail.
ATTN: SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY
Please make checks out to San Diego Humane Society.
License fees are an investment in the health and safety of our pets. These small fees also assist San Diego Humane Society in providing care to stray and homeless animals and further our efforts to eliminate animal cruelty and neglect.
*Please note, licensing fees are non-refundable.
It's the law
California Health and Safety Code (121690) requires all dogs to be vaccinated against rabies and to obtain a license:
- Within 30 days after reaching the age of four months, or
- Within 30 days of acquiring the dog, or
- Within 30 days after entering the jurisdiction.
- San Diego Humane Society offers low-cost vaccination clinics. Please visit sdhumane.org/vaccine for details.
- For a list of low-cost vaccination clinics in San Diego, please visit www.sdhumane.org/resource-guide/.
- For a list of low-cost spay or neuter services in San Diego, please visit sdhumane.org/alterations.
California Health and Safety Code (121690) requires all dogs to be vaccinated against rabies and to obtain a license. Once you have obtained a valid dog license, the below information will assist in registering a service dog with San Diego Humane Society.
Requirements for San Diego Humane Society's Service Dog Registration are:
1. A current dog license.
California Health and Safety Code (121690) requires all dogs to be vaccinated against rabies and to obtain a license. All licensing fees are waived (by law) for service dog licensing, once the dog has been established as a Service Dog through San Diego Humane Society.
2. Must be qualified as an official "service dog."
A "service dog," under California law, is a dog trained to help a specific individual with a disability with services such as fetching dropped items, minimal protection work, rescue work, or pulling a wheelchair. More information about what qualifies as a "service" animal can be found here.
3. Must live in San Diego Humane Society's Animal Service Jurisdiction.
If you meet the above qualifications, please email the following attachments to [email protected] to begin the service dog registration process.
- A copy of a doctor's note / prescription,
- A copy of your handicapped placard, or
- A copy of your SSDI award letter.
Contact us at [email protected] or call 619-299-7012 for further information or assistance with your application. Please note, applications take 6-8 weeks to complete.