Changes to County Dog Licensing

A few changes have been made to Columbia County dog license fees for 2014, including an increase in the licensing fee to $15. This is the first increase in licensing fees in more than 8 years. The fee for unfixed dogs and senior citizen remains the same.

Dog licenses may now only be obtained by contacting the County Clerk’s desk at the Columbia County Court House, 230 Strand St., Saint Helens, Oregon 97051.  License applications may be downloaded from the sheriff’s web site ( and mailed to the clerk with proof of rabies vaccinations and the appropriate fees. Licenses issued after March 10 will be consider late and assessed a $25 late fee.

ALL dogs residing in the State of Oregon are required to be vaccinated for rabies–a  deadly disease for both humans and dogs. State law also requires dogs to be licensed in the County in which they reside. The license requirement applies to all dogs, whether or not the dog is an inside or outside dog. The fees collected from the licensing of dogs provides for County services directly related to dog issues. The fees also provide for the sheltering of lost, abandoned  and/or neglected animals. 

Columbia County is no longer providing staffing at the Lomar Holshimer Animal Shelter located at 2084 Oregon Street in Saint Helens, and thus, licenses are no longer issued at this location. The County currently contracts with the Columbia Humane Society to provide shelter services for lost and found dogs.  License application may however be picked up at the shelter. The Columbia Humane Society staff might also be able to assist the public with other animal related services.

Another new aspect to the County’s dog control program is that owners who failed to license their dogs will be subject to a citation being mailed to the owner. Fines for unlicensed dogs have been reduced from $250 to  $75. Continued violations can result in fines being levied up to $500 per dog. A late fee of $25 may also be assessed to any dog owner who fails to license their dog by the due date.

Owners who vaccinate their dogs but failed to obtain a license will be sent a 30 day notice by the County Clerks Office advising them of the requirement to license their dogs. Failure to obtain the license would then result in a citation being mailed to the dog owner and a $75 fine being assessed.

If you have any questions about the requirements to license a dog, you can contact the County Clerks office at 503-397-3796.