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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Why license your dog?

         If your animal is missing, the dog warden can quickly notify you that your pet has been found. 

         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)

         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 be either destroyed or sold after being held for only three days.


Service Dogs …

         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.


Confinement of Dogs…

         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)


If your dog’s tag is lost …

         Simply provide the office of the Mercer County Auditor with proof of its loss and a duplicate tag will be issued for a fee of 25¢.


How to claim your dog if he’s been impounded …

         You need to go to the county’s local pound 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.


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 25¢ fee.


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 purposes of hunting or for sale.  (Ohio Revised Code 955.04)


When to immunize…

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