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.
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.
License Your Dog Online
Residents of Carlsbad, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista can purchase a dog license online at PetHub.com.
San Diego Humane Society is working with PetHub.com to help pet owners purchase pet licenses online. The pet tag you will receive also has additional features — like your pet’s identification in case they escape — that can be activated on PetHub.com.License Your Pet Online Using PetHub
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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.|
- 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.
For Veterinary Professionals
This is a reminder of the critical information to be sent to the San Diego Humane Society to meet compliance with the San Diego County code for rabies vaccines.
Sec. 62.612. CERTIFICATE OF VACCINATION. Any veterinarian who vaccinates a dog for rabies shall certify such vaccination by properly completing, as provided in section 62.601(q), the license application — rabies certificate form issued by County for that purpose and shall forward monthly to the Department a copy of each form so completed.
Please note it is required by all veterinary practices to send this information to SDHS monthly. Current forms can be provided by SDHS at your request. They come in triplicate, and the top white copy should be sent to SDHS, one copy is for your records and the last copy is for the dog owner. All fields of the form must be completed to be valid, including:
- Vaccine name
- Lot #
- Date vaccinated
- Veterinarian signature
- Vet #
- 1 year vaccine/3 year vaccine
- Vet phone number
Current Acceptable Vaccines by the State of California
Please be sure to administer any of these rabies vaccines. All others are no longer approved by the state.
- Elanco Rabvac3
- Boehiringer Ingelheim – Rabvac 3
- Boehringer Ingelheim – Rabvac 3 Tf
- Zoetis- Defensor 3 (Pfizer)
- Zoetis – Nobivac 3 (Pfizer)
- Merial Imrab3
- Merial Imrab3TF
Rabies certifications are needed to maintain records of dogs within jurisdictions and for applications to be sent to owners to license their dog for city compliance. Licensing fees changed as of April 2020, and old forms should not be used. Please use current forms with the correct rates listed below. Your clients can send in the license application form that you give them to get their license by mail, or they may go online to sdhumane.org/license. If you need current rabies forms, please email [email protected].