License & Ordinance Information

dog-license Opens in new windowLeash Law

There is a leash law in Merced County and all dogs that are off the property of their owners must be on a leash or physically restrained.


All dogs and cats over the age of four months are required to be vaccinated for rabies. (Low-Cost Rabies Vaccination Clinics)



Dogs must be licensed. Fines and penalties for an unlicensed dog may exceed $100 per animal. To find out how to license your dog, please call (209) 385-7436. (License Application)


Other Laws

  • Any dog transported in the rear of an open vehicle must be securely tied to prevent it from falling out.
  • Any dog found chasing, worrying, harassing, or attacking livestock or poultry may be destroyed by the livestock owner.
  • Anyone who owns or possesses more than four dogs or cats for any reason may require a kennel or cattery permit.
  • Any animal found in violation of any Merced County Ordinance is subject to impound.
  • It is the duty and responsibility of any person having knowledge of an animal bite (in the unincorporated areas of Merced County) to report it to Merced County Animal Control or the Health Department. This is mandated by State and local laws.