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dog on a leash

Annual Dog License

Animal Commission

State law requires that all dogs over 6 months have a current dog license. The dog license period in Cambridge runs from April 1 of current year to March 31 of following year. Cambridge residents can apply for or renew their dog’s license online or download the paper application and renew via mail or in person, following instructions on the respective form.

The fee for a dog license for a spayed/neutered dog is $10, or $30 for a dog that is not spayed or neutered. Dog licenses are renewed annually. The fine for an unlicensed dog is $50. 

In order to obtain a dog license, owners must have a current rabies vaccination. See additional requirements in FAQs below. Dogs can be vaccinated at the veterinarian’s office, at clinics held at some pet stores, or low cost clinics held periodically.

NOTICE: The Animal Control Office is now open to members of the public to: obtain a dog license, answer other regulatory questions, or provide general assistance. Appointments can also be made on Tuesdays and Thursdays online, by phone at 617-349-4376, or by email at animalcommission@cambridgema.gov. Appointments will be scheduled in 30-minute increments. If you miss your appointment, you will have to reschedule for another day.

Additional Information

For date and location of the next low-cost Rabies Vaccination Clinic, at which licensing is also available, please contact Cambridge Animal Commission at 617-349-4376 or animalcommission@cambridgema.gov. Generally, microchipping is also available at these clinics for a fee.

Dog licenses can be a ticket home if your dog becomes lost; the number on the tag can be traced back to the owner for a safe return.

My animal is very old/sick and has not been vaccinated against rabies; does he still need to be vaccinated?

Yes, unless otherwise instructed by your vet. If so, you will need to provide a letter from the veterinarian stating that they will not vaccinate your pet for medical reasons.

Does my cat need to be licensed?

No cats are not required to be licensed, though the Animal Commission recommends that they wear a safety collar and Id Tag. Please note as stated above that they should be vaccinated for rabies, even if kept indoors.

Does my cat need to be vaccinated for rabies?

Yes, according to State Law and for your pet's protection, even if kept indoors, cats must be vaccinated for rabies. Cats are a risk for rabies as they can come in contact with high risk rabies carriers, i.e. bats and raccoon's.

How long is a dog license good for?

Cambridge dog licenses are valid from April 1 to March 31 of the following year. All tags expire on March 31 no matter when you license your dog. Renewal reminders are sent out yearly.

If I showed you my rabies vaccination certificate last year do I need to show it again?

No, unless it has expired. Some vaccines are good for 1 year or 3 years. You should contact your vet to confirm status of your pet's rabies vaccinations.

If I showed you the spay/neuter certificate last time, do you need to see it again?

No, if you showed us the spay/neuter certificate before, we will have this information on file.

If my dog never leaves the house/yard does it still need a license?

Yes. It is a City Ordinance and State Law.

What do I need to license my dog(s)and how much does it cost?

You will need:
  1. Proof of Cambridge residency (a utility bill dated in last 30 days or 2 pieces of mail with name and address)
  2. A rabies vaccination certificate with an expiration date OR copy of medical records with rabies expiration date;
  3. Proof of spay or neuter (if not shown before), actual surgery certificate OR if noted on Rabies/Medical History;
    FEES: Spayed Female/Neutered Male ($10) Un-Spayed Female/Un-Neutered Male ($30)
  4. If licensing by mail, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope;
  5. If applying in person, please be prepared to pay fee by cash, check or money order. Credit cards are not accepted;
  6. Make check or money order payable to: City of Cambridge. 

What is a dog license and why is a dog required to wear one?

A dog license is a tag issued by the City that works as a form of ID if your dog gets lost and also provides the City with a means to count the number of dogs in Cambridge. Your dog's license tag is required to be displayed on the dog at all times. A current Cambridge dog license is required to utilize off leash areas in Cambridge. Note: All dogs over six months of age must be licensed MGL Ch. 140 Sec. 137.

Page was last modified on 6/28/2024 9:27 AM
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