‘If I Get Lost How Will You Ever Find Me?’ Renewing Your Dog’s License Helps Keep You Connected

Oakland County Animal Control & Pet Adoption wants to make sure that all new and existing dog owners know that they have until June 1 to renew their dog’s yearly license for as low as $10.50.

“We’re encouraging all those who need a license to get them by June 1, so they can avoid the increased fee,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Beginning June 2, you may pay more than double the cost. It makes sense to save money and get your dog’s license now.”

An important and often overlooked benefit of having a dog licensed is that should the dog go missing, the owner has a much better chance of being reunited with the pet.

“Many times, we reunite lost dogs with their owners because we have been able to track the owner down through the dog’s license,” said Robert Gatt, manager of the Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center. “If we don’t have that identifying information from the dog, it makes reunification of the pet and its owner much more difficult.”

An annual license is required when: acquiring a new dog; the dog becomes 4 months old; the owner becomes a Michigan resident; or the prior license expires. All licenses are valid for one calendar year and expire on Dec. 31. Check the year on the license to see if it is valid. A 2019 license expires Dec. 31.

“Besides being a state law since 1919, a dog license proves pet ownership, shows that rabies vaccines are up to date, as well as supports the Oakland County Pet Adoption Center, where we help about 4,000 animals a year,” Gatt said.

To purchase a license, residents must present proof the dog is spayed or neutered — if a first-time license — and a valid rabies certificate. Licenses can be purchased by mail, in person at the Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center or online at oakgov.org/petadoption. Cats do not require a license.

To purchase a license through the mail, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and rabies certificate and spay/neuter proof to:

Oakland County Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center
1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 42E
Pontiac, MI 48341

The mission of the Oakland County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center is to protect public safety through the enforcement of applicable state laws, to educate the public about responsible pet ownership, provide a humane haven for animals in our care and, where possible, reunite pets with their owners and to promote responsible pet placement. The primary beneficiaries of these services are the citizens and animals of Oakland County.

The center, under Patterson’s leadership, offers housing and medical care to more than 4,000 animals annually. It has the best save rate in Michigan among public open-admission shelters whose intakes are greater than 4,000 animals. The center is the public agency charged with enforcement of Michigan’s Dog Law of 1919. It is responsible for animal control services in 40 Oakland County communities.