Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater require licenses for all dogs and cats in city limits. Thurston County requires licenses for all dogs in the county and offers voluntary licensing for cats. Even if your pet “never goes out,” he or she must have a license. In the city limits of Olympia, pot belly pigs must also be licensed.
If you live in the city limits of Bucoda, Rainier, Tenino or Yelm, you must buy your license at your city hall. Each of these cities has its own license and a separate tracking system.
You can purchase a license online with a credit card, via the mail with a check, or in person at the shelter.
The money from license fees helps support the services provided to the community by Animal Services, such as:
- Identification of any pet wearing a current license tag.
- Removal of any dead animals from city roadways and dead pets in the county.
- 24-hour, 7-day access to the Lost Pet Hotline to encourage reclaim of lost (unidentified) pets.
- Inspection, monitoring, and complaint resolution in area pet stores.
- Adoption of lovable, unclaimed or unwanted pets. The cost of the adoption services themselves (spay/neuter surgery, shots, worming, and microchip) are supported by adoption fees.
- Shelter, care and medical attention for all species of small, domestic homeless animals.
- Investigation of animal cruelty/neglect, with court or legal follow-up as appropriate.
- Quarantine of animals that have bitten a person and application of the Potentially Dangerous or Dangerous Dog sections of the ordinances, as appropriate.
- Humane euthanasia of injured, terminally ill or elderly pets.
- A volunteer program which further extends our ability to provide services at the lowest possible cost to the community.
- Responsible-owner and humane education in the schools, scouting programs, 4-H organizations, community groups, and other forums, promoting concepts of responsible pet care.
Boy, have we heard this one. Interestingly, we hear it most as people pick up their lost pets at the shelter. “Toby never leaves our yard, but the kids left the gate open and he took off.” “The fireworks must have really scared Muffin, because she’s been gone for a week–thank goodness she’s here at the shelter.”
Accidents happen as gates are left open, fences are blown down, or you could even be involved in a car accident while traveling with your pet. Thunder or wind storms, power outages and other unforeseen occurrences can result in your pet being off your property. Our shelter is full of pets that “never leave the backyard.”
Replacement tags for current licenses are available for $3.00 at any location you can purchase a license.
Yes. The chip is a great backup to a collar and tag, but a visible tag is your assurance to the community that your pet has a home and makes it much easier to return your pet to you.
The Shelter keeps only current information on our licensing database. If you stop licensing your pet, our computer records may not show your pet, including its chip information, making it more difficult to track the chip and contact you if your pet shows up at our shelter or a vet’s office.
Call us with your new information and we’ll gladly update your record. There is no cost for this service and it will help assure that your pet will get home if he or she becomes lost.
If you move outside of the Thurston County area, you will need to contact your new animal control agency and license your pet(s) with them. We do not maintain records for pets living outside the Thurston County area.
If we still haven’t convinced you that pet licenses are good for you, good for your pet and good for our community, then we’ll resort to what the law says:
“It is unlawful for any person to own, keep, or have control of any dog in the county (or dog and cat in the city) unless the person has procured a license therefor.” The fine for not licensing your pet is $103 in Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater, and $52 in unincorporated Thurston County.
If an Animal Control Officer has to contact you for any reason, or if you call regarding a complaint or needing service, and you have a dog or cat, you will be asked to show proof that your pet is licensed, as required. Owners who fail to comply with local ordinances are subject to citation.