State and local law requires that all dogs be licensed annually by January 30. Local law for all cats that reside in the City of La Crosse and Onalaska, the Town of Campbell and Shelby, and the Village of Rockland require licensing by January 30 as well. Local law allows for a grace period in which no late fee is required from January 31 through April 1, however, a citation for failure to license can be enforced during this time period. After April 1, the late fee per pet is $25. A citation, per unlicensed pet, is approximately $250 (varies slightly by municipality).
Though pets need to be licensed as outlined in law there are many other important reasons to ensure pets are licensed.
A licensed pet means the pet is vaccinated for rabies (at time of licensure). Rabies, in almost all cases, is deadly. If a pet is vaccinated and bites a human, being vaccinated vastly improves the odds of the pet not having and not passing rabies to a human.
If a pet is licensed and it is wearing its license tag, with the help of community citizens and CRHS, the owner of the pet is able to be determined and find its way back home. CRHS sees 7% of cats and 68% of dogs redeemed by their owners. Clearly, licensing cats and dogs and finding a way to properly identify them will help increase their redemption rate and as a result, fewer pets being euthanized due to space and not enough homes seeking to adopt – especially cats - that go unclaimed.
License fees help to ensure animal control services remain in place for our community. From responding to stray pets running at large, stray pets being held, pets hit by car, investigating and potentially working with law enforcement to prosecute animal cruelty and neglect, pursuing all concerns for the well being of an animal, observing rabies quarantines (bite cases), responding to animals in distress (i.e. pets left in cars), assisting wild animals, educating on a daily basis to help arm pet owners with the knowledge needed to properly care for their pets, and much more – license fees directly support these services. These services are available to anyone needing them in the community. If pets that are required by law are licensed, any citizen, pet, or wild animal in La Crosse County needing assistance in any of the situations previously mentioned, will have it available to them as a result.
If you love your pet, one of the more important ways to demonstrate this, for so many reasons, is to license him or her.
Below are some commonly asked questions as well as answers to these:
Does every dog and cat in La Crosse County need to be licensed?
The State of Wisconsin requires every dog over 5 months of age to be licensed. As for cats, licensing requirements vary by municipality. Cats over 5 months of age who reside in the following municipalities are required to be licensed:
Onalaska, City of
What do I need to license my dog or cat?
In order to obtain your pet’s annual license, you need to demonstrate that your dog or cat has a current rabies vaccination by providing a copy of his/her rabies vaccination certificate when applying for his/her license.
Where can I apply for a license for my dog or cat?
You can apply for a dog or cat license through your local Treasurer or Clerk. You may also apply for a license at the Coulee Region Humane Society between 9am – 5pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9am – 7pm Tuesday and Thursday, and 1pm – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information licensing your pets, contact CRHS at 781-4014 or your Treasurer or Clerk.