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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Local Dog Laws ... Clarified

This post is going to contain quite a bit of information. 

Here's how the laws work in Canyon County.


Section03-05-09(2) of the Canyon County Ordinance states:

"Kennel License; Application:  It is unlawful to keep, maintain or possess upon the premises of any one household more than three (3) canines three (3) months of age or older in an unincorporated area of the county unless the owner or person in charge thereof shall have obtained a kennel license.  Such kennel license shall only be permitted an issued in accordance with the terms and provisions of the county zoning ordinance; provided, however, that notice of any pulic hearing required on any application for a kennel license shall be mailed to all abutting property owners within the boundary line of an area determined by the intersection lines drawn six hundred feet (600') at right angles out from and parallel to all sides of teh tract whereupon such kennel is to be erected or maintained.  Where dedicated street rights of way are encountered, they shall be included in establishing the six hundred foot (600') boundary line around the tract.

A.  License Fee:  A kennel license shall be issued when the applicant pays the annual kennel license fee as established by the board plus the annual tage fee for each canine three (3) months of age or older to be kept in the kennel, provided the requirements established in this section have been fulfilled.

B.  Location:  No kennel shall be established within one hundred fifty feet (150') of any dwelling house other than that of the kennel owner; provided, however, that a kennel license may be issued to establish a kennel within one hundred fifty feet (150') of a dwelling house other than that of the kennel owner upon consent of all property owners within three hundred feet (300') of the kennel.

C.  Condition; Noise:  Said canine kennel shall be kept at all times in a clean and sanitary condition, and the canines shall be reasonably restrained from annoying the neighborhood or the general public by loud, frequent, or habitual barking, yelping or howling."

As stated in section03-05-11(B):

"1.  License Fee:  In addition to the tag fee for each canine three (3) months of age or older, an annual kennel license feel of thirty dollars ($30.00), per block of fifteen (15) canines must be paid.

2.  Amendment of Fee:  The fees or fee schedules authorized by this article may be amended by resolution of teh board of county commissioners in accordance with Idaho Code section 31-870(1), as amended, and Idaho Code section 63-1311A, as amended."

So far so good, right?  Doesn't sound too bad, eh?  As you can see, your dogs need to be licensed with the County as well.  Here are the per-dog County licensing fees:

Male / Female Intact:  $35 (one-year) or $90 (three-year).
Male / Female Speutered:  $7.50 (one-year) or $20 (three-year).

We're still okay, right? 

In order to obtain a canine license in Canyon County, you must have an up-to-date rabies shot on each one of your dogs.

Here are some places to get low-cost rabies vaccinations:

First Saturday of the month:  All Valley Animal Clinic in Merdian right off the freeway.  $17.50 per dog.

Second Saturday of the month:  Zamzow's in Nampa.  $25.00 per dog.

Third Saturday of the month:  Petco in Nampa.  $16.00 per dog.

If you have an elderly dog that you are not willing to vaccinate, you can try convincing your vet to write a letter stating the dog is not medically fit to handle a vaccination of this nature, or whatever.  Most vets are not willing to do this because of the liability factor.

Let's use an example.  Say you have 5 intact dogs.  This is what your annual ritual will be (give or take):

1.  Rabies vaccination:  $17.50 per dog = $87.50
2.  License fees:  $35 per dog = $175.00
3.  Annual kennel license fee = $30

Grand total is $292.00 PER YEAR for the right to keep five intact dogs on your property that is not even within city limits.



From the Canyon County Zoning Ordinance section 08-026 dated December 19, 2008:

Under Definitions (I highlighted in red the parts they left in to make it a bit easier to read):

KENNEL (COMMERCIAL): Any portion of land, or any building, structure, enclosure or premises on the same or adjacent parcels, on which more than five (5) canines three (3) months of age or older, are housed, groomed, bred, trained, sold, or cared for, in which canines are housed, groomed, bred, boarded, trained, or sold, in which a total of six (6) or more dogs, three (3) months of age or over are kept or maintained in conformance with Canyon County Code of Ordinances, Section 03-05-09 of this code.

KENNEL (PERSONAL): Any portion of land on which three (3) to five (5) canines more than three (3) months of age or older, up to a maximum of ten (10), are housed, groomed, bred, trained, shown, sold, or cared for, as in conformance with Canyon County Code of Ordinances, Section 03-05-09 of this code.

If you have six or more dogs, you are required to obtain a "Conditional Use Permit" from the Development Services Department.  Information about the "Conditional Use Permit" and the hoops you need to jump through can be found at the link I previously provided.  (Hoops include public hearings, notifying a bunch of people of all kinds of stuff, holding a community meeting, etc.)


---> Application for a Conditional Use Permit:  $2,008.00 <----

Yup.  You read that correctly.  That's just for the application process.  If they deny you, you are SOL!  If they grant your Conditional Use Permit, then you need to license your dogs with the county, and still purchase the $30 kennel license and maintain it annually.  Oh, I am not sure if there's an annual fee to maintain your Conditional Use Permit.  I didn't get that far into this, and won't, as it will not apply to me.

With fees like that, you can see why the Commissioners are pressuring Animal Control to start enforcing this stuff. 

Now that I know what the laws are, and what I am responsible for, I will bring my place to full compliance this week and start working on getting a hearing before the commissioners to see what we can do about working towards a happy medium with the working dogs (herding and LGDs) being designated as livestock, and thereby, foregoing all these pet laws.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


  1. A lot of our area is zoned agricultural. One local handler was able to get around the two dog limit by saying that they were necessary to keep his sheep.

  2. Are you sure you'd have to vaccinate for rabies every year? Here in OR it's every three years.

  3. Oh you're right. Wouldn't have that expense but every three years. But you would have to make sure you have a current rabies every year. Thank you for the correction.

  4. No problem. My agility instructor got shut down because playing dog agility on agricultural land is not allowed. How stupid is that?

    Good luck fighting your way through this mess.

  5. We are thinking to moving to Caldwell, Idaho. However, we have 4 dogs. Are we allowed to have more than three dogs if we obtain a non commercial kennel license?