Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith announced Friday that dog owners will be able to purchase their 2021 licenses without penalty through July 1, thanks to state legislation passed in late 2020.
Ohio H.B. 404, emergency COVID-19 relief legislation enacted on November 22, included a provision that extends licensing deadlines through July 1. According to Keith, the county only recently became aware that this provision impacts the dog licensing deadline, which is normally January 31.
The primary impact of this change is on late penalties. This year, dog licenses will be penalty-free through July 1. Normally, dog owners that purchase their license after January 31 would be penalized and required to pay double the license fee.
“It is so fast and easy to purchase a dog license online that there is no reason to delay,” said Keith. “But we know that sometimes people need just a little more time. I’m happy this change gives our dog owners extra time to buy their license without penalty.”
The licensing fee is $20 for spayed or neutered dogs and $24 for dogs that have not been altered, although there are some exceptions. Licenses can be purchased in three ways:
- Online at www.mcohio.org/dogs
- By mailing-in an application which can be downloaded at www.mcohio.org/dogs
- In-person at the County Administration Building, the Animal Resource Center, or 19 licensing outposts throughout the county
Dog licensing outposts will stop selling licenses on February 1, after which the only places to buy a 2021 dog license in-person will be the Montgomery County Administration Building and the Animal Resource Center.
However, more dog owners have been purchasing their licenses online in recent years. In 2020, 47 percent of Montgomery County’s 58,000 dog licenses were bought online. This year, more than 31,000 licenses have already been sold. So far, more than 60 percent of those 2021 licenses were bought online at www.mcohio.org/dogs.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is to license your dog,” said Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge. “If your dog gets loose just one time, the license will more than pay for itself. For just $20, you can ensure that your dog will find its way back home to your family.”
All dogs older than three months of age must be licensed under Ohio law. Dog licenses help reunite owners with their pet if it goes missing because they can be used as a quick and accurate way of notifying the owner if a dog is found. The Montgomery County Animal Resource Center helped return more than 800 lost dogs to their owners in 2020 thanks to the use of dog licenses.
Proceeds from license sales go to the Animal Resource Center to help care for stray and lost animals until they can be adopted into a caring home. Dog owners can get a bone or heart-shaped tag by providing a small additional donation to the Animal Resource Center.