Auditor announces change to dog licensing program

Auditor announces change to dog licensing program
Dan Starcher

Wayne County auditor Jarra Underwood announced changes to the way dog owners will license their pets. Wayne County Dog Shelter Director Katelyn Lehman, left, Suzanne Altland of the Wayne County Auditor’s Office and David Machar, director of information technology, pose with Bean.


Wayne County auditor Jarra Underwood has partnered with online dog licensing platform Docupet to increase efficiency and make reuniting dogs and their owners more of a streamlined process. Dog license sales began Dec. 1 and will end Jan. 31.

“If your family pet becomes lost, a license is its bus ticket home,” Underwood said. “Our partnership with Docupet provides Wayne County pet owners access to HomeSafe to quickly file a lost pet report. This resource is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week so that loving families and their pets can be brought back together quickly.”

According to Underwood, the process of obtaining a dog license will be different than in past years.

Owners will no longer receive yearly renewals from the Wayne County Auditor’s Office, she said. Docupet will issue all reminders directly by mail or by email if the owner has an email address on file with the auditor.

All tags will be fulfilled by mail. The auditor will no longer provide tags at the time of purchase. Docupet will process orders and send the tags by mail within seven to 10 business days.

New tags purchased for 2023 from Docupet will remain with the dog for the life of the dog and will not be replaced yearly as it was previously. If the dog holds an annual license, the yearly fee of $16 will still be collected during the renewal period. If a tag is lost, a replacement tag can be issued for $5.

Satellite offices will no longer be offering tag fulfillment. Tags must be purchased at the auditor’s office, the Wayne County Dog Shelter or directly through Docupet online.

Ohio law requires all dogs more than 3 months old and owned for more than 30 days to be licensed. Dogs apprehended by the dog warden that have a tag can be kept up to 14 days while dogs without a tag cannot be held longer than three days.

Dog tags can be purchased in person, by mail or online at Docupet can be accessed through the auditor website at

Prices for licenses are annual license at $16, three-year license at $48, lifetime license at $160 and kennel license at $80.

A kennel license provides breeders with five tags, and each additional tag thereafter can be purchased for $1. Low-volume breeders may purchase their license through the auditor’s office while high-volume breeders must be licensed through the Ohio Department of Agriculture and purchase tags through the auditor.

A dog license can be transferred to a new owner for $5, but tags cannot be transferred to another dog.

Dogs deemed dangerous by the Wayne County dog warden cost $50 annually in addition to the licensing fee of $16.

Tags purchased after Jan. 31 will include a $16 penalty per tag.

Wayne County honors unexpired licenses from another county within the state of Ohio. If an owner and their dog relocate from another state, they must purchase a license upon arrival. A penalty will be charged equal to the licensing fee if the tag is purchased after 30 days.

All proceeds collected from dog licensing in Wayne County support the Wayne County Dog Shelter. A portion is paid to the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine Canine Research Fund.

Dan Starcher is a public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.

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