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Pet licensing FAQ's
- Purchase a pet licence
- Renew a pet licence
- Pet licence tags
- Dog licensing
- Cat licensing
- Unlicensed pets
If you have moved out of the city, given the pet away, or your pet is deceased, you can cancel your pet licence online.
Purchase a pet licence
How much does a new licence cost?
Fees are listed on our Fee Listing webpage.
Where can I buy a licence?
Information about purchasing a licence can be found on the Pet Licensing webpage.
If I purchase a new licence online, how will I get my licence tag?
If you have purchased a new licence, you will receive your licence tag and receipt in the mail.
How do I notify Animal Services if my dog or cat is deceased?
If your pet is deceased, you can cancel your pet licence online.
Is my City of Winnipeg pet licence good in another municipality?
No. Contact the local municipal office for information on their licensing bylaw.
How long is a pet licence valid for?
Depending what option was selected, a pet licence is valid for one or two years.
Are pet licences refundable?
No - Pet Licences are non-refundable or transferrable. This is indicated online and on mailed paper invoices. Remaining monies stay with Animal Services to help animals in their care.
Renewing a pet licence
Will you send me an invoice when it's time to renew my pet licence?
Yes, the Animal Services Agency will email or send a courtesy invoice to the address we have on file in the month prior to your licence expiring; however, it remains the pet owner's responsibility to ensure that their pet has a current licence. Failure to purchase or renew your pet's licence can result in legal proceedings.
I lost my renewal notice. What do I do?
Please contact Animal Services at 311 to request a duplicate copy via email.
Why didn't I get a new licence tag with my renewal?
The licence tag that was originally issued to you is kept for the life of the dog or cat. More information on lost pet licence tags.
Can I renew my old pet's licence and put the licence tag on my new pet?
Dog and cat licences are not transferable from one dog/cat to another. You will have to purchase a new licence for your pet.
Can I align the renewal date for all of my pet licences?
Yes - if you have multiple pets you can combine multiple pet licences to renew at the same time.
Pet licence tags
Why should I buy a licence? 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 licence, you avoid a ticket and help fund programing at Animal Services.
- A dog licence tells our community that your dog is not homeless and is easily reunited by 311.
- A lost dog wearing a licence tag is almost always re-united with its owner when found.
- Every licensing period your dog is eligible for one “Free Release” if:
- You have voluntarily and proactively purchased a licence
- Your dog is found at large wearing a current licence
- You have no additional Responsible Pet Ownership By-law violations within the licensing period
If your dog is lost, contact 311, visit Animal Services, and make a post on Winnipeg Lost Dog Alert on Facebook.
Where does the money I pay you for my dog licence go?
100% of dog licence fees stay with the Animal Services Agency to help offset Agency costs. Your licence 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 licence?
Yes, your service dog must be licensed. Contact 311 to get a licence.
My dog never gets out of the yard. Why should I buy a licence?
The Responsible Pet Ownership By-law requires that every dog over the age of six months must be licensed and must wear its City of Winnipeg licence 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 licence tag on its collar will help reunite your lost pet with you.
Does my dog need to wear its licence tag?
Yes - to be properly licensed and in compliance with the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law, a dog must wear its licence tag.
The licence 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).
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. Approximately 40% of gross revenues from Cat Licensing are dedicated to help fund low-income 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 licence 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 over the age of six months must be licensed and must either wear its City of Winnipeg licence 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 licence 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 licence?
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 licence tag.
My cat won't wear a collar. How do I get it to wear a licence tag?
We suggest that all licensed cats wear a breakaway collar with a licence 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 licence 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 licence 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 spay/neuter assistance is available.
I foster cats and kittens through a local pet rescue. Do those cats/kittens require licences?
No - licences 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 bylaw prohibiting me from feeding feral or stray cats?
No, there is no bylaw 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.
What is the fine for failing to license my dog or cat?
Visit the Animal Services fine listing for information.
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 licences. Citizens are encouraged to call 311 to report an unlicensed dog or cat. An Animal Services Officer will investigate.
How do I report a suspected unlicensed dog or cat?
Visit the Report animal concern webpage.
Why do I have to buy a pet licence 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 licence 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.