Dog Licensing & Enforcement
All dogs in Massachusetts must be licensed on an annual basis by the owners or keepers (anyone else present in a household) at the address the dog is kept, and licenses run for a calendar year. Licensing is handled by the Town Clerk, and please be aware that the dog's rabies vaccination must be up to date for the license to be issued. Failure to license your dog can result in a $50 fine being issued and, eventually, court action being taken against you.
Licensing requirements are posted on the Annual Town Census sent to all residents every December. There are also various local newspaper articles reminding people to license their dogs, and of the need to do so to avoid fines. In June of every year, the Town Clerk sends out letters to all dog owners/keepers whose dogs are still unlicensed informing them to do so or face enforcement action. After that, the Department of Natural Resources steps in and begins enforcement action.
If you are unsure if your dog is licesned, please double check or call the Town Clerk's Office at 508-759-0600, x.1505. If your dog's rabies vaccination is up to date, you can renew the dog license online (Online Transactions) and avoid having to come to Town Hall.
Please Read: 2016 ENFORCEMENT LETTER
If you own/keep a dog in MA, under MA Law the dog license is an annual requirement, and the dog's rabies vaccination must be current.
- Caring For Your Pets In Hot Weather
- Disaster Preparedness For Pets
- Prepare For Emergencies NOW!
- Rabies Brochure
- Rabies Fact Sheet
- Town of Bourne Dog Bylaws
- Animal Inn (Dog Impound)
- Animal Rescue League
- Bourne Animal Rescue Fund
- Cat Breed Rescue Directory
- Dog Breed Rescue Directory
- Dog Breed Rescue List
- Dog Breed Rescue Network
- PawBoost (Lost & Found Pets)
- The Center For Lost Pets