New Pet License Style in Winnebago County

In an effort to reunite more pets with their families, Winnebago County Animal Services is using a “smart” rabies tag through starting January 2019.

The basic service comes with every tag you receive after your pet is vaccinated. Pet owners must activate the tag to make work. Once the tag is activated, you can enter a pet profile and multiple emergency contacts, medical information, and more to help get your pet home. You can update your pet’s profile as often as you like free of charge.

If your pet becomes lost, the person finding your pet can scan the QR code on the back of the tag to see your contact information, so they can quickly return your pet to you. You control what the public sees when you enter your pet’s profile. If the finder doesn’t have a smartphone, they can simply call the phone number on the tag or go to the PetHub website.

Remember it’s important to keep your contact information current on your rabies tag and your microchip, so we know how to find you and reunite you with your pet. In Winnebago County, all cats and dogs 4 months and older are required to have a rabies vaccination and pet license.

You can upgrade to the premium service for a small monthly fee. When you upgrade your pet’s profile to the premium service, PetHub donates a portion of that fee to WCAS.

Lost Pet Statistics:

  • The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year.
  • One in three pets will become lost at some point during their life.
  • A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, including 53 animal shelters across the U.S., confirmed the high rate of return of microchipped dogs and cats to their families, and the importance of microchip registration. From the study:
  • Only about 22 percent of lost dogs that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent (a 238 percent increase).
  • Less than 2 percent of lost cats that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. The return-to-owner rate for microchipped cats was dramatically higher at over 38 percent (more than 2000 percent better).
  • Only 58 percent of the microchipped animals’ microchips had been registered in a database with their pet parent’s contact information.
Please note, this tag does not replace the importance of a microchip! Tags and collars can get lost or removed. This new tag, if still on your pet when found, is simply an easy way for the finder of your pet to contact you without having to take your pet to a shelter or vet to be scanned for a microchip. If your pet is not microchipped, click here to schedule the quick 10-minute appointment to have it done.
We promise to treat your pets as if they’re our own!


1917 Daimler Road,
Rockford, IL 61112
Click here for directions.


Mon-Fri: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Open most Saturdays 8am – 12pm.
Sun: Closed


Fax: 815-229-7990

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