Licensing: Reduced Unaltered License, Exceptions & Exemptions

Reduced Unaltered License

The Reduced Unaltered License is available to competition dogs and cats and working ranch dogs and does not allow the animal to *breed. 
     *Any animal that is bred is not eligible for a Reduced Unaltered License.

Competition (Show) Dogs

  • The Reduced Unaltered License is available to owners whose animals are registered with a valid registry such as AKC, UKC or CFA and are actively showing or have competed during the previous 12 months, or the animal has achieved titles from a purebred dog or cat registry.
  • For a recently purchased animal or is too young for competition, a letter from the animal's breeder stating show quality and intent to show and a copy of the animal's pedigree will meet requirements.
  • Competition proof can consist of an entry fee cancelled check or entry catalog photocopy showing owner and animal name and show date.

Working Ranch Dogs

  • Working ranch dogs are defined as a dog that has been trained and is used to herd/guard livestock and the dog owner resides on or is the owner of property designated in the Sacramento County Zoning Code for agricultural use.
  • For a working dog Reduced Unaltered License, submit a letter with address and property zoning, as well as the training and use of the dog.

Purchase Reduced Unaltered License

  • Must be applied for and purchased at the Shelter. For more information, email CountyAnimalCare@SacCounty.net or call 916-368-7387 #7
  • Owners can purchase multi-year licenses (one, two, or three year) licenses. The license must equal the number of years on the rabies certificate. Contact your veterinarian about multi-year-effectiveness rabies vaccinations.
  • Reduced Unaltered License Fee

Service Animal Tags/ Fee Exceptions

Per Title 8, Code 8.24.030, Section M 1, 2, 3: the following are excused from ordinarily applicable license fee requirements, as specified:

  • No fee shall be charged for working dogs that are documented as having been appropriately trained and actively used by law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes.
  • A fee shall not be levied for any dog license issued for a seeing-eye dog owned by a blind or partially blind person or for any dog duly trained and registered with a training agency to assist a disabled person when such dog is actively used for the purposed trained.

To obtain a service animal tag

  • Owners must come into the shelter in person.
  • If the animal is a seeing-eye dog or is duly trained and registered with a training agency, no standard license is required to be purchased.
  • All other uses must purchase a license and provide proof of rabies vaccination and spay/neuter and/or license certificate, if applicable.

Age and Health Exemptions

Animals certified in writing by a licensed veterinarian to be too young, too old, or generally not healthy enough for spay/neuter surgery, may receive an exemption and will be assessed for the Altered License fee. 

For young animals, a one year Altered License may be obtained and when the license is renewed, the owner can bring proof of spay/neuter and pay the Altered License fee for one to three years.

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