Pet owners in Fairfax, Prince William have until Jan. 31 to renew dog licenses

WASHINGTON — Pet owners in Fairfax and Prince William counties need to renew their dog licenses before Jan. 31, 2016.

“The fee is minimal — kept minimal on purpose,” Prince William County Police Capt. Fred Miller said of the $10 fee.

“We really don’t want to price it out of the market for people because we want them to be able to afford to not only license their dogs, but to make sure they have all their correct vaccinations,” he said.

In addition to the public safety aspect of ensuring your animal can’t spread rabies, getting it licensed can provide peace of mind. In Prince William, any dog without a license tag after Jan. 31 faces a fine of up to $250. 

“That number on the dog license can help us reunite the [lost] pet with its owner,” Miller said.

In D.C., dog licenses expire July 1.

In Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, licenses that are required for both dogs and cats expire a year after purchase.

Prince George’s County also licenses ferrets.

Licenses are required for pets once they turn four months old and upon moving into a new area. Prices vary by jurisdiction.

“What often happens is the fee that is paid to obtain the license is used to help pay for the animal control and animal shelter services that the municipalities provide,” Miller said.

The Humane Society estimates that 65 percent of American households have at least one pet.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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