Animal Control: License Your Dog or Risk $75 Fine


The head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section is urging residents to license their dogs this month. 

New Canaan typically has about 3,000 dogs licensed annually for the licensing period that starts July 1, according to Animal Control Officer Sean Godejohn. 

New Canaan Animal Control Officer Sean Godejohn. Credit: Michael Dinan

“A large portion of New Canaan residents do get their dogs licensed on time,” Godejohn told

Referring to the annual figure of approximately 3,000 dogs, he added, “We could always do better.”

Dog owners can renew their dog licenses online here. The application for first-time licenses (and additional information) can be found here, on the Town Clerk’s page of the town website.

Dog licensing is required by state law.

“All dogs must have a dog license and display the tag on the dogs collar,” Godejohn said. “Failure to license is a $75 fine per dog. I’ve been extremely lenient on this statue this year giving only warnings. This upcoming licensing year I plan on issuing infractions to the worst offenders.”

Licensing dogs is important, in part, because it helps Animal Control find their owners when the pets get lost, he said.

Godejohn added, “Also if a dog is stolen the dog license is good proof of who that dog belongs to.”

Dogs must be licensed at 6-plus months of age.

“To license your dog, bring a copy of your current rabies certificate to the New Canaan Town Hall Town Clerk’s office,” Godejohn said. “After the first time you license your dog, you can then re-license your dog online the following year. The fee is $8 for an altered female or male dog. The fee is $19 if your dog is un-altered. It is $1 extra for every month you are late to license your dog.”

The licensing fee goes to the state Animal Population Control Program, which helps adopted shelter animals get spayed or neutered. 

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