Pet Care, Licensing and Vaccines

Pet Care, Licensing and Vaccines

Owners of any dog or cat over four months of age are required to have their pets licensed and vaccinated against rabies, even if the pet is kept indoors. Owners should retain proof of their pets' vaccinations.

Application forms for pet licenses are available at most local veterinarians' offices or at the county's licensing department, located within the Montgomery County Animal Shelter, 14645 Rothgeb Drive (off E. Gude Drive), Rockville.

If a pet has not been spayed or neutered and is more than 1 year old, residents must purchase a 3-year license for $75. After the first year of a rabies vaccine, the second and all additional rabies vaccines are good for three years. The license fee for a neutered pet is $12 for one year or $32 for three years.

Owners of newly born litters of puppies and kittens are required to take them to a veterinarian, as well as have them vaccinated, before selling or distributing the litter. It is illegal in Montgomery County to set up a stand in order to sell or give away animals.

For questions about licensing call 240-773-5946.

A defecation law requires owners to clean up after their dogs on another person's property or public grounds.

Owners are also required to keep dogs on a leash. Laws vary according to public park rules and homeowners associations, so check with a local representative or park officer.

If a dog or cat is picked up as a stray, the owner is subject to a $25 field service fee, a $16 impound fee and a $10 per day boarding fee. The amounts of fees vary according to the circumstances in which an animal is picked up.

The Animal Shelter has dozens of dogs and cats that need a good home. For general information about the Humane Society regarding adoptions, or questions regarding pet problems, strays, nuisance complaints, lost pets, etc., call 240-773-5960 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Adoption hours are Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday noon-5 p.m. For 24-hour animal emergencies, call 240-773-5900.

Many area veterinarians work with the Montgomery County Humane Society (MCHS) to provide low-cost examinations and spaying and neutering services.