Williams County's Mascot, Elmo

Williams County Dog Laws & Regulations

Please note: Dog tag fees have increased for 2008. A single tag is $14.00. A Kennel License will be $70.00. 

Why License Your Dog?

There is one exceptionally good reason for licensing your dog; if your animal is missing, the dog warden can quickly notify you that your pet has been found, enabling you to quickly claim him.

Section 955.12 of the Ohio Revised Code allows the county to hold a licensed dog for up to 14 days, after mailing a notice of its capture to the owner, before allowing it to be either sold or destroyed. (If a dog is unlicensed, the Law allows it to be either destroyed or sold after being held for only three days.)

Dog Tags May Be Issued By…


Service Dogs Are Permanently Registered

Service dogs (guide, leader and support animals) must also be licensed, but their fee is waived. Once they are registered with the county, they are permanently licensed by receiving a special tag.

Licensing Your Dog Is Easy and Inexpensive

If you own a dog that is over three months of age, stop by your County Auditor's Office between December 1 and the following January 31. Simply fill out the brief registration form and pay the annual fee per dog or kennel.

Each dog receives a distinctive tag number (dog kennels receive five consecutively numbered tags).

Once your dog has been assigned a license, the license number and the information about him is permanently filed in the county's records.

If you obtain a dog after January 31, the Law requires its registration (Ohio Revised Code Section 955.01) within 30 days of your becoming the owner. There is a late registration fee if the registration is not obtained within 30 days of obtaining the dog.

Ensure That Your Dog Stays Home

Ohio Law requires all dog owners keeping 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 in hunting accompanied by the owner…or a handler." (Ohio Revised Code 955.22)


A License Helps Keep Your Pet Safe

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 redeemed 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. The animal may also be donated to any nonprofit special agency engaged in training service dogs (Ohio Revised Code 955.16).

If Your Dog's Tag Is Lost…

Simply provide your County Auditor with proof of its loss and a duplicate tag will be issued for $1.50.

To Claim Your Dog If He's Been Impounded…

You need to go to your local pound (or, in some counties, the Humane Society is authorized to act as the county's dog warden) and pay the costs the county incurred for impounding and housing your dog. If your dog was not licensed when picked up, you must also purchase a registration tag before taking him home.

Your Dog Warden's Duties

Chapter 955 of the Ohio Revised Code lists the county dog warden's duties. They include:


Dog wardens and deputies have "the same police powers as are conferred upon sheriffs and police offices in the performance of their duties…" (Ohio Revised Code 955.12)

Section 955.24 also states "No person shall obstruct or interfere with anyone lawfully engaged in capturing an unregistered dog or making an examination of a dog wearing a tag."


Definition of "Kennel Owner"

According to the Ohio Revised Code, section 955.02, a kennel owner is a "person, partnership, firm, company, or corporation professionally engaged in the business of breeding dogs for hunting or sale." When a person breeds dogs avowedly as a hobby, "but permits sales to become such a factor that he advertises for sale" the breeding activity and dogs, that person "is professionally engaged in the business of dog breeding" and should be registered as a kennel.

The term "kennel" means any pack or collection of dogs, over the age of three months, kept together for the purpose of hunting or for sale. (Ohio Revised Code 955.04)

If Your Dog Moves To A New Home

The new owner is required to record the ownership change with the County Auditor. They must present a transfer of ownership certificate, signed by the former owner, and pay the $0.25 fee.

Ensure That Your Dog Says Healthy

By the time your dog is 3-4 months old, it should be immunized against rabies and other communicable diseases. Depending on which vaccine your veterinarian uses, your dog will need booster shots every one or three years.

Williams County Auditor's Office Court House Bryan
A.J.'s Bait N Tackle 609 N State St Pioneer
Bryan Area Animal Hospital 12765 ST RT 34 Bryan
Buckeye Veterinary Hospital  (12/1/06 - 1/31/07) 03422 ST RT 49 Edgerton
Donaldson's Ace Hardware 421 N Union St Bryan
Dog Warden, Pam Stark 09992 CO RD 16 Bryan
Edon Farmers Co-Op 205 S Michigan  Edon
Fountain City Veterinary Hospital 1202 S Main St Bryan
Handyman Hardware & Paints 111 W Jackson St West Unity
Montpelier Do-It-Best Hardware 1450 Whitaker Way Montpelier
Northwest Ohio Dog Trainers Main & Henry Streets Montpelier
Premier Veterinary Care 201 E Jackson St West Unity
Pretty Pets   (12/1/06 - 1/31/07) 219 Washington Blakeslee
Stryker Farmers Exchange  (12/1/06 - 1/31/07) 114 S West St Stryker
Town & Country 1210 E High St Bryan
Williams County Humane Society 09464 CO RD 13 Bryan

The current price of a single license is $14.00.  The current price of a kennel license is $70.00. Dog Tags are on sale at the above locations through January 31, 2008, without penalty. All issuing agencies except the Auditor's office will charge a fee of $.75 per license or kennel license. All dogs, three months or older, are required to have a license. (O.R.C. 955.01) A TWELVE DOLLAR ($14.00) PENALTY will be added for each license and A SIXTY DOLLAR ($70.00) PENALTY will be added for each kennel license after January 31, 2008.


Dog Tag Application