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All dogs who are aged four months old or older must be vaccinated for rabies and licensed by the City of Philadelphia. If you have recently moved into the area or are a new pet owner, it is important to learn all you can about the Philadelphia dog licensing policies and procedures to ensure that you are in compliance.

According to Section 10-103 of the Philadelphia Code, all dogs four months and older are required to be licensed. This must occur within 30 days of obtaining a dog or of moving into Philadelphia.

Prerequisites for Getting a License for Your Dog in Philadelphia

In order to get a license, your dog must have a current rabies vaccine. The easiest way to obtain proof of your pup’s rabies status is to obtain a certificate from your veterinarian.

Can I Get a Discount on My License Fees?

In some cases, you might not need to pay full price for your dog’s license. Philadelphia gives discounts for dogs who are spayed or neutered as well as for owners who are senior citizens. In the former case, you will need to provide a certificate from your veterinarian proving that the dog has been spayed or neutered. Seniors applying for a discount must provide proof that they are over 65 at the time of license purchase.

How Much Does a Philadelphia Dog License Cost?

The following license prices apply:

  • $16 for altered dogs.
  • $40 for unaltered dogs.
  • 50 percent off the license fee for senior pet owners.
  • Licenses are free for service dogs.

When Does My Dog’s License Expire?

All dog licenses are valid for a year. They expire on the last day of the month one year after they were issued.

What Do I Do if I Lost My Tag?

You don’t need to pay for a new license in this case. Instead, contact the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT Philly) for a replacement. When doing so, give as many details as possible, including your name and address, pets name, license date and tag number. The tag will cost $2.

What Are the Advantages of Having a Dog License?

In addition to being required by law, you will receive several benefits once you license your dog. They include the following:

  • You might be fined if you fail to have your dog licensed. In Seattle, for example, the fine is a whopping $125. Fortunately, it’s easy to affix the license tag you are given to your dog’s collar for easy verification.
  • If you decide to take your pup to a grooming salon or day care, you can use your license to easily prove to staff members that your fur baby is in compliance with all vaccination rules.
  • Licensed dogs are allowed to stay longer at shelters after they are found. ACCT Philly will work hard to reunite you and your pet by using the information you have provided during the licensing process.
  • Licensed dogs have a better chance of being returned to their owners.
    Animal control officials may even be able to reunite you with your dog before resorting to taking him or her to a shelter. This may mean that you get your dog back at no charge instead of needing to pay boarding costs at the shelter.

What Happens If I Rehome My Dog?

If your dog moves into a different household, the owners will need to obtain a new license as licenses are non-transferable.

How Do I Get my Dog License?

Getting the required paperwork for your dog is fast and easy. Although you can obtain it in person, it is also possible to complete the process either via mail or online. In-person purchasing is available at ACCT Philly from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on holidays. Please bring all required documents with you when purchasing a license. Additionally, there are many other retailers in the area that you can contact for this purpose.

Philadelphia is an incredible city with amazing parks and seemingly endless walking opportunities that you can enjoy with your canine best friend. Just remember that it’s vital that you protect your dog by obtaining a license for him or her every year.

Are you still procrastinating on getting this important piece of paper for your four-legged buddy? This last fact might just be what convinces you to go online, apply by mail or in person. Proceeds from dog licensing fees help to keep the city’s shelters open, fully staffed and stocked with provisions to provide high-quality services to the animals they house. So, if you haven’t done so already, get your Philly pup licensed today. It could be one of the best few minutes you spend this week.