Licensing Your Dog In Iowa County
Spring brings many things to us including dog licensing time. Property owners throughout Iowa County receive their dog licensing notices along with property tax notices each year with a deadline of April 1st for purchasing a dog license without penalty. Despite this annual reminder, many dogs within Iowa County remain unlicensed even though licensing is required both by state statute and local county ordinance. The most common reasons given for failing to license one's dog is lack of knowledge that licensing is required and a lack of understanding of the licensing procedure and its purpose.

Things to Remember:
1. All dogs over five (5) months of age are required to have both a current rabies vaccination and county dog license and are required to wear both tags at all times with a few exceptions.
2. Any new dog brought into Iowa County must be licensed within 30 days of its arrival.
3. Dog licenses are valid for one calendar year, January 1st through December 31st of the same year.
4. The licensing deadline is April 1st each year. Failure to license by this date can result in late penalties and/or the issuance of citations.
5. In some municipalities, cats are also required to be vaccinated against rabies and licensed.
6. It is a pet owner's responsibility to know their local licensing requirements and to ensure that all pets are in compliance as required by law. Reminders are sent out by municipalities as a courtesy only and do not relieve the pet owner of the obligation to be in compliance with the vaccination and licensing requirements.

To license a dog (or cat if required in your area):
1. Obtain a dog license application from the treasurer in the municipality in which you reside.
2. Complete the application and return it to the treasurer with the following items:
     a. a valid rabies certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian
     b. proof of spay/neuter where applicable
     c. the appropriate licensing fee

You will be issued a paper license copy for your records and a county license tag which must be affixed to your pet's collar at all times. Licensing fees vary depending upon where you live, with the fees being less expensive if your pet is spayed or neutered. If your pet loses its license, you may obtain a duplicate from your local treasurer. Each dog that you own needs its own individual license. If you own more than one dog, it may be possible to obtain a multiple dog license. Please contact your local treasurer for more information on multiple dog licensing.

Why should I license my dog (or cat)?
1. It ensures all pets are vaccinated against rabies. Rabies can affect all warm-blooded creatures including humans and is usually fatal if contracted.  Providing vaccination protection in our pets protects the health and well-being of every citizen and pet in our county.
2. An unvaccinated pet which bites someone is required to be quarantined for 10 days at the owner's expense at a facility designated by the county instead of being allowed to be quarantined at the owner's residence.
3. The recommendation when an unvaccinated pet comes into contact with another animal that is suspected of being infected with rabies is to immediately euthanize the pet.  
4. Having a current dog license on your pet at all times provides ownership proof and information should your pet become lost.
5. Licensing revenue provides important funding or animal related services throughout the Iowa County area such as:
     a. Shelter services for homeless and unwanted animals through the Iowa County Humane Society
     b. Provision of a state certified Humane Officer to investigate complaints such as abuse and neglect.

Many municipalities are participating in a joint effort with the Iowa County Humane Society and Dodge-Point Mobile Pet Vet to hold low cost vaccination and licensing clinics throughout Iowa County. The purpose of these clinics is to provide an opportunity for pet owners who may not otherwise be able financially to get their pets vaccinated and licensed. Please check with either the Humane Society or your local treasurer to find out if there will be a clinic in your area.

It makes sense to provide protection for both yourself and your pets by keeping them current on rabies vaccinations and to help provide community support by purchasing licenses for your pets. Contact your local municipality treasurer.