Local Dog Control Services
Every licensing town, city or village must have a Dog Control Officer (DCO) and municipal shelter services. The DCO and shelter service enforces both State and any local dog laws and ordinances. Further, it is the DCO’s responsibility to pick up lost and stray dogs and humanely care for them until they can be reunited with their owners.
If your dog is lost or you find a lost dog, immediately contact your local DCO or shelter. Owners should seek lost unidentified dogs at the municipal shelter.
If a dog is lost but identified with a NYS identification tag, the DCO will contact the NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets to trace the dog tag to the owner.
What Dogs Must Be Licensed?
Every dog, regardless of age, owned or harbored in New York State for longer than 30 days must be licensed in the town, city or village where the dog is being harbored. The following are the only license exemptions:
if the dog is under four months of age and not running-at-large (off the owner’s premises)
dogs harbored in New York City (these dogs must be licensed by the NYC Department of Health)
if a non-resident brings a dog into New York State for less than 30 days and the dog is licensed according to the resident state’s licensing laws
dogs confined to the premises of any public or private hospital, research institution or a Class A Dealer with a certificate of exemption from the Commissioner.
How to License Your Dog
Apply for your dog license at your licensing agent or see the instructions to download the dog license application (DL-1) and follow the accompanying instructions. This would be the clerk of the town, city or in some counties, village.
In addition to the application the owner will need:
1) If the dog is spayed or neutered - a certificate from a licensed vererinarian or an affidavidt from the owner showing that the dog has been spayed or neutered, unless this proof is already on file with the clerk.
2) All dogs 3 months or older must have proof of a rabies vaccination signed by a licensed veterinarian or a certificate stating why the dog would be endangered by the vaccine; and
3) A check payable to the municipal licensing agent for the appropriate license fee.
After the application and appropriate certificates are filed and the license fee has been paid, the license will be validated for one year by the municipal licensing agent. Each dog is assigned a permanent official identification (ID) number and issued a metal ID tag which is to be attached to the dog’s collar. NO REFUND WILL BE MADE AFTER A LICENSE HAS BEEN VALIDATED.
If you are interested in a purebred license, contact your local licensing clerk.