Benefits of a Pet License
A license is your pet's "ticket home" should he or she become lost! Tens of thousands of pets pour in to the Tacoma & Pierce County Humane Society each year. Sadly, few of those animals have identification. When a lost animal is found with current identification, our Animal Care and Control Officers can quickly notify its owners that it is safely at the shelter.
License fees pay for many worthwhile services of the Animal Care and Control Office, such as:
keeping stray animals off the streets and out of danger
transporting injured animals to veterinarians for medical help
investigating cases of animal cruelty and abuse, and seeing to a pet's general welfare
protecting your family from the threat of rabies and animal bites
Your pet's license helps us provide better service to you, your family and your neighborhood. Purchase a license for your pet!
Municipal Code requires that all cats and dogs be licensed. If you live in the City, you are required by law to license your pets. License tags must be worn by dogs at all times. If your cat is micro-chipped, you are required to purchase the license but that cat can go without its tag. Please call (253) 627-PETS (7387) for information on licensing. Even indoor-only cats or pets confined to fenced yards can get loose.
Leash Law: All dogs are required to be on a leash no longer than eight feet or confined to their owner's property at all times. The only exception provided for in the leash law ordinance is if the dog is in a designated off-leash area. Dogs roaming free are in violation of the leash law ordinance. They may be seized or impounded by City of Tacoma Animal Care & Control officers. Owners of dogs running loose may receive a summons and/or a fine. To report a dog running loose or for more information about the leash law, please call (253) 627-PETS (7387). There is no leash law for cats.
Spaying/Neutering: Be a responsible pet owner. Spay or neuter your pet! Did you know that Pierce County is experiencing a serious pet overpopulation crisis? Only you can help stop the tragic euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals. You can help by spaying or neutering your pets today. Spaying and neutering your pets will also make them healthier, happier, and less susceptible to certain types of disease. Know someone who can't afford to spay or neuter their pet? The Humane Society can help. Call (253) 294-5857 for more information or visit their web site at http://www.thehumanesociety.org .
Pooper Scooper Law: You may take walks with your pet. Along the way your pet might "doo" a little something on the sidewalk. Make sure to scoop up the poop and dispose of it in the garbage (in a plastic bag) or flush it down the toilet. No matter how big or small the deposit, you can bank on the fact that it will pollute our waters. Pet waste has harmful bacteria in it that contributes to water quality problems, possibly in your neighborhood. With all the pets -it adds up - so do your part to clean it up.
17.02.132 Removal of animal waste
A. It is a violation for any person to fail to immediately remove fecal matter deposited by a dog or other animal in his or her
possession on public property such as park property, school grounds, public rights-of-way, or public easements or on private
property that does not belong to the animal’s owner or custodian.
B. This section shall not apply to a “guide” or “service” dog, as now or hereafter defined in RCW 70.84, while the dog is in
(Ord. 27672 Ex. A; passed Dec. 11, 2007)
17.02.160 Violations – Civil infraction
Unless specifically designated in this chapter as a gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor or is specified to be enforced pursuant to other law including, but not limited to, other chapters or titles of this Code, any violation of this chapter is a violation and shall constitute a Class 1 infraction, not to exceed $250, not including statutory assessments.
Such penalty is in addition to any other remedies or penalties specifically provided by law. For each act herein prohibited of a continuing nature, each day shall be considered a separate offense.
(Ord. 27558 § 11; passed Dec. 5, 2006: Ord. 26949 § 6; passed Jul. 16, 2002)
Stray Animals: Stray animals are defined as any animals loitering in a neighborhood or any public place without an apparent owner or home. A stray animal running at large within the City of Tacoma is declared to be a nuisance and may be seized and impounded.
Microchip Information: Thousands of pets are lost every year and many are never reunited with their owners. Microchipping is way of permanently linking pets to their owners, increasing the chances of your pet being returned.
A tiny microchip is injected under the animal's skin. Once in, the microchip cannot move or be seen, but can be read by a scanner. Most animals can be micro chipped but Uta's most commonly used on dogs, cats and horses. For more information on Microchipping please contact your veterinarian.
Microchipping does not alleviate the pet owner's responsibility to purchase a City of Tacoma pet license.
Injured or Sick Animals: Animals picked up by the Animal Control Officers which are suffering from serious injury or disease may be humanely destroyed by the animal control agency; provided, that the animal control agency shall immediately notify the owner if the owner is known, and if the owner is unknown, make a reasonable effort to locate and notify the owner.
Found Animals: Impounded animals, which mean animals received into the custody of the animal control shelter or animal control officers are held for 48 hours following actual notice to the owner. The notifying of any person over the age of 18 who resides at the owner's domicile shall constitute actual notice to owners. If the owner of an impounded animal is unknown, then the animal control agency shall make a reasonable effort to locate and notify the owner.
Animals not picked up by the owners within 48 hours will be placed up for adoption by the Tacoma Pierce County Human Society. To view lost dogs or cats go to www.thehumanesociety.org and click on “Finding Your Lost Pet. You can also call the “Found Pet Recording” phone number, for dogs call 253-596-8561 or for cats call 253-596-8989. You will hear a listing of all the pets found on the previous day. Each pet found is only listed once, on the first business day following the date of impound.
Deceased Animals: For pickup of stray deceased or injured animals please contact Animal Control at 627-PETS (7387).
Animal Shelter: Animals impounded are taken to the Tacoma Pierce County Humane Society, located at 2608 Center Street, Tacoma WA 98409. To contact the Humane Society please call 253-383-2733 or you may visit their web site at www.thehumanesociety.org.
Animal Cruelty: If you suspect neglect of a pet that is causing suffering, collect pertinent information such as the persona's name, address, phone, description of the animal(s), a brief history of the situation and any other specifics such as the exact location where the animal(s) can be found. Then call The City of Tacoma Animal Control to report it at 627-PETS (7387). If you are witnessing deliberate cruelty causing severe injury or death to an animal, call 911 and request police intervention.
What to Look for, physical observations:
Does the animal have access to food, water and shelter?
Is his/her area clean?
Does the animal have apparent injuries that have not been treated?
Does the animal appear to be overly aggressive or timid?
Does the animal appear to be neglected? (Neglect is vaguely defined as failure to provide an animal with necessary food, water, shelter, rest, sanitation, ventilation, space, or medical attention.)
Animal Bites: For immediate medical attention please call 911. All animal bites must be reported to the Health Department, to report an animal bite call 253-798-7694. For more information regarding animal bites please contact Animal Control at 627-PETS (7387).
Aggressive animals: Aggressive animals may be sign of neglect or a potentially dangerous dog. For concerns regarding aggressive animals please contact Animal Control at 627-PETS (7387).
Helpful Links: There are many resources for pet owners in the City of Tacoma. Below you will find links to the local area shelter, State offices, and not-for profit assistance
Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County Washington -Even though pet licensing has been turned over to the City of Tacoma, the Humane Society will continue to shelter local animals. They also have links on their website providing helpful behavioral information, local animal resources, and fund raising events to help offset the costs associated with opening their doors to tens of thousands of homeless pets every year.
Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project - Offering compassionate solutions for feral cat overpopulation
Welcome to the Dugan Foundation -Our Mission is to develop a sustainable no-kill companion animal community in Pierce County
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife - Coyotes, opossums, and raccoons are just some of the many wildlife becoming more visible now that we are building structures in their natural habitat. If you encounter one of these wild animals please visit one of the links above to learn more about WDF'S management methods, including the phone numbers for the Pierce County region 6 offices . City of Tacoma Animal Care and Control officers do not handle wild animals.
733 Market Street, Room 21, Tacoma WA, 98402
HOURS: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
(253) - 627 - PETS (7387)
Click here to request more information about pet licenses
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