Arizona law requires all dogs to be vaccinated against rabies and licensed.

All dogs in Arizona need to be vaccinated against rabies and licensed. Many pet owners do not know this! Arizona law mandates that all dogs over three months of age need to be vaccinated against rabies and licensed by the county in which they reside. Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) sends regular reminders to dog owners to license their pets. These reminders are sent to all those who have not licensed their pets within 30 days of vaccination.

Our rabies laws are strict because rabies is still prevalent in Arizona. By keeping pets vaccinated against rabies, we keep our pets and our communities safe from this deadly disease.

Licensing is more than a tag. Tags let animal control officers know that the pet is up-to-date on its rabies vaccination. It also is a wonderful identifier. If the dog gets lost, animal control officials can look up the pet’s information from the tag number and get the pet home without the pet even reaching the shelter.

In bite cases, a current vaccination and license provide the pet owner an opportunity to quarantine the dog at home for the necessary 10-day period. This may save a significant amount of money in boarding fees. As you can see, besides it being the law, purchasing a dog license for $16 (altered) or $40 (unaltered) a year in Maricopa County provides dog owners peace of mind. Veterinarians report all rabies vaccinations administered to MCACC, and this requirement is critical for protecting public health and the well-being of the community’s pets. MCACC maintains a centralized database on all pets’ rabies vaccinations, and this database has proven to be an invaluable resource in bite cases, helping numerous victims to avoid post-exposure vaccinations.

Dog licensing fees support shelter operations. In Maricopa County, these fees allow MCACC to provide shelter and care for over 60,000 animals a year. At this time, MCACC is the number one pet-adoption and life-saving agency in Arizona, and MCACC’s shelters depend solely on licensing and shelter fees to support their operations.