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How can I find out if an animal is registered with New Hanover County?

Tom Grady


The name of the individual in possession of the animal or a rabies tag number are the keys to matching up a pet with its rightful family or determining the registration status.

“To find out if a dog is registered, if you have the current rabies information, we can use the tag number,” said Sarah Smith, administrative support technician with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Unit. “Or we can use the person who owns the dog or has possession of the dog. We can pull their name up to find out if the animal is current with registration.”

Smith noted registration fees are not transferable from one guardian to another. So if a pet is adopted by another individual or family, the new guardian will need to pay for a new registration.

Every dog or cat with a home in New Hanover County should be registered with the Animal Services Unit and they are required to be vaccinated against rabies. New residents have 30 days to register their pets.

A $100 fine is possible for anyone found with an unregistered pet, or $200 if the dog or cat is not current on a rabies vaccination. The rabies citation can be cancelled if the pet is vaccinated within 72 hours.


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