Dog Laws & Regulations

Why License Your Dog?

There is one exceptionally good reason for licensing your dog; if your animal is missing, the dog warden can quickly notify you that your pet has been found, enabling you to quickly claim him.

Section 955.12 of the Ohio Revised Code allows the county to hold a licensed dog for up to 14 days, after mailing a notice of its capture to the owner, before allowing it to be either sold or destroyed. (If a dog is unlicensed, the Law allows it to be either destroyed or sold after being held for only three days.)


Dog tags may be issued by:

  • Authorized dog wardens and their deputies
  • Authorized Humane Societies
  • The County Auditor
  • Other authorized agents
  1. Easy Licensing
  2. Service Dogs
  3. Keep Dog at Home
  4. Safe Pet
  5. Lost Dog Tag
  6. Claim Your Dog
  7. Warden's Duties
  8. "Kennel Owner"
  9. New Home
  10. Vaccines

Licensing Your Dog Is Easy & Inexpensive

If you own a dog that is over three months of age, stop by your County Auditor's Office, an authorized agent or online at Williams County Online Dog Licensing page between December 1st and the following January 31st. Simply fill out the brief registration form and pay the annual fee per dog or kennel (available from Dog Warden only). H.B. 59 (effective December 1, 2013) allows individuals to register a dog for a period of one year ($18), three years ($54), or register the dog permanently ($180) rather than requiring annual registration as in current law. Three year and permanent tags are available in the Auditor's office or from the Dog Warden.

Each dog receives a distinctive tag number (dog kennels receive five consecutively numbered tags). Once your dog has been assigned a license, the license number and the information about him is permanently filed in the county's records.

Additional Information

If you obtain a dog after January 31, the Law requires its registration (Ohio Revised Code Section 955.01) within 30 days of your becoming the owner. There is a late registration fee if the registration is not obtained within 30 days of obtaining the dog. If you obtain a dog becoming 3 months of age or purchase a dog out of state after the 1st day of July, you have 90 days to register the dog. The fee is half-price. If purchasing a 3 year tag the period for the first year will be 83% of the original fee.