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Addressing Key Points in Dog Licensing: Keeping People, Pets Safer in Communities

At the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, we promote keeping pets in loving forever homes. Having a pet is a wonderful and rewarding experience, but also carries with it certain responsibilities. Here are some facts to guide pet owners on what they need to do as residents of Riverside County or areas that contract with the County for animal services.


Q: I Received a Citation. Are These Violations Correctable?

A. Yes. It is specified on your citation that if you correct the violations within the 20 days indicated your citation will be cleared. Please note that because you were in violation you must still pay the citation fee of $25 for Riverside County or $21 for the City of Riverside.

Q: What If I Cannot Afford to Spay/Neuter, Vaccinate, and License All of My Pets Within the 20 Days?

A. Animal Services is more than willing to work with you. Please contact the Department directly at (951) 358-7387 in order to receive information on being granted an extension.

Q: What Steps Do I Need to Take in Order to Comply With the Citation?

A. Depending on what you are being cited for you must provide proof of the following either in person, via mail, or via the web:

• Proof of rabies vaccination certificate
• Proof of spay/neuter certificate
• Proof of microchip certificate
• Purchase a license + $25 late fee
• Pay for the additional citation fee of $25 for Riverside County or $21 for the City of Riverside.

Q: Is Having My Pet Spayed or Neutered Mandatory?

A. Riverside County Ordinance 6.08.120 Mandatory Spaying and Neutering, requires all cats and dogs to be spayed or neutered or to obtain an unaltered dog license prior to receiving a citation. However, any dog found not to be rabies vaccinated, licensed, or microchipped, and not properly contained or stray at large, will receive a citation for a spay or neuter violation and will be required to have their dog spayed or neutered. This will also include revocation of an unaltered license.

Q: Is It Mandatory to Have Your Dog Licensed and Vaccinated for Rabies?

A. All dogs four months of age or older must be vaccinated for rabies and have a current license (Pursuant to Section 30951(b) of the California Food and Agriculture Code). All dogs, entering the County of Riverside, four months and older, must be vaccinated for rabies within thirty (30) days, by a veterinarian and vaccination must be renewed in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state of California. Dogs must display the license tag at all times. The Department of Animal Services issues licenses only upon presentation of a certificate of vaccination and microchip.

Rabies virus infection is a serious disease. It can be prevented, but an infection is invariably fatal for mammals if not treated immediately. In the United States, most infections occur in raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats. In southern California, most if not all infections occur in bats. Bites from any of these animals can transmit the virus and cause disease transmission to pets and humans.

Q: Is It Mandatory for Dogs and Cats To Be Microchipped?

A. All dogs and cats over the age of four months must be implanted with an identifying microchip. The owner or custodian is required to provide the microchip number to the department, and shall notify the department of any change of ownership of the dog or cat, or any change of address or telephone number (Ord. 6.08.130).

Traditional methods of identification, like pet tags or ID collars, need to be replaced regularly, can slip off, be removed, or become hard to read, but microchips last for the life of the pet.

Your cat or dog’s microchip implant gives your pet the best chance of returning home to you if lost. However, a microchip must be registered along with your current contact information in order to identify you as your pet’s owner. Remember, even pets belonging to the most responsible owner can go missing.


More Information on Spay and Neuter Appointments