Before Licensing Your Dog
A California-approved rabies vaccination of your dog is a prerequisite for licensing, and it's highly effective as an animal and public health measure. Rabies vaccinations 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.
Please note: Your veterinarian's business name and License Number or clinic name and phone number are required for verification purposes. If your pet cannot get a rabies vaccination due to a medical condition, please complete this rabies exempt form with your veterinarian.
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, La Mesa, 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.
|Online:||License your dog online at pethub.com/SanDiego.|
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.
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.
Replacement tags are $5 for Oceanside and Vista and will expire at the same time as the previous tag. Replacement tags are $10 for Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and will expire at the same time as the previous tag. They are available at our Escondido, Oceanside and San Diego Campuses and also can be ordered by phone or mail.
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.
- 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.
Licensing Service Dogs
Service dogs must maintain a current rabies vaccine and license, but the owner is usually exempt from paying for the license. For more information about service dogs, click here.
Pet License Incentive
To offer pet owners peace of mind — and some benefits — as they invest in the health and safety of their pets, we provide the following incentives:
|Found pets with current licenses can be quickly reunited with their owner or rushed to an appropriate veterinarian if severely injured.|
Free Ride Home
|The first time a currently licensed pet is picked up or brought to San Diego Humane Society, the pet will receive a free ride home or free pass to go home, reducing any stay or even skipping a trip to San Diego Humane Society altogether.|
Vacation Pet Alert
|Before you leave for vacation, call 619-299-7012 to register your licensed pet for the Vacation Pet Alert service. Provide us with the contact information of who will be caring for your pet and who is allowed to act on your behalf while you're away. This will also put the Extended Stay service into effect.|
|When found, pets with current licenses will be cared for by San Diego Humane Society for up to seven days before being put up for adoption.|