County Dog Licensing Rules

Do you have a dog? You may be breaking the law and not even know it. Maryland law and Carroll County code Chapter 90 require all dogs four months and older to have a valid rabies inoculation and a current county dog license.

What’s the point of licensing your dog, you may ask? There are a few reasons, the most important being the safety and welfare of the public and of your furry friend.

The licensing fee in Carroll County ranges between $5 and $25 depending on if your dog is spayed/neutered (it’s cheaper if the animal is spayed/neutered). The money citizens pay to license their dogs goes to support the work of the Humane Society of Carroll County. It’s money well spent to care for and re-home the thousands of animals the Humane Society sees each year.

Another great reason to license your pet is because it makes it much easier to reunite you with your furry friend should he or she run off. Licensed animals are far more likely to be returned to their owners. Yes, microchipping will also help you get your animal back, but the license provides a visible tag that people can see immediately to know the dog belongs to someone.

Licensing your dog will also help the county understand what the dog population looks like in the county and help determine necessary services. Just like more bikers means more bike paths, more registered animals may lead to more facilities (such as dog parks) and services.

If a dog is licensed, then that means it is current on its rabies. In the unfortunate event that someone gets bitten by a dog, seeing a current license will at least give peace of mind that the dog does not present a rabies threat.

Finally, you should get your dog licensed because it’s the law. It’s relatively inexpensive, can be obtained at locations throughout the county and is a safety measure for people and dogs alike. The fines for not having your dog licensed are stiffer than the cost to license your pooch.

A rabies tag is not a dog license — they are two different things. Carroll County dog licenses expire on Dec. 31 of each year, so make sure you get a renewal in January.