As any dog owner knows, they are much more than just pets – they are loyal companions and family members. That’s why it’s essential to protect them. One way to do that is through a legally required dog license. Ohio dog license laws have evolved over the years to ensure that dogs are safe and their owners are responsible.
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Just as dogs are required to be on a leash in public spaces due to safety concerns, dog licensing requirements serve as a means of identification and reunification for lost dogs. When a licensed dog goes missing, it can be easily identified through its license tag, making it easier for animal control officers or concerned citizens to reunite the dog with its owner safely.
Wayne County Dog Warden and Dog Shelter Director Katelyn Lehman and Auditor Jarra Underwood have teamed up with the online platform Docupet to make getting a dog license easy.
“The Docupet online platform allows an owner to license their pet from the comfort of their home in just a few easy steps, ensuring that their pet complies with Ohio law,” Lehman said. “Section 955.01 of the Ohio Revised Code states that anyone owning, keeping, or harboring a dog three months of age or older shall license their dog for one year, three years, or permanently.”
Once a new application is processed and approved, dog owners will receive a dog tag in the mail. A tag will not automatically be sent for renewals. If a new tag is needed, select the appropriate box on the application, and one will be mailed.
This tag is a visible identification for your dog and should be permanently attached to their collar. It acts as a form of identification, making it easier for authorities to identify a wayward pet.
It’s important to note dog licenses in Ohio typically need to be renewed annually. It’s the owner’s responsibility to ensure the dog’s license remains current. Failure to comply with licensing regulations can result in fines of not less than $25 or more than $100 on a first offense, and each subsequent offense shall be fined not less than $75 or more than $250 and may be imprisoned for not more than 30 days, per Ohio Revised Code.
The dog license registration period is from Dec. 1 to Jan. 31. It may be accomplished online at or in person Tuesday through Saturday at The Wayne County Dog Shelter, 5694 Burbank Road, Wooster, or Monday-Friday at the Wayne County Auditor’s Office, 428 W. Liberty St., Wooster.
Licenses also will be sold 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Kidron Town and Country, 4959 Kidron Road, Kidron, as well as 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at East Union Bulk Food, 9089 Lincoln Way E., Orrville.
Dan Starcher is the Public Communications coordinator for the Wayne County government.