Animal Protection FAQs

Who is required  to obtain a license from the Animal Protection Section?
Animal shelters, pet breeders, pet dealers, pet shops, pet groomers, pet trainers, boarding kennels, aviaries, and rescue groups and humane societies that house animals all require a license issued by the Animal Protection Section of the Georgia Department of Agriculture and must be prominently displayed at each licensed place of business.

When is a person considered a pet dealer (pet breeder)?
If your animal has more than 1 litter in a twelve month period, you are required to obtain a pet dealer's license.

What are the steps necessary to obtain a license for a new establishment?
To obtain a license from the Animal Protection Section, you must first have a pre-license inspection performed at the location, this includes mobile facilities, you will be doing business.  Please call the Animal Protection office (800-282-5852 ex 4914) to request a pre-license inspection.  We will need your address, directions to the place where you plan to do business and a telephone number where you can be reached between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM.  You should review and become familiar with the Animal Protection Act, Bird Dealers Licensing Act, Bird Dealers Licensing Rules,  and Animal Protection Rules  BEFORE your inspection.  This information is available on our website, www.agr.georgia.gov.  Scroll down to the middle of the screen to the Animal Protection link, click on it and scroll down on that screen to the Animal Protection Act, Bird Dealers Licensing Act, Bird Dealers Licensing Rules and Animal Protection Rules.  The inspector will bring the license application and collect the fee amount, per established guidelines in the Animal Protection or Bird Dealers Licensing  Rules, at the time of inspection.  (The department will only accept a check or a money order.)

What are the fees for a license?
License Fee for Animal Shelters (fee based upon holding capacity (to include foster homes) at the time of license application or renewal)
1. Capacity for up to and including 20 pets: $100.00 license fee
2. Capacity for 21 to 40 pets: $200.00 license fee
3. Capacity for 41 to 80 pets: $300.00 license fee
4. Capacity for 80+ pets $400.00 license fee
5. Animal Shelter not having a permanent fixed facility in Georgia $400.00 license fee

License Fee for Bird Dealers (fee based upon gross volume of pet sales or set fee)
1. For $1.00 to 100.00 in gross pet sales: $50.00 license fee
2. For $101.00 to $5,000.00 in gross pet sales: $100.00 license fee
3. For $5,001.00 to $10,000.00 in gross pet sales: $200.00 license fee
4. For $10,001.00 to $15,000.00 in gross pet sales: $300.00 license fee
5. For $15,001.00 and up in gross pet sales: $400.00 license fee
6. Bird Dealer not having a permanent fixed facility in Georgia: $400.00 license fee

License Fee for Kennels (fee based upon holding capacity at the time of license application or renewal)
1. Capacity for up to and including 20 pets: $100.00 license fee
2. Capacity for 21 to 40 pets: $200.00 license fee
3. Capacity for 41 to 80 pets: $300.00 license fee
4. Capacity for 80+ pets $400.00 license fee

License Fee for Pet Dealers (fee based upon gross volume of pet sales or set fee)
1. For $1.00 to 100.00 in gross pet sales: $50.00 license fee
2. For $101.00 to $5,000.00 in gross pet sales: $100.00 license fee
3. For $5,001.00 to $10,000.00 in gross pet sales: $200.00 license fee
4. For $10,001.00 to $15,000.00 in gross pet sales: $300.00 license fee
5. For $15,001.00 and up in gross pet sales: $400.00 license fee
6. Pet Dealer not having a permanent fixed facility in Georgia: $400.00 license fee

License Fee for Stables (based upon holding capacity)
1. Capacity for up to and including 10 equine: $100.00 license fee
2. Capacity from 11 to 20 equine: $200.00 license fee
3. Capacity from 21 to 30 equine: $300.00 license fee
4. Capacity from 30+ equine: $400.00 license fee
5. For Equine Rescue Groups operating for that sole purpose and maintain a facility must meet all the requirements of a license stable - $200.00 fee

Each license type will be required to obtain a separate license for each activity, i.e. there will be no combination licenses.

What must I do in order to be licensed to start an animal rescue group or shelter.
The first step is to check the local zoning requirements.  If there are no restrictions for this type of establishment, please contact the Secretary of State's Office to apply for incorporation papers.  Their information number is 404-656-3920.  After you have received this designation or if you have any further questions, please contact our office at 404-656-4914 to provide your name and contact information.  This information will be given to the inspector to schedule a pre-license inspection.  You should review and become familiar with the Animal Protection Act and Animal Protection Rules BEFORE your inspection.  The inspector will bring the license application and collect the fee amount, per established guidelines in the Animal Protection Rules, at the time of inspection.

What type of license do I need from the Georgia Department of Agriculture to be a dog trainer or groomer?
Your business would be considered a kennel:``any establishment, other than an animal shelter, where dogs or cats are maintained for boarding, holding, training, or similar purposes for a fee or compensation."

What do Animal Protection Inspectors do?
The Department currently employs 19 Animal Protection Inspectors and four Animal Protection Field Supervisors who are responsible for enforcing the Animal Protection Act, Bird Dealers Licensing Act, Animal Protection Rules and Regulations,  and Bird Dealers Licensing Rules and Regulations for all 159 counties in the state.  (Animal Protection does not investigate complaints on personal pets, this is handled by local animal control services.)  Their duties include but are not limited to:

  • Inspecting pet dealers, pet and bird breeders,  bird dealers, and kennels taking appropriate regulatory action when guidelines are not met
  • Inspecting animal shelters, taking appropriate regulatory action when guidelines are not met
  • Conducting pre-license inspections of new establishments
  • Investigating complaints on establishments and/or  animals in licensed facilities
  • Monitoring special sales, shows, and events, checking health papers and permits
  • Issuing quarantines and stop sale/use/movement orders
  •  
  • What are the inspectors looking for during an inspection?
    The inspection staff is trying to ensure the animals in the facility are receiving humane care.  Humane care is defined as ``but is not limited to, the provision of adequate heat, ventilation, sanitary shelter, and wholesome and adequate food and water, consistent with the normal requirements and feeding habits of the animal's size, species, and breed.  Inhumane care includes any act, omission, or neglect, which causes unjustifiable physical pain, suffering, or death to any living animal." Rule 40-13-13-.01(14)

Inspectors are also ensuring that the Premise Requirements  40-13-13-.06(1)(a)-(q) are being properly met.

I would like to get results of an investigation or complaint.  How can I obtain information on complaints investigated by an Animal Protection inspector?
You may request information on specific cases or facilities by contacting Jeanne Maxwell, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Open Records Section, and requesting the information under the provisions of the Georgia Open Records Act.  She can be reached at  http://www.agr.georgia.gov/open-records.aspx or (404)657-1584.

What is the purpose of the "Animal Friend" (Dog-Cat) License Tag Program?
The Dog-Cat License Tag Program supports a statewide dog and cat sterilization program.  Information on this program can be found on our website at Three Plates, One Purpose Dog & Cat Sterilization Program .

Is there a "lemon law" in Georgia concerning pet purchases.  How can I make sure I purchase a healthy pet?
Insist of a written purchase contract.  It is recommended that persons take newly purchased pets to a veterinarian within 48-72 hours of purchase to have the animal checked by a licensed and accredited veterinarian of your choice.   Purchase from licensed pet dealers only.  You can request the inspection history information on a licensed establishment under the Georgia Open Records Act.   Although there is no ``lemon law" concerning pet purchases, the Animal Protection Section does investigate disease and health issues and selling under false pretenses.

What types of inoculations are required by the state of Georgia for cats and dogs?
By Georgia law, dogs, cats, and ferrets must get rabies vaccination when they are twelve weeks of age or  older and every year after that.   Rabies control falls under the Georgia Department of Health.  You may access their website at http://www.gpc.dhr.georgia.gov.   Rabies vaccinations are only recognized in Georgia when performed by a licensed veterinarian.  Call your veterinarian for more details on rabies shots for your pets.  If your pet is bitten or scratched by a wild animal notify your veterinarian immediately.

I plan to travel with my pet.  What arrangements must I make to legally transport my animal?
Small Animals (dogs & cats) entering Georgia need:

Flying into GA from another State: Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) is needed within 10 days of movement & proof of current rabies vaccination
Arriving by car from another State: Current rabies certificate only
Entering GA from another country (International): Call CDC (Center for Disease Control) at 404-498-1670
Contact USDA, Veterinary Services, 770-922-7860 for:

Animal(s) going out of the country
Request for International Health Certificates
International Import/Export Regulations
Veterinary Accreditation

I believe birds are dying from West Nile Virus (WNV).  What do I do?
The local health department handles investigations of WNV.  Contact your county health department further assistance.

I have a complaint against my veterinarian.  Who can I contact for assistance?
You should contact the Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine. The address is 237Coliseum Drive, Macon, GA 31217-3858, and their phone number is (478)207-1686.   You may access their website at http://sos.georgia.gov/plb/veterinary/.

How do I know if an animal can legally be kept as a pet?
Most native wildlife and many exotic animals cannot legally be kept as pets in Georgia.  A guide to legal pets can be found on the website of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, located at http://georgiawildlife.dnr.state.ga.us.

I think my neighbors are dog fighting.  Is this legal in Georgia?
Dog fighting and cock fighting are illegal and considered animal cruelty in the state of Georgia. Dog and cock fighting information should be reported to the local Animal Control or Sheriffs Department.

For more information please visit the Animal Protection page.

Site Map | Printable View | Copyright © 2014 Georgia Department of Agriculture.