License a Pet

A beagle puppy and a gray kitten beside each oher

It is the law for all cats and dogs over three months of age and living in unincorporated Harris County to wear a Harris County license tag and to have a current rabies vaccination. Failure to comply may result in fines up to $500 per offense.

Adopt a Pet
Map of Local Animal Control by County

If you are not sure that you live in unincorporated Harris County, you can enter your address on the secured Online Pet Licensing page and our system will check for you.

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To license your pet, you will need the following information:
  • Owner’s name, address, driver’s license number and owner’s date of birth
  • Pet name, age, breed, color, weight
  • Proof of rabies vaccination and/or spay/neuter (Records may be obtained from your veterinarian. You can scan or take a picture and send by email).
Three ways to license your pet:
  1. Online Pet Licensing
  2. In person at the shelter during regular business hours
  3. By Mail - Download the Pet License Application

After your application, payment and records are received, we will send your license tag by mail. You should receive your license tag in approximately seven business days. If you have purchased your pet license in person at the shelter, you are issued your license tags that day.

The license will not be issued until proof of current rabies vaccination and spay/neuter (if applicable) is submitted.

You can choose from the following methods of delivery for proof of current rabies vaccination:
  • Email to:  petlicense@hcphes.org
  • Fax to:  (281) 260-6403
  • U.S. mail, addressed to:  HCPH – VPH, 612 Canino Rd., Houston, TX 77076

The cost of a pet license and information on what type of license you need can be found here. 

The benefits of pet licensing:

Your pets come home more quickly.
Pets wearing visible identification are more likely to be returned. This minimizes or eliminates unnecessary time in the shelter. The time to license is now, before you need it.

Your pets stay healthy.
In order to license your pet, he or she must have a current rabies vaccination. We'll also send you a friendly reminder when your vaccination and/or license is due.

You help your community.
Licensing fees support Harris County Veterinary Public Health and help us continue to provide quality animal care and control services for unincorporated Harris County.

Your pet will remain legal.
All dogs and cats in unincorporated Harris County over the age of three months are required to be licensed through the county. Each violation of Harris County animal regulations can result in a citation and fine up to $500.