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Registering your pet is the law. The City of Houston Municipal Code requires that anyone who owns, keeps, possesses, or has control of a dog or cat four months of age or older must have his or her pet registered, vaccinated against rabies every year, and a registered microchip.
A City of Houston pet registration identifies and protects your pet in case it becomes lost. Even indoor pets can get out and become lost. You are required to renew your registration yearly and updated when you move and/or your pet is given away, lost, stolen or is deceased.
Registration Process and What You Will Need
A rabies vaccination certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian must be submitted. An invoice or statement of services is not sufficient as proof of rabies vaccination. Check your certificate for correct owner name, address, and pet information. You will also need a spay/neuter certificate if it is not reflected on Rabies certificate.
Proof that a microchip has been implanted in your pet. This information should contain microchip brand and the microchip number (this information can sometimes be found on the rabies certificate). *To update your pet's record at any time, please email WayHome@houstontx.gov.
Ready to purchase your pet’s City registration? Any required documents, such as your pet's current rabies certificate, may be scanned and uploaded (please use .jpg format) or submitted later mail or email. The registration will be issued after all required documents are received.
A pet registration is not only a requirement, but it provides the following benefits:
- A registration tells everyone that your pet is not a homeless stray.
- When registered with the city, found pets can be quickly reunited with their owner.
- BARC will make every effort to contact you if your pet comes to the shelter with a registered microchip.
- A City of Houston pet registration is an essential part of animal care and control in our community. Registration fees support the return of lost dogs and cats to their homes and help adopt homeless dogs and cats to new families. Other services funded by pet registration are the prevention of animal neglect or cruelty, spay/neuter programs, over-population programs, and community education services.
- Be sure to have the microchip registration information up-to-date at all times to help enable a quick return should they be found.
Other Ways to Register
Please mail all required documentation as listed above, along with your check or money order payable to "BARC to the address below.
- Please do not send cash.
- Please send copies of your paperwork and retain the originals for your records. Copies will not be returned with your registration receipt.
You can also purchase a new or renew your pet’s registration in person at the BARC animal shelter via cash, credit card, or check. Click here for shelter hours and address.
Remember, Collars and tags are helpful, however, they can fall off or become lost. Microchipping provides a permanent form of identification for your pet.