At the April 5, 2021, meeting, Ann Arbor City Council approved changes to the city’s dog licensing ordinance with the hopes of simplifying the process and compelling more residents to comply with the law. The ordinance now has dog licenses expiring at the end of the month in which the dog’s rabies vaccination expires, with one- and three-year options.
Licensing fees have not changed. The fee to license a spayed or neutered dog remains at $6 for one year, $12 for unaltered dogs; and a three-year license is $15 for spayed or neutered dogs, $30 for unaltered dogs. Service dogs are licensed for free. Note in accordance with State Law, two-year licenses are no longer available.
Regardless of the month/date when the license is issued, in order to coincide with the effective dates of the rabies vaccinations, dogs having less than 24 months until their next rabies shot will be issued one-year licenses that expire on the last day of the month in which the shot must be administered. For dogs that have 24-months until their next rabies vaccination, a three-year option is available that will expire on the last day of the month of when their next rabies vaccine is due.
The city has issued approximately 3,300 dog licenses. With the changes to the ordinance and increased education efforts, the city aims to reach a licensing compliance rate of 40 percent in the coming years.
Why license? Michigan law requires all dogs over the age of 6 months to be licensed. Licensing protects community health and safety by requiring that rabies vaccinations are administered regularly. In addition, a dog license can help reunite lost dogs with their owners. What’s more, only licensed dogs are permitted to play at the city’s three off-leash dog parks, Broadway, Olson and Swift Run (www.a2gov.org/dogparks).
Did you know the City of Ann Arbor has a dog leash law? Per Chapter 107 of the city code, it is a violation to have a dog off leash in city parks, other than in a designated dog play area. The violation is punishable, per Chapter 107, 9:52, by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $500 for a first offense and for a second offense not less than $50 nor more than $500.