Animal Services is operated under the direction of the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office. It is responsible for protecting public health and safety by enforcing local, state, and federal laws and regulations that pertain to domesticated animals and their care in the unincorporated areas of San Joaquin County. Animal Services, in conjunction with the County Public Health Department, administers the state-mandated rabies control program, including vaccination clinics, reporting bites, and quarantine of biting animals within both County and City jurisdictions. The division, in conjunction with the County Community Development Department, administers local code enforcement related to animal zoning ordinances. Animal Services officers impound stray and unmanageable animals, remove injured, sick or dead animals, and inspect privately owned kennels and livestock areas, provide assistance with predatory animals, investigate complaints of animal abuse or neglect and take appropriate action to deal with other problems associated with the care of animals.
The county does not operate an animal shelter. Instead, pursuant to FAC 31106 the Animal Services Division, through the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, contracts with the City of Stockton for sheltering services of impounded animals. The City of Stockton provides for the sheltering of dogs and cats.A private contract is maintained for the hauling, board and care associated with impounded livestock.
A private contract is maintained for the hauling, board and care associated with impounded livestock.
Dog Licensing Information
A dog license is a permit to keep a dog within the unincorporated area of the County of San Joaquin. It is similar to licensing your vehicle. Licensing allows the county to keep track of current rabies vaccinations. Another benefit is a found dog can be identified and returned to its owner. Cat licensing is not required by San Joaquin County. Dog licensing is required by law pursuant to County Ordinance 6-1005.
Dog Licensing Fees
Dog licensing is conducted on a yearly basis. Fees for dogs that have been spayed or neutered are reduced. Dog licensing can be complete without the following locations or by printing the application from the form below and mailing it in with required documents.
$30.00 per male or female
$10.00 if the male is neutered or the female is spayed
Licensing Purchasing Locations
Why do I have to license my dog?
County ordinance 4 – 9005 requires all dogs over the age of 4 months be licensed if they’re kept within the unincorporated area of the county for ten (10) days or longer. This license is to ensure that the dog has a current rabies vaccination. It also gives Animal Services Agencies a way to identify the owner of an impounded animal so they can get the animal back home.
How do I get a license?
You must have a copy of the current rabies vaccination certificate from a licensed veterinarian that is good for at least one year. You can come to the Animal Services office located at 2101 E. Earhart Ave. Stockton, California or visit one of the licensing facilities listed in the licensing locations section. You may also print the license application located on our website and mail the fees along with the required documentation listed on the application to 7000 Michael Canlis Blvd. French Camp, California 95231.
My dog was licensed in another city or county. Do I need a new license in San Joaquin County?
A license is not required for any dog which is a current license from another city or county if vaccinated against rabies as required. This only applies to dogs brought into the unincorporated area of the county from another jurisdiction.
My dog always stays in my house. Does it still have to be licensed?
Yes. All dogs over the age of 4 months, regardless if they never leave the yard, must be licensed. You would be surprised how many animals are impounded every month and the owner says, “but it has never been out before!”.
Do cats need a license?
Cats are not required to be licensed if you reside in the unincorporated area of San Joaquin County.
Where can I get a rabies vaccination for my pet?
Look under veterinarian or veterinary in the phone book or go online to any veterinarian in your local area. Most of the Licensing locations also provide vaccinations. Please contact them directly for pricing and additional information.
What is a microchip and should I get one for my dog?
The microchip is a tiny computer chip which has an identification number programmed into it and it is encapsulated within a bio-compatible material. The whole device is small enough to fit inside a hypodermic needle and can be simply injected under the skin of your pet, where it will stay for the life of the animal. This provides a permanent, positive identification which cannot be lost, altered or intentionally removed – a safe, simple and inexpensive way to protect your pet against loss or theft.
I have a problem with stray or feral cats. What can I do?
In San Joaquin County, cats are recognized as free-roaming animals, regardless of whether they are owned or stray or whether they are friendly or feral. Unlike dogs, cats may roam freely throughout the county, are not required to be on a leash, and do not need to be confined on the owner’s property. To prevent cats from overrunning your property, from being a nuisance and from constantly breeding, you may pick them up and confine them in an enclosure (such as a cat cardboard cat carrier, sturdy box with a lid and holes for ventilation or a cat crate/carrier) if they are friendly and bring them to the Stockton Animal Shelter. If they are aggressive or timid, we highly recommend trapping them in a humane manner. Animal services will not pick up cats that have been contained or trapped. You may surrender an owned or stray cat at the Stockton Animal Shelter. The shelter is open Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
Is it legal for an owner to chain up his or her dog?
Health and safety code 122335(b) no person shall tether, fasten, chain, tie, or restrain a dog, or cause a dog to be tethered, fastened, chained, tied, or restrained, to a dog house, tree, fence or, or any other stationary object. A person may:
1)attach a dog to a running line, pulley, or trolley system. A dog should not be tethered to the running line, pulley, or trolley system by means of a choke collar or pinch collar.
2) Tether, fasten, chain, tie, or otherwise restrain a dog pursuant to the requirements of a camping or recreational area.
3) Tether, fasten, chain, or tie a dog no longer than is necessary for the person to complete a temporary task that requires a dog to be restrained for a reasonable period.
What can a neighbor do about a barking dog?
San Joaquin County ordinance 4-9020 – no person shall keep or permit to remain on any premises within this County of San Joaquin any dog which continuously and incessantly barks at any time during the day or night to the disturbance of any other person. Continuous and incessant barking is defined as frequent barking for a period of 10 minutes or more duration, which disturbs the peace of another person, including howling, crying, baying or making any other noise, provided that anytime of the complaint no person or persons were trespassing or threatening to trespass upon the private property of the owner or person in custody or control of the dog, or the dog was not being teased or provoked in any manner.
If at all possible, we recommend speaking to the owner of the dog before contacting Animal Services. You may also want to speak to your neighbors and see if they had the same problem as you do. We advise that you keep a written long so you can document the times and duration of the barking along with any contact that you have had with the animal owner or animal services regarding the problem.
If the dog owner is unwilling to take preventive action and the nuisance continues, contact animal services at 209-953-6073. Animal Services will mail a formal notice to the animal owner to take preventive action to stop the nuisance barking. If the barking has not subsided within a reasonable period of time a second notice will be mailed. If additional reports are received after the second notice, animal services will make a physical visit and inspection at the animal owners’ residents to further assist the reporting party and animal owner in preventing further nuisance to the neighborhood.
How many dogs are cats am I allowed to have in my residence?
For the San Joaquin County ordinance, development Title 9-1045.2 you may have up to 3 dogs and 3 cats if you reside in a single-family residence. Contact animal services at 209-953-6073 if you have any additional questions.
Does Animal Services trap or relocate wildlife?
Animal services does not trap or relocate healthy wild life. Because relocation violates federal law and the only option is extermination, we cannot in good conscience exterminate healthy, viable animals. San Joaquin County has an abundant population of wildlife, whereby, residents must learn to cohabitate in order to preserve the natural conditions in habitats of this region. A citizen seeking alternatives may try one of the following options: Look in the Yellow Pages under pest control services for wildlife removal services. A snake serpentarium can assist with snake removal and there are numerous pest control services that will assist with the removal of smaller rodents, squirrels, rats and mice.
Am I allowed to have poultry or livestock if I reside in the unincorporated area of San Joaquin County?
This is largely dependent on where you live in the county, the size of your parcel, and the residential zoning of your parcel. It is regulated by the development title of the San Joaquin County ordinance. Before purchasing livestock or poultry contact Community Development at 209-468-2193.
Deceased animals on the freeway/highway – Call Cal Trans at (209) 948-7977. For all other deceased animals in the unincorporated areas of the county call Animal Services at (209) 953-6073.
Lost or found dogs – Call Animal Services to report lost or found animals at (209) 953-6073. Check with the Stockton Animal Shelter at 1575 South Lincoln Street Stockton, California to see if an animal was picked up. You may also look at their website to view photographs of found animals and animals available for adoption.
Barking dogs, licensing questions, and rabies control – Call Animal Services at (209)953-6073.
Bite report inquiries – Call animal services at 209-953-6073.
Bats – Call San Joaquin County Animal Services for service at (209) 953-6070. Bats are high-risk and known carriers of rabies. Do not use your bare hands to place them in a container. Has any animal or human had contact with the bat? Where was the bat located, inside or outside? Is the bat dead or alive? If possible, cover the bat with a can or box, keep animals and humans away from it and contact us immediately. If you are reporting an infestation, please check the yellow pages under pest control where you will find specific services for the removal of bats.
Bee problems – Animal Services is not handling issues concerning bees, wasps, rats, mice, or similar creatures. Contact a professional pest control expert for assistance. Call Animal Services for a further question. (209) 953-6073.
Calls for service in the unincorporated area of San Joaquin County – Call (209) 953-6070.