Dog Rules & Regulations



Q: Why License Your Dog?

A: A dog is required by law to be licensed each year. If your pet is lost, it can be traced by the license number. A good Samaritan or the dog warden can quickly notify the pet owner and see that the dog is returned safely home.

Section 955.12 of the Ohio Revised Code allows the county to hold a licensed dog for up to 14 days. If a dog is not licensed, the law allows it to be destroyed or sold after being held for only three days. Clermont County dog licenses are available for sale year round at the Auditor's Office and the Clermont County Animal Shelter. During the open renewal selling period, which is December 1st through January 31st, you can also purchase tags at many veterinarian clinics and businesses which act as vendors or "Special Deputy Auditors" for the sale of dog licenses. Click here for list of vendor locations

You may also renew your dog license on the Web site and pay by credit card or e-check. The credit card and e-check method of payment will only be permitted on line. Payment for all dog license purchased by mail or at the Auditor's office must be by check or money order.

Q: How do I license my dog?

A: All proceeds collected for dog and kennel licenses go to the Clermont County Humane Society. These funds are used for facility operations and the care of animals waiting to be adopted.

The cost of a single year dog license during the open renewal selling period, December 1st through January 31st, is $16.00. Three year dog licenses are $48.00 and permanent dog licenses are $160.00.  Multi-year licenses are not transferable or refundable and may only be purchased during the annual renewal period. 

During the renewal period, the charge applies to all dogs over the age of three months. Puppies under three months of age are not required to be licensed. If you choose to purchase a tag at one of our vendor locations they may also collect a .75 cents administrative fee for each tag purchased.


After January 31st, there is a $16 penalty on each tag sold unless one of the following situations apply:

  1. The dog owner has had the dog less than 30 days.
  2. The dog turned 3 months of age within the last 30 days and so is not more than 4 months of age.
  3. The dog was brought in from another state within the last 30 days.

After July 1st, the owner of a puppy  or any dog purchased outside of Ohio can purchase a dog license for the prorated fee of $8.00 without penalty, provided that the license is purchased before the puppy is 4 months of age. If the puppy is not licensed before it is 4 months old, a penalty of $8.00 is also due.

Q: How do I register a service dog?

A: Service dogs (guide, leader and support animals) must also be licensed, but their fee is waived. ORC 955.011 states, "When an application is made for registration of an assistance dog and the owner can show proof by certificate or other means that the dog is an assistance dog, the owner of the dog shall be exempt from any fee for the registration.  Registration for an assistance dog shall be permanent and not subject to annual renewal so long as the dog is an assistance dog."

Q: What is the definition of a “Kennel Owner”?

A: According to the Ohio Revised Code, Section 955.02, “Dog Kennel” or “Kennel ” means an establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains adult dogs, as defined in section 956.01 of the Revised Code, for the purpose of breeding the dogs for a fee or other consideration received through a sale, exchange, or lease and that is not a high volume breeder licensed under Chapter 956. of the Revised Code.

Kennel licenses are available only through the office of the Clermont County Auditor. A kennel license fee is $80.00 per kennel (five tags included) plus $1.00 extra per tag if more than five are needed. A vendor's license is required in conjunction with the kennel license.

Q: How do I transfer ownership of my dog license?

A: A current year dog license is transferable should the dog's ownership change. The new owner may live in the same county or any Ohio county, as the dog license is valid for the entire state. To record the change of ownership the seller must complete a "Certificate of Transfer of Ownership" with the Auditor's Office in the county which issued the dog license and pay a five dollar filing fee.

Q: How do I find the owner of a lost dog?

A: A lost dog may be traced two ways:

  1. You may contact the Clermont County Auditor's Office or the Clermont County Animal Shelter during regular business hours and the staff will assist you in trying to trace the dog owner.
  2. You may also connect to the Dog License Search. The search will require the dog license number and year the license was issued. The information on our Web site will help you locate the owner of the dog. We are unable to trace vaccination tags and dog licenses issued by other counties.

Q: How do I help ensure animal & public safety?

A: Ohio Law requires that all dog owners keep their animals "either physically confined or restrained upon the premises of the owner...by a leash, tether, adequate fence, supervision, or secure enclosure to prevent escape, or under reasonable control of some person, except when the dog is lawfully engaged by handler." (Ohio Revised Code 955.22)

Q: How does a license help keep my pet safe?

A: Unless a dog is confined in a registered kennel, he must wear his license tag at all times. If he is not wearing his tag he is subject to impounding, sale or destruction (Ohio Revised Code 955.10).

If your dog is impounded because he was not wearing his license and is not claimed within three days, the dog warden may either have him humanely destroyed or sell him to any nonprofit Ohio institution or organization that is certified to engage in either teaching or researching the prevention of diseases of human beings or animals, or he may be donated to any nonprofit special agency engaged in training service dogs (Ohio Revised Code 955.16).

Q: Are you looking to adopt a pet?

A: On August 25, 2003, the Clermont County Commissioners and the Clermont County Humane Society opened the doors of a newly constructed 10,700 square foot Animal Shelter. The shelter features 2 get-acquainted rooms where families can spend time with a selected pet before making the decision of adding a new member to their family. If you are missing a pet, looking to adopt or would like to visit the new facility, the shelter is conveniently located at 4025 Filager Road. You can also visit their Web site at www.clermontotherescue.org

Q: How do I claim my dog if it’s been impounded?

A: To claim an impounded dog, you must go to the Clermont County Animal Shelter, 4025 Filager Road, (513) 732-8854 and pay the costs the county incurred for impounding and housing the dog. If your dog was not licensed when picked up, you must also purchase a dog license before taking him home.


Hours of Operation:
Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Wed. 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday & Holidays  Closed

After hours there is an emergency line for urgent calls at (513) 732-8854