Dog Licensing Program

Which Dogs Must Be Licensed?

Every dog owned or harbored in New York State for longer than 30 days must be licensed in the town, city, or village where the dog is being harbored. The following are the only license exemptions:

  • Dogs under four months of age
  • Dogs visiting New York State for less than 30 days that are licensed according to the resident state’s licensing laws
  • Dogs confined to the premises of any public or private hospital, research institution, or Class A Dealer with a certificate of exemption from the Commissioner.

How to License Your Dog

Town of Ithaca residents can apply for a dog license at the Town Clerk’s Office, 215 N. Tioga Street, or download the dog license application and follow the accompanying instructions.

The fee is waived for service dogs, but satisfactory proof is required, such as a training certificate.

The following items must accompany a license application:
  1. Current rabies certificate showing the date of immunization. We will return this to you with your license. Rabies tags are not accepted since they are not dated.
  2. Spay/neuter certificate, if applicable. We will return this to you with your license.
  3. Check payable to the Town of Ithaca for the appropriate license fee (see below).

The license will be validated for one year by the Town Clerk. Each dog is assigned a permanent official identification (ID) number and issued a metal ID tag that should be attached to the dog’s collar. A renewal form will be mailed to you each year during the month your dog was originally licensed.

Dog License Fees – Town of Ithaca

License Type

Total Fee

Spayed/Neutered Dog:


Unspayed/Unneutered Dog:


Service Dog:

No Fee

Local Dog Control Services

Every licensing town, city, or village must have a dog control officer (DCO) and municipal shelter services. The DCO and shelter service enforces both state and any local dog laws and ordinances. Further, it is the DCO’s responsibility to pick up lost and stray dogs and humanely care for them until they can be reunited with their owners. The Town of Ithaca contracts annually with the Tompkins County SPCA for dog control services. 

If your dog is lost or you find a lost dog, immediately contact the SPCA at 607-257-1822. Owners should seek lost unidentified dogs at the SPCA shelter located at 1640 Hanshaw Road.

The owner of a dog that is seized must pay the following impoundment fees to the Town of Ithaca before the dog can be released into their custody:

·         $25 for the first impoundment

·         $50 for the second impoundment of any dog owned by the same person within 12 months of the first impoundment of any dog owned by the same person

·         $75 for the second impoundment of any dog owned by the same person within 12 months of the first impoundment of any dog owned by the same person

·         If more than one dog owned by the same person is impounded at the same time, the impoundment of each dog is considered a separate impoundment. (For example, if two dogs owned by the same person are impounded at the same time and the owner has not had any dogs impounded within the past 12 months, the fees are $25 for one dog and $50 for the other dog.)

If dogs injure or kill livestock, the SPCA should be notified immediately. Do NOT destroy or bury the animals. They must be available for examination so the DCO can appraise the damage.

Please contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 607-273-1721 for more information.