Dog License

All dogs must be licensed!

The deadline for purchasing dog licenses without penalty is January 31st of each year. Licenses may be purchased year-round at:

  • Shelby County Auditor's Office at 129 E Court Street, Sidney
  • Shelby County Dog Warden at 610 Gearhart Road, Sidney
  • Online

In addition to the legal requirement, there is another very good reason to license your dog - if your pet should accidentally stray from your care, the animal can easily be identified and returned safely to you by comparing the license number to the County's records. Ohio law requires the dog warden to hold a licensed dog for at least 14 days before destroying it or adopting it out. An unlicensed dog may be legally disposed of after only a 3-day holding period. For these reasons any dog not covered under a kennel license must wear the tag at all times, even if the animal is normally confined to the house.

During the annual enrollment period (from December 1st of the year prior to the license year through January 31st of the license year) licenses may be purchased through official agents located throughout Shelby County.


The traditional 1 year license is $20, 3 year license is $60 and a permanent license is $200. Owners should be aware that these longer term licenses are non-refundable in the event of the death of the dog or if the dog runs away. The 1 year, 3 year and kennel licenses can be purchased at the Animal Shelter, 610 Gearhart Road, Sidney. If these licenses are purchased after January 31st of the license year (except "new dogs" as described in the New Dogs section) will be subject to a penalty. The penalty is an additional $20 per individual license.

A kennel means an establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains adult dogs, as defined in section 956.01 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), for the purpose of breeding the dogs for a fee or other consideration received through a sale, exchange, or lease and that is not a high volume breeder licensed under Chapter 956.01 of the Revised Code. A kennel license is $100 (plus $1 for each additional dog over 5 dogs). If purchased after January 31st of the license year the fee is $200. Kennel licenses are issued only by the Dog Warden at the Animal Shelter at 610 Gearhart Road, Sidney.

Note: An additional $0.75 per license will be charged by non-governmental agents to defer their expenses in issuing licenses for the convenience of the public. For online purchases, a fee per license is charged. This fee is charged by the vendor to cover credit card processing expense. There is also an additional fee of $0.60 per order for online purchases to cover postage and mailing supplies.

Mail applications are encouraged. There are printable application forms available on this website. Application forms may also be obtained by calling the Auditor's Office.

The completed application must be sent with the proper fee to:
Shelby County Auditor's Office
129 E Court Street
Sidney, OH 45365

All mail-in applications should be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope for the Auditor's use in mailing the tags back to the dog owner.

New Dog

If you acquire a new dog outside of the regular licensing period you must buy a license for the current year within 30 days of taking possession of the dog. Puppies must be licensed by the time they are 3 months of age. Licenses for certain puppies licensed after July 1st may be eligible for a discount for the current year. Call the Auditor's Office for details.


When an Ohio licensed dog is transferred from one owner to another, it is permissible to avoid a new tag fee by completing a Certificate of Transfer application. This form must be signed by the original owner and filed within 30 days of the change of ownership. The appropriate place of filing is at the Auditor's Office or the Animal Shelter in the county where the new owner resides. The filing fee is $5.

Lost Tags

You may obtain a duplicate tag from the County Auditor for a fee of $5.