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Washington County Dog and Kennel Licenses

Pets, especially dogs without identification, are often mistaken for an unwanted animal. If found by a private citizen, many pets are not reported to the local animal shelter. If found by an Animal Control/Field Services Officer, they must be transported to the animal shelter until the owner locates him/her, resulting in the accumulation of such fees as boarding cost, impoundment, medication, vaccinations, etc.

As of January 1, 2011, the Humane Society of Washington County became responsible for the Washington County dog and kennel license system. There were other important changes that became effective at the same time to better serve the animals and citizens of Washington County. No longer will licenses become due each July 1st, but instead will run concurrent with your pet’s rabies vaccination. Pet owners can now choose from a one, two, three year or lifetime license. We are offering more outlets in the community and also selling licenses at our annual low cost rabies clinics. Community outlets have the option to charge up to a $3.00 surcharge per license for their administrative efforts, while HSWC can only charge the base fee.

While the State of Maryland requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets that are four (4) months of age and older are currently vaccinated against rabies, Washington County also requires that all dogs four (4) months of age and older wear a current county identification tag. Also, all properties housing, boarding, breeding or caring for six (6) or more dogs over the age of four (4) months are required to obtain a kennel license.

The advantages of having a Washington County dog license include:

  • indicating that animal is owned and loved.

  • showing that his/her rabies vaccination is current.

  • If lost and found by a citizen, a phone call to HSWC can provide the owners information.

  • If lost and found by HSWC Field Officers, they may be able to return the dog directly to you at home.

  • Guaranteed up to $250 of emergency veterinary care until HSWC can contact you. You will be responsible for the cost at time of reclaim.

  • All license and kennel fees are directly deposited in the Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) account. This is a Washington County voucher program designed to help any citizen of Washington County with the altering of their dog or cat. Apply at HSWC to see if funds are available.

Apply for a Kennel License

Visit the Washington County Division of Plan Review and Permitting and request a letter for a kennel license. The letter must state whether you are zoned to have six (6) or more dogs.

Please note:

  • If you live within Hagerstown City limits, you are not allowed more than five (5) dogs, so these instructions will not apply.

  • Make sure all dogs have current rabies vaccinations. If there are any cats or ferrets on the property, they will also need proof of rabies vaccinations.

  • Call the Humane Society to arrange for a kennel inspection.

  • After the Humane Society inspects the kennel property, they will either pass or fail the inspection. If the inspection fails, the owner will be given instructions on how to come into compliance in order to get a kennel license and a timeframe to complete the improvements.

  • Once the kennel inspection is complete and passes inspection, a $100 fee will be due, payable to the Field Services Officer, and the license will be issued.

  • The Humane Society Field Services Supervisor will then send you a letter stating that you passed the inspection.

  • The kennel license will expire every June 30th and must be renewed yearly if you continue to maintain six (6) or more dogs.

  • You do not need a letter from Washington County Division of Plan Review and Permitting every year, unless you obtain more dogs than was listed on the previous letter.

Cost of Licenses

Remember, your rabies vaccination must be current the duration of the license.

  • One (1) year = $5

  • Two (2) year = $9

  • Three (3) year = $13

  • Lifetime = $25 (can only apply for at time of and/or after receiving second three-year rabies vaccination)

  • Kennel License = $100 per year (due every July 1st)

  • Potentially Vicious and Dangerous Dog License = $75 per year plus regular license

  • Vicious and Dangerous Dog License = $150 per year plus regular license

Where to Get Licenses

These following only sell regular dog licenses and may charge up to an additional $3 per tag. Remember you always need to show proof of current rabies vaccination to obtain a new license.

Animal Health Clinic of Funkstown

26 East Baltimore Street
Funkstown, MD 21734
(301) 733-7579 

Boonsboro Veterinary Hospital

6734 Old National Pike
Boonsboro, MD 21713
(301) 432-7120

Canal Town Veterinary Clinic

15 North Artizan Street
Williamsport, MD 21795
(301) 223-4000

Cumberland Valley Veterinary Clinic

17747 Virginia Ave
Hagerstown, MD 21740
(301) 739-3121

Hancock Animal Hospital
Daniel Murphy, DVM

212 Maryland Avenue
Hancock, MD 21750
(301) 678-6635

Hancock Town Hall

126 W. High Street
Hancock, MD 21750
(301) 678-5622

Longmeadow Animal Hospital

19764 Longmeadow Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
(301) 733-8400

Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Hospital

1125 Professional Court
Hagerstown, MD 21742
(301) 797-1800

Park Circle Animal Hospital

362 Virginia Ave
Hagerstown, MD 21740
(301) 791-2180

Smithsburg Veterinary Hospital

22949 Jefferson Blvd
Smithsburg, MD 21783
(301) 416-0888

Startzman’s Hardware

775 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, MD 21740
(301) 739-8853

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