Details on pet licensing in Jefferson County

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Behind the Badge

Residents of unincorporated Jefferson County have been required to license their dogs since 1994. In 2007, Lakewood, Golden, Wheat Ridge, Westminster and Arvada joined the county’s licensing program, and residents in those cities have been required to license their canines ever since.

The original purpose of the county licensing program was to expedite returning pets to owners, to encourage the spaying and neutering of dogs by offering a reduced license fee, to establish a fund to pay for medical treatment of injured stray animals, and to provide a source of revenue to move the animal control operation toward self-sufficiency.
In 2007, although the primary purpose remained the same (returning pets to owners), the focus changed to raising money to build a much-needed new animal shelter to replace the old and non-functional Table Mountain Animal Center. Consequently, residents now have the new Foothills Animal Shelter, which offers excellent services for county pets and county residents.
Now that the shelter has been built, the focus is changing once again, and animal license fees will be used to support operations at the Foothills Animal Shelter. Due to this change, the board of directors decided that Foothills staff should administer the licensing program instead of the Sheriff’s Office. This change took place in July 2013.
The license fee has always been a source of revenue to support providing services (animal control and sheltering) to the citizens of the county and is necessary for continued operations.
Although the Sheriff’s Office will no longer be administering the program, we will continue to enforce the requirement in unincorporated Jefferson County as our experience and our motto have always been that “a dog license is a ticket home.”
Please note, as of July 20, 2013, owners with licensed pets will now receive renewal notices from PetData, Foothills Animal Shelter’s licensing partner. If you have never licensed your pet, or have any questions, the below information from Foothills Animal Shelter will assist you with the licensing process.

The benefits
If lost, could your pet tell anyone where she lives? Could your pet hop on a bus, jump on the light rail or call a cab? Unfortunately, none of these options exist for your beloved animal. We want to ensure that you and your pet are never separated. So we offer an annual license to help you and your pet enjoy a long, happy companionship.
Benefits of a license in Jefferson County:
• You can be contacted immediately if your missing pet is found.
• As a responsible pet owner, you avoid receiving a fine for having an unlicensed dog.
• Your pet licensing fee helps support Foothills Animal Shelter — where thousands of homeless pets are cared for each year.

Does your pet need a license?
All dogs age 4 months and older must be licensed with Foothills Animal Shelter within 30 days of living in unincorporated Jefferson County or the cities of Arvada, Edgewater, Golden, Lakewood, Westminster or Wheat Ridge.
You may choose to license any cat or other pet that might benefit from pet licensing services.

Annual registration fees
• $15 per year if your pet is spayed or neutered.
• $30 per year if your pet is unaltered.

Rabies vaccination
To obtain a pet license, by law, you must present a current rabies vaccination certificate (not just a rabies tag).
Is your pet due for a rabies vaccine? Weekly affordable clinics are held at Foothills Animal Shelter and throughout our community.

• In person: There are 50 licensing sites conveniently located throughout Jefferson County.
• Online: Register for a new pet license or renew your pet’s existing license.
• Mail: Contact PetData, Foothills Animal Shelter’s licensing partner.

Update your information
Updating your contact information or your pet’s information is simple (such as a change in address, if you no longer own your pet or if your pet has passed away). Call 303-278-7577 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you find a pet with a license tag labeled “Jeffco License” or “Jeffco Lic,” thsee steps can help the lost animal get home quickly.
• Online: “Tag Look-up” allows you to contact the owner directly, if the person has released information for this search.
For questions about pet licensing, visit www.FoothillsAnimalShelter.org/License or call 303-278-7577 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Monday through Friday.