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FAQs about pet licensing

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Purchasing a pet license

How much does a new license cost?
Where can I buy a license?
If I purchase a new license online, how will I get my license tag?
  • If you have purchased a new license, you will receive your license tag and receipt in the mail.
How do I notify Animal Services if my dog or cat is deceased?
Is my City of Winnipeg Pet License good in another municipality?
  • No. Contact the local municipal office for information on their licensing by-law.

Renewing a pet license

Will you send me an invoice when it's time to renew my pet license?
  • Yes, the Animal Services Agency will send a courtesy invoice to the address we have on file in the month prior to your license expiring; however, it remains the pet owner's responsibility to ensure that their pet has a current license. Failure to purchase or renew your pet's license can result in legal proceedings.
I lost my renewal notice. What do I do?
  • You can still use our online renewal options even without your notice. All you need to do is go to Pet Licensing on Pet Licensing Webpage. When you are prompted to input your pet’s License Tag use the six digits found on the bottom of their license and add the Lxx pre-fix to it.

    The Lxx prefix is the year you last renewed your license (e.g. If you last renewed your license in 2015 your prefix would be L15). If you don’t remember the year you renewed your license then use last year as the date (e.g. if you are renewing in 2017 use L16).

    If your need further assistance with your renewal you can also contact Animal Services at 311 and we will provide you with all the information you require.

Why didn't I get a new license tag with my renewal?
Can I renew my old pet's license and put the license tag on my new pet?
  • Dog and cat licenses are not transferable from one dog/cat to another. You will have to purchase a new license for your pet.
Can I align the renewal date for all of my pet licenses?
  • Yes - if you have multiple pets and would like to align the renewal date for all of your licenses, please call 311.

Unlicensed Pets

What is the fine for failing to license my dog or cat?
What are you doing about all the unlicensed dogs and cats in Winnipeg?
  • The Animal Services Agency follows up on all reports of unlicensed dogs and cats. In addition, Animal Services Officers canvas neighbourhoods and follow up on expired licenses. Citizens are encouraged to call 311 to report an unlicensed dog or cat. An Animal Services Officer will investigate.
Why did I receive an orange “valid license” notice in my mailbox that the Animal Services Agency was at my house?
  • The notice was left in your mailbox by the Animal Services Officer who has determined that you have either a suspected unlicensed pet or a pet whose license has expired. For detailed information on a license notice you have received, contact the Animal Services Agency at 311.
How do I report a suspected unlicensed dog or cat?
Why do I have to buy a pet license when my neighbour's pet is unlicensed?
  • All dogs and cats over the age of six months within the City of Winnipeg must be licensed. Call 311 to report an unlicensed dog or cat.
Can you tell me if my neighbours have a license for their dog or cat?
  • No. That information is confidential. If you suspect your neighbour's dog or cat is unlicensed, call 311 to report a suspected unlicensed dog or cat.

Pet License Tags

I found a license tag. Can you give me the address of who owns the tag and I'll drop it in the mailbox?
  • Because the information is confidential, the Animal Services Agency cannot release the owner's name and address. If you drop off or mail the found license tag to the Animal Services Agency, we will ensure it is returned to the pet owner.
Where can I get a replacement license tag?
  • A replacement can be issued by phone at 311 or in-person at the Animal Services Agency, 1057 Logan Avenue. There is a cost for replacement tags.

Dog Licensing

Why should I buy a license? Are there benefits to licensing my dog?
  • To be in compliance with the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law. By purchasing and annually renewing your dog's license, you may avoid legal proceedings for failing to license your dog under the By-law.
  • The dog license tells people that your dog is not homeless and is only one phone call away from going home.
  • Licensing reduces the high number of unclaimed dogs in the City of Winnipeg.
  • Dog licenses offer insurance for the safe return of your dog should it become lost. A lost dog wearing its license tag is almost always re-united with its owner when found.
  • Every licensing period your dog is eligible for one “Free Release”. If the Animal Services Agency finds your dog and it is wearing a valid City of Winnipeg Dog License:
    • Our staff will call the telephone numbers on record and you will be advised where you can pick up your dog.
    • If we are unable to contact anyone, we will leave a message (if possible) and your dog will be brought to the safety of our Animal Services Agency facility at 1057 Logan Avenue. You may claim your dog FREE OF CHARGE by close of the next business day.
    • Your dog is entitled to one “Free Release” per license year in the event it is lost and picked up by our Agency.
    Please remember, if your dog is lost, call us at 311 to check if your dog is at the Animal Services Agency and to leave a lost report in case we find your pet.
Where does the money I pay you for my dog license go?
  • 100% of dog license fees stay with the Animal Services Agency to help offset Agency costs. Your license fee allows the Animal Services Agency to:
    • House and care for lost pets.
    • Reunite lost pets with their owners.
    • Provide emergency attendance at house fires, car accidents, and police incidents to help in the removal and care of pets.
    • Operate a pet adoption program.
    • Educate the public about Responsible Pet Ownership.
I have a service dog. Do I need a license?
  • Yes, your service dog must be licensed. Contact 311 to get a license.
My dog never gets out of the yard. Why should I buy a license?
  • The Responsible Pet Ownership By-law requires that every dog six months of age or older must be licensed and must wear its City of Winnipeg license tag. Even pets that 'never leave the house' or property have a way of getting out through doors, gates, or windows that are accidentally left open. Also, a crisis situation like a flood or fire may cause your pet to flee the safety of your property. Having a license tag on its collar will help reunite your lost pet with you.
Does my dog need to wear its license tag?
The license tag is too big for my little dog. Do you have a smaller size tag?
  • You can exchange your regular-sized tag for a smaller tag by visiting the Animal Services Agency at 1057 Logan (regular business hours).

Cat Licensing

Why was a Cat Licensing Program developed?
  • The implementation of a Cat Licensing Program will help to begin to curb the cat overpopulation problem in Winnipeg and assist in promoting responsible cat ownership, as well as enable the enhancement of low cost spay/neuter programs. 50% of the gross revenue from the Cat Licensing Program is directed to the expansion of local cat spay/neuter programs.

    311 customer service representatives are able to assist in reuniting lost licensed cats with their owners 24/7 for cats wearing license tags.

Where do my cat licensing dollars go?
  • 50% of the gross revenue from the Cat Licensing Program is directed to the expansion of local cat spay/neuter programs.

    Any additional net revenue from cat licensing will help the Animal Services Agency continue to provide quality animal care and control services.

My cat is an indoor cat. Why do I have to get it licensed if it never goes outside?
  • The Responsible Pet Ownership By-law requires that every cat six months of age or older must be licensed and must either wear its City of Winnipeg license tag or have a legible tattoo or imbedded microchip that is registered with the Animal Services Agency. Even pets that 'never leave the house' or property have a way of getting out through doors, gates, or windows that are accidentally left open. Also, a crisis situation like a flood or fire may cause your pet to flee the safety of your property. Having a license tag on its collar, and/or a registered microchip/tattoo, will help reunite your lost pet with you.
My cat already has a microchip. Do I still need a license?
  • Yes - you still need your cat licensed. However, if your cat has an identifiable microchip or a legible tattoo that is registered with the Animal Services Agency, they are not required to wear a license tag.
My cat won't wear a collar. How do I get it to wear a license tag?
  • We suggest that all licensed cats wear a breakaway collar with a license tag. Unfortunately, some cats cannot tolerate wearing a collar. If a licensed cat is identifiable by a legible tattoo or imbedded microchip that has been registered with the Animal Services Agency, the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law does not require the cat to wear its license tag.
Where can I get my cat spayed or neutered? What if I need assistance?
  • The Responsible Pet Ownership By-law requires all cats over the age of six months to be sterilized unless a current license for an intact cat has been issued for the cat. It is recommended that your pet be spayed/neutered any time after the age of four months. For female cats, it is ideal to spay them before their first heat.

    Owners should consult with their veterinarian to arrange for their cat to be spayed or neutered. Low income families living in Winnipeg can apply for the Winnipeg Humane Society's SNAP program to get their cat spayed or neutered for around $30. Call 204-888-SNAP (7627) to see if you qualify. You will be required to provide proof of household income (most current income tax information for all occupants) or proof of social assistance in order to participate in SNAP.

I foster cats and kittens through a local pet rescue. Do those cats/kittens require licenses?
  • No - licenses are not required for cats/kittens that are living in a home temporarily.
How many cats are impounded each year at shelters in Winnipeg?
  • Over 5,000 cats are impounded each year at Winnipeg area animal shelters and rescues. Many of these impounded cats are owned cats that are never reunited due to lack of licensing and identification.
Do other cities have cat licensing?
  • Yes - cat licensing has been implemented in most major Canadian cities.
Is there a by-law prohibiting me from feeding feral or stray cats?
  • No, there is no by-law prohibiting the feeding of feral or stray cats.
Can I provide a shelter for feral or stray cats in my yard?
  • If you harbour a cat or a dog or allow it to remain on your premises, you become the owner of the animal and must fulfill the responsibilities of a pet owner as outlined in the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law.
Last update: April 6, 2017