Pet Licensing and Ownership
Vaccinate Your Pet for Rabies
This prevents them from getting the disease from a wild animal bite. If your pet bites another animal or person, it prevents them from spreading the disease.
Wisconsin state law requires that all dogs be vaccinated for rabies by the age of five months. Rabies vaccinations are good for six months, one year, or three years depending on the type of vaccine used and the age of the animal when the vaccination was given. Owners should check with their vet and make sure their pets are up-to-date on rabies vaccinations at all times.
Vaccination is required before you can get a cat license. Check with your municipality to see if they require rabies vaccination for cats.
Get a Pet License
It is Wisconsin state law that you license your dog by the age of five months. You must buy a new license for your dog each year. Licenses cost about $10-20 and are cheaper if your dog is spayed or neutered.
- City of Madison: Dog Licensing
- Dane County: County licenses are sold by individual town, city, and village clerks. See the map below for links to your municipalities’ information on pet licensing.
Once you have your dog license, you can get a dog park permit:
These municipalities require you to license your cat:
|City of Edgerton||Village of Black Earth||Village of McFarland|
|City of Fitchburg||Village of Cambridge||Village of Mt Horeb|
|City of Madison||Village of Cross Plains||Village of Oregon|
|City of Monona||Village of Deerfield||Village of Shorewood Hills|
|Village of Belleville||Village of Maple Bluff||Village of Waunakee|
If you live in one of these municipalities, you must buy a new license for your cat each year. Licenses cost about $10-20 and are cheaper if your cat is spayed or neutered. See the map above for links to more information by municipality.
Put Identification and License Tags on Your Pet
Your pet should wear an ID tag with your name, address, and phone number at all times. They should also wear their license tag and rabies tag. These tags can help your pet back home if it gets lost. You can get an ID tag from your local vet, pet stores, or the Humane Society. Municipalities issue license tags.
Be a Responsible Pet Owner
- Leashing. Cats and dogs must be on a leash if they are not on your property.
- Park Permits. If you take your dog to a dog park, they must have a Dog Park Permit. Follow the dog park’s rules, which are posted at the park entrance.
- Pets in Cars. Do not leave your pet alone in a car.
- Clean Up.
- Always carry equipment sufficient to clean up your dog's poop whenever you and your dog are off your property.
- Do not allow your dog to poop on any property, public or private (except your own property), unless you immediately clean it up.
- Do not allow dog poop to accumulate on your property.
- Dog poop can pose health risks to people and pets and is a source of food for wild animals and pests.
- There are often steep fines for violating these ordinances.
- Barking. Minimize your dog's barking as much as possible. Our Animal Services staff do not respond to barking dogs. To report a barking dog, call your local police department.
- Safety Tips. See the ASPCA website for more pet health and safety tips.
Report Bite Incidents
If your pet bites a person or pet, treat it like a car crash: exchange name and phone number with them. Report the bite to Animal Services at (608) 255-2345 (ask for an Animal Services Officer). Visit our Animal Bites & Rabies page for more information.