Pet owners of Richland County are expected to provide their dogs or cats over the age of six months with a current rabies vaccination from a licensed veterinarian and a current pet tag issued by Richland County Animal Care.

In Richland County the penalty for an unlicensed pet is $500.00.

Some of the benefits of licensing your pet Include:

  • A pet license identifies and protects your dog or cat in case they get lost.
  • A pet wearing a County tag lets the Animal Care Officer know that this dog or cat belongs to someone.
  • A pet license ensures that animals are vaccinated against rabies.
  • The County staff will notify you immediately to redeem your pet.
  • Your pet will get a longer care period.
  • Found pets can be reunited quickly with their owner.

To report a found pet with a County Tag or other identification tag, please call (803) 576-2461 to report this. The information will be forwarded to Animal Care. If you would like the animal picked up, please inform the Customer Service Representative of this.

You may apply for a pet license by mail or in person.

  • By Mail. You can download and print out a copy the pet license application form or you may call the Ombudsman's Office at (803) 929-6000 and request an application.  Just mail your completed application with a copy of your petís current vaccination record and proof of spay or neuter, if applicable.
  • In Person. You can purchase your pet license in person at 400 Powell Road. For directions, see map or please call (803) 576-2461. Just bring a copy of your petís current vaccination record and proof of spay or neuter if applicable. Please bring a check or money, no cash accepted. Pet licensing hours are 9:00 a.m. Ė 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The pet owner is required to show proof of rabies vaccination from a licensed veterinarian and proof of spay/neuter if applicable. Pet owners are also required to renew their license every year.
Your pet license is good for one year. You will be notified by mail one month before your renewal date.

  • The cost to license a spayed or neutered pet is $4.00
  • The cost to register a fertile pet is $20.00

The fee of $4.00 may apply to fertile pets if you can provide one of the following:

  1. A statement from a licensed veterinarian that the animal, due to health reasons, could not withstand spay/neuter surgery.
  2. Proof of participation in at least three (3) nationally recognized conformation or obedience shows or field trials within the past twelve (12) months.
  3. Proof of a performance title on the pet.
  4. Proof of proper registration with the South Carolina Wildlife Department and whose owner has a valid South Carolina hunting license for animals used for hunting purposes.
Assistance Animals
Any individual who is handicapped and who owns a dog that is used for seeing, hearing, or other such assistance purposes, shall be required to obtain an annual license but shall not be required to pay any license fee.

The cost of replacement tags

The cost of a replacement tag is $2.00. If you are in need of a replacement tag for your pet, just mail in a copy of your pets receipt for his current tag and a check or money order for $2.00 along with your request. Mail request to 400 Powell Road, Columbia, SC 29203.


The penalty in Richland County for an unlicensed pet is $500.00.

Rules pertaining to animals in Richland County

The rules or ordinances that pertain to animals within Richland County can be viewed online in chapter 5 of Richland County Ordinances

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