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Animal Industry Bureau

Animal Welfare
Licensing Commercial Animal Welfare Establishments

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What businesses need to apply for an Animal Welfare License with the State of Iowa?
A. Commercial breeders, pet shops, boarding kennels, dealers, research facilities, commercial kennels, public auctions, animal shelters and pounds.

Q. If I am already a breeder licensed with the USDA, do I need to license with the State of Iowa?
A. You still need to apply for a permit with the State of Iowa. The application fee for a permit is $175.

Q. I am a "rescue" organization. I do not see this as having to license with the State of Iowa.
A. The term "rescue" is not defined by Iowa Code or Administrative Rules. Most organizations that consider themselves "rescues" will be licensed as "dealers" based on the definition of dealer under Iowa Code, Chapter 162.2.8.

Q. I consider myself only a "hobby breeder." Do I need to license as a commercial breeder?
A. If you have four or more sexually intact dogs or cats over 12 months of age and you are advertising for sale or selling you will need to license as a commercial breeder.

Q. I have several "show dogs" that are still intact and over the age of 12 months. Sometimes I breed them and sell the puppies. This could be once a year or once every couple of years. Do I need to license as a commercial breeder?
A. Yes.

Q. What are the fees to apply for a license?
A. Commercial breeders, pet shops, boarding kennels, dealers, commercial kennels and public auctions pay a non-refundable application fee of $175. This amount is due on an annual basis. Animal shelters, pounds and non-federally licensed research facilities pay a $75 fee. These are also to be renewed on an annual basis.

Q. I am groomer. I only groom on a part-time basis in my home. Do I need to license? And, if so, how do I license?
A. Yes, you would license as a commercial kennel. A commercial kennel, by the State of Iowa's definition, includes groomers, trainers and boarders.

Q. My location is not zoned for a commercial business. Will having a state license exempt me from having to follow the rules in my local municipality?
A. No. If a local municipality has zoning ordinances or stricter rules/laws, you will still need to follow the law of whoever is more restrictive. Please be sure to check with local authorities before applying.

Q. The application asks for my "taxpayer identification number." What is that?
A. This is the number that has been assigned to your business by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If your business is owned solely by you as an individual, this may be your social security number. This information remains confidential.

Q. I have a complaint about a facility that is licensed. How can I report my complaint?
A. Contact animal welfare licensing with Animal Industry at 515-281-6358.

Q. I have a complaint about a facility that is not licensed. What can I do?
A. Contact animal welfare licensing with Animal Industry at 515-281-6358.

Q. I have a complaint about abuse and neglect of animals. Do I contact IDALS?
A. IDALS does not have jurisdiction over abuse and neglect cases. Contact your
local law enforcement or sheriff's department.

Q. I want to buy a puppy. How can I find a licensed breeder?
A. There is a link on the Animal Welfare homepage to an online database.



If you have further questions or concerns contact:

Animal Welfare Licensing
515-281-6358

Margie.Salazar@iowaAgriculture.gov

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Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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