Licensed dogs have a higher chance of being reunited with their owners if they get lost. Humane Law Enforcement will attempt to return the dogs directly to their home if the dog is wearing an up-to-date tag.
Important health information about your dog can be placed in our licensing records so that if they get lost and end up in our care, we have a medical history for them. Buying your dog a license helps save the lives of animals by providing funding for pets in need that come to San Diego Humane Society.
It is the law. San Diego County code (62.620) and the cities of Carlsbad (7.08.010), Del Mar (4.04.020), Encinitas (4.04.020), Escondido (4-4), Imperial Beach (6.04.110), Oceanside (4.17), Poway (6.12.010), San Diego (44.0300), Santee (6.12.010), San Marcos (6.12.010), Solana Beach (8.04.101) and Vista (6.07.010) require all dogs to be vaccinated against rabies and to obtain a license within 30 days (a) of all dogs reaching 4 months of age, (b) of acquiring a dog, or (c) after moving to one of these cities. Failure to do so within this time will result in a late fee and/or a citation. If your dog ends up at our campus and is licensed, your fees will be less. If an unlicensed and unaltered dog (running at large) is brought to a San Diego Humane campus, the fines to retrieve the dog start at $150 per day. The fines are set by California Food & Agriculture Code (30804.7) and local ordinances.
A license tells others that your dog is vaccinated against rabies.
If your check was returned, there should have been a small form explaining why it was returned (i.e. incorrect payment, need a rabies shot, etc.). Please make the needed changes and return by the appointed date to avoid any late fees. If you have any questions, please call (619) 243-3420. Owners can also scan their rabies certificate or take a photo with their phones and send it to [email protected]. If you do this be sure to leave a call-back number so we can call you and collect payment over the phone.
After the dog receives his/her rabies vaccine, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista residents can print a dog license application and mail it to our San Diego Campus (5500 Gaines St., San Diego, CA 92110) or come in person to our Escondido Campus (3500 Burnet Drive, 92027), Oceanside Campus (2905 San Luis Rey Rd., 92058) or San Diego Campus (5480 Gaines St., San Diego, CA 92110) during normal business hours.
All the money goes towards funding San Diego Humane Society in our mission to promote the humane treatment of animals, to prevent cruelty to animals, and provide education to enhance the human-animal bond.
A license is not required for cats in Escondido, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos and Vista. However, we recommend microchip identification and keeping cats indoors, in addition to a collar and name tag.
Yes, a dog can still get out of the yard and a license will make it easier to return your dog.
It is the law; both the County of San Diego (62.620) and the cities of Carlsbad (7.08.010), Del Mar (4.04.020), Encinitas (4.04.020), Escondido (4-4), Imperial Beach (6.04.110), Oceanside (4.17), Poway (6.12.010), San Diego (44.0300), Santee (6.12.010), San Marcos (6.12.010), Solana Beach (8.04.101) and Vista (6.07.010) require all dogs over 4 months of age be licensed.
Yes, your city ordinance states that “it shall be unlawful to own or harbor any dog within the city, except as herein provided, without first having obtained a license…” A rabies tag only provides proof of rabies vaccine and does not qualify as a dog license; a microchip only provides proof of ownership.
The dog owner must purchase a dog license at the San Diego Humane Society Escondido, Oceanside or San Diego Campus. We recommend visiting one of our campus locations in person to process the Administrative Citation. Proof of a current rabies vaccine is required and can be obtained from any state-licensed veterinarian.
Late fees need to be paid when purchasing a license.
If you no longer own the dog, no longer live in the jurisdiction, etc. please contact the San Diego Humane Society immediately at 619-243-3420 so we can make the proper changes.
Follow the directions on the back of the Administrative Citation to ensure compliance and avoid any additional penalties.
It is your responsibility to pay the Administrative Citation within thirty (30) days of issuance, including weekends and holidays.
Frequently Asked Licensing Questions | San Diego Humane SocietyFrequently Asked Licensing Questions | San Diego Humane Society