Read this for everything you need to know about how to get a Kent County Dog License! Whether you just got a new puppy, adopted an adult dog, or are new to the area there are different rules about when and how long you have to get your dog licensed. It might seem confusing but it's simple once you have it all laid out in front of you.
First off, why do you need to get a Kent County Dog License in the first place? Why even bother? Most notably it's a Michigan State Law (MCL 287.268) that requires it and you can get fined for not complying. But how would anyone even find out? Well for example let's say your dog sneaks off without an up-to-date license and the person who finds them sends them to the local shelter to wait for you. You'll be picking up your dog and a shiny, new fine to go along with them! Failure to renew your dog license could even potentially result in jail time! Some places, such as certain dog parks, have rules where you must have your dog licensed and have them wearing their tag to enter. You don't want your dog to miss out on the fun! It also makes places like these dog parks safer for you and your dog because you know that everyone else there is also rabies vaccinated. Not that getting bit by a stranger's dog is ever fun but it's always a relief when the dog is vaccinated! When you pay for a dog license, you're actually helping to fund the Animal Control Department of Kent County. That's very important because they put that funding towards important work "right in your own back yard" so to speak. It allows them to investigate and prosecute animal cruelty and neglect cases in your area. They also respond to loose or aggressive dogs. All things I'm happy to help support!
Secondly, where and how can you get your Kent County Dog License? If you have a puppy, they need to get their license by the age of 4 months old! So be sure to schedule it with your vet or put it on your calendar so you don't forget. If you adopted an adult dog or you just moved to the area you will be allowed 30 days to get your dog's license. In order to get the license, you must show proof of up-to-date rabies vaccination for your dog. This is why it's usually easiest to just get the license from your veterinarian at the same time that they get their rabies shot. If you get a 1-year rabies vaccine you can get a 1-year license. If you get a 3-year rabies vaccine you can get either a 1- or 3-year license depending on which you want to purchase. I recommend getting the same as your rabies vaccine so you never forget when to update it! It will always be due the same time as your dog's shot that way. While you don't get any discount for getting a 3-year vs 1-year license you do get a reduced price if your dog is spayed/neutered and also a senior citizen discount for owners 62 and older when you show proof of age with a government issued ID. See all the Kent County Dog License pricing info here! If you forgot to add on the license at your vet visit or it's due before their next rabies shot you can get it directly from the Kent County Animal Shelter. If the shelter is out of your way you can also get it right online! If you have the time, I do recommend going in person so you can see all the amazing adoptable animals and, if you're able, drop off a donation while you're there! You can also purchase the license at several Township and City Offices.
Lastly, now that you have the Kent County Dog License tag, what do you do with it? Put it on your dog! It's required that your dog display their license at all times. If fact, your dog should have 3 tags on them. Their ID name tag with owner phone number/address, their rabies vaccine tag, and of course their Kent County dog license tag. Well there you go! Now that your dog is all set and up-to-date, why don't you take them on a fun trip to enjoy a Michigan dog friendly beach! Find some great spots here!