License Your Pet

All dogs and cats living in Orange County must be licensed within 30 days of acquisition. Failure to do so is a violation of the County’s ordinance and could result in a fee or fine. Orange County does not provide licensing tags; your pet must wear their current rabies tag.

License Your Pet Online! (first-time license OR pay renewal)

There are several options for licensing your pet with Orange County Animal Services. The easiest and preferred way is to license is online!  Whether this is a first-time license for your pet or a renewal, you can save time and money by licensing securely ONLINE. Credit card numbers are encrypted in an SSL format and all transactions are secure. *If you receive an error message and you are unsure if your payment was completed, please contact for confirmation before you try to pay again. 


All residents inside Orange County must pay the standard County fee. Townships may also require a fee for their residents, in addition to the County’s licensing fee. Residents are responsible for paying the total fee for the area in which they live. All fees are paid to Orange County and township fees are remitted to individual towns once collected.

The pet licensing fees help to offset the costs of pet overpopulation, annual protection and control services for pets in our community, and lost and found pet services delivered by Animal Services. Licensing fees also serve to ease pet identification and ownership verification. The fees are higher for unsterilized animals due to the strain they pose to pet overpopulation management, and those fees help the county offer the important spay/neuter programs that collectively control overpopulation and reduce unnecessary euthanasia in our county.

The fine for failure to license may be as much as $200 per animal.


All pets over 4 months of age should also have a current rabies shot. You will need to provide a copy of your rabies certificate and spay/neuter certificate if your animal(s) are sterilized.

Questions, Reporting Deceased Pets, & Other Corrections

If you have licensing questions, if your pet is deceased, or you have moved to another county, please email  Please include your Person ID and the ID of the animal in question.

For new registrations or to update the spay/neuter information listed on your renewal card, please be sure you have your pet’s spay/neuter information available, including the date of surgery and the name of the clinic where surgery was performed.

You may also license your pet in person at our Animal Services Center. You may print a licensing form (PDF) and mail to Animal Services or use the drop box just outside of our front entrance. 

Please contact Animal Services at 919-942-7387, menu option 2, to review refundable issues and/or to make a refund request.

Licensing Fees      

  • County Fees effective Sept 1, 2010
  • Chapel Hill fees effective Nov 1, 2010

If your license is more than 30 days late, a $5 late fee will apply.

Resident AreaUnsterilized DogsSterilized DogsUnsterilized CatsSterilized Cats
Orange County Residents - Unincorporated areas, Hillsborough, Mebane (Orange County portion)$30$10$30$10
Orange County residents receiving public assistance$30$0$30$0

Chapel Hill Residents

Resident AreaUnsterilized DogsSterilized DogsUnsterilized CatsSterilized Cats
Orange County Fee$30$10$30$10
Total Fee for Chapel Hill residents$35$13$35$13
Total Fee for Chapel Hill residents receiving public assistance$35$3$35$3
Town Fee$5$3$5$3


Resident Area
Unsterilized DogsSterilized DogsUnsterilized CatsSterilized Cats
Orange County Fee$30$10$30$10
Total Fee for Carrboro Residents$50$13$40$13
Total Fee for Carrboro residents receiving public assistance$50$3$40$3
Town Fee$20$3$10$3

Chapel Hill Annex Within Durham County

Resident AreaUnsterilized DogsSterilized DogsUnsterilized CatsSterilized Cats
Orange County FeeNo feeNo feeNo feeNo fee
Total Fee for Annex Residents$5$3$5$3
Town Fee$5$3$5$3

Pets must be sterilized and vaccinated against rabies to qualify. Effective October 1, 2012, any license that is paid more than 30 days after the due date will be subject to a $5 late fee. 

Kennel Permit

Kennel Permit fee $100