Requirements For All Dog Owners
ORS 609.100 Dog Licenses, Tags and Fees states, “(1) …every person keeping a dog that has a set of permanent canine teeth or is six months old, whichever comes first, shall procure a license for the dog. The license must be procured by paying a license fee to the county in which the person resides … within 30 days after the person becomes keeper of the dog.”
Why Should I License my Dog?
- It's the law. Under ORS 609.100, all dogs in Polk County that meet the age and/or residency requirements must be licensed. Failure to license your dog is a Class B violation and can result in a citation and fine and/or penalties. Download an application here.
- A license tag on your dog shows compliance with the rabies laws established by the State to protect the health and welfare of your pet and our community. Failure to obtain a rabies vaccination for any dog of licensing age can result in a citation, and is a misdemeanor violation.
- The license tag can identify a lost dog. It shows that the dog belongs to someone and was not abandoned, and helps in getting the dog back to its owner. If the owner can be immediately located when a stray dog is found, it may eliminate the necessity of taking your dog to a public impound facility.
When Do I Need to License?
When the dog has its adult canine teeth or is six months of age, whichever comes first., or within 30 days of becoming the owner or keeper of the dog. If you live within the city limits of Dallas, Monmouth or Independence, you will need to license your dog(s) with those agencies.
Required information you must provide at the time of licensing includes:
- A valid rabies vaccination certificate.
- The original Rabies Vaccination Certificate by a licensed veterinarian must include at least the following information: owner's name and address; dog description by age, sex, color, breed; date of vaccination; due date for revaccination; type and lot number of vaccine used; and name and address of vaccinator.
- A certificate of sterilization to receive the spay/neuter "altered" discount, if not indicated on the rabies vaccination certificate.
- The pink copy of your Dog License Security Agreement IF your dog(s) was impounded at the Willamette Humane Society.
Download the dog license application here.
Note: The rabies vaccination certificate must be valid for the licensing period. The minimum license fee will not be reduced if the rabies expiration date is less than 12 months if you are licensing by mail. The license period can be pro-rated through the rabies vaccination certificate expiration date if you license at the Sheriff's Office.
Note: Fees are subject to change without notice.
In addition to the licensing fees listed above, the following are the late penalties per dog for failure to purchase a dog license as required:
Voluntary Licensing (the owner or keeper voluntarily licenses): $10
Non-voluntary Licensing (licensing that occurs as a result of impoundment of the dog, offenses occurring off the owner's property, and/or other offenses specified in county ordinance): $50, plus mandatory micro-chipping and registration with an approved national database. A registration certificate from a national registry is required. This applies to each dog owned, kept or impounded.
Payable in person by cash, credit, check or money order. Payable via mail by check or money order only. Please do not send cash in the mail.
Polk County does not have a specific noise ordinance regarding barking dogs. However, Oregon Revised Statute 609.095 deals with dogs as a public nuisance. Also, Polk County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 42 deals with dog-related ordinances specific for Polk County.
Polk County lodges all impounded dogs at the Willamette Humane Society in Salem and at Hopes Haven in West Salem, unless otherwise authorized by the Polk County Sheriff's Office. The Willamette Humane Society can be reached at (503) 585-5900. Hopes Haven can be reached at (503) 363-8138. Please contact the Willamette Human Society or Hopes Haven directly to find out if your dog has been brought into their facility, as it is possible dogs could be brought in by the public and we may not have any record of it.
Willamette Humane Society
For residents of Marion and Polk County, the Willamette Humane Society will accept cats and dogs. Found dogs may be taken to the Willamette Humane Society in Salem, Oregon.
For years, Willamette Humane Society has encouraged appointments while accommodating walk-ins throughout the day. As of November 1st, 2010, you are now required to schedule an appointment for owner-surrendered and stray animals. Appointments can be made by calling (503) 585-5900 ext. 300. A limited number of walk-ins will be accepted between 3 pm and 5 pm on open days. The shelter is closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Willamette Humane Society will no longer accept small pets, including rabbits, guinea pigs, rodents and birds.
To report lost/found livestock, please call the Sheriff's Office and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Animal Health and Identification division (503) 986-4680.