Dog Licenses

Dog Licensing 

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Mansfield has an active licensing program to ensure all dogs are being licensed.
The animal Control Officers enforce State Statute 22-338 licensing of dogs.  

Purpose of Licensing

The purpose of licensing today is different from its original intention. In the middle 1800’s dogs were required to be licensed in an effort to help control the spread of rabies, a disease which was prevalent in the domestic dog population in the United States. In more recent times licensing has been used for various other reasons:

  • Control of Roaming Dogs
  • Identification of Dogs Involved in Bite/Attack Incidents
  • Owner Identification and Location
  • Rabies Control (Still a Present Issue)
  • Reduction of Domestic Dog Damage
  • Source of Revenue for Municipal and State Canine Control Programs Such as the Animal Population Program


A number of studies have been conducted to determine the effects of aggressive licensing programs. Many states have found that an active licensing and strict enforcement of licensing laws helps resolve problems in those areas and licensing helps:

  • Dog bites and attacks
  • Helps reunite owners with their dogs in a more timely manner
  • Promiscuous breeding
  • Reduce stray dogs

Pet Ownership Responsibility

By establishing licensing as a priority, activities in other areas involving dogs will be reduced. Pet ownership responsibility, which is brought out by licensing, is another derived benefit.

Less Time & Low Cost

Did you know that a dog wearing a license is easier to deal with, requires less time, and does not cost the town or dog owner as much money as a dog which is not licensed? If a dog is captured and is wearing a license the owner can be notified promptly, saving impoundment time, advertising fees, and care during impoundment.

If a person is bitten/attacked by a dog with a license, the medical history can be obtained from the owner in a short period of time - thus relieving the anxiety of having to go through the rabies series. We should not lose sight of the fact that rabies is found in our state’s wildlife population.