The County’s Stray Animals Fill Harris County Animal Shelter

Shelter waives pet-license fee with purchase of a microchip in an effort to get more lost pets home

HOUSTON (July 1, 2019)—More than half the animals that enter Harris County Animal Shelter are stray and on average less than 8% arrive with any identification making it impossible to reunite the lost animals with an owners. In an effort to help keep more pets with their people, Harris County Animal Shelter will license pets for free (up to $60 value) with the purchase of a $15 microchip July 1st through July 31st. Microchips and a free one-year Harris County pet license will be administered during shelter operating hours weekdays from 1pm-5:30pm and weekends from 11am-4p.m. An appointment can also be made at the shelter’s Pet Wellness Clinic weekdays 8am-5pm and Saturday 9am-4pm by calling (281) 999-3191. Proof or rabies vaccination is required.

“July is National Pet Loss Prevention Month and we are urging the community to ensure their pets wear a collar with identification tags and are microchipped (incase the collar is removed), so we have a way to swiftly return pets to their owners in the event they become lost and end up at our shelter,” said Dr. Michael White, Director Harris County Animal Shelter. “Microchipping and placing proper identification on your pets is also one way to help reduce shelter overcrowding, because it enables us to quickly return animals to owners instead of their pets waiting at the shelter for their owners to reclaim—which frees up space for the pets that truly need to be here.”

Every stray animal that is brought to Harris County Animal Shelter is scanned twice upon intake for a microchip; their photos are uploaded immediately to and as well as registered to, a program that utilizes facial recognition technology to reunite lost pets with owners.

All cats and dogs in unincorporated Harris County over the age of three-months are required to be vaccinated for rabies and maintain a pet license through the county. Violations can result in a citation and fine up to $500.


About Harris County Animal Shelter/Veterinary Public Health:

The Harris County Animal Shelter, a division of Harris County Public Health, provides animal adoption and veterinary care for homeless pets, a pet wellness clinic for the public, zoonotic disease surveillance, responsible pet ownership education, as well as animal control services in neighborhoods throughout unincorporated Harris County and with certain municipalities within Harris County. For more information, visit

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