The Georgia Department of Agriculture's (GDA) Companion Animals Program regulates all pet dealers, kennels, and animal shelters within the State.  We ensure that animals are treated humanely and have good living conditions.



Internet pet scams aim to deceive unsuspecting pet lovers. These scams offer a pet for little or no cost but will request a hefty shipping deposit or other "unforeseen" expenses during the process.

Many of these criminals operate overseas. Finding and prosecuting them could be extremely difficult; maybe impossible. Research the seller thoroughly. Only purchase from sellers you can validate.

Use our License Search tool to see pet dealers, kennel operators (groomers, trainers, boarders), animal rescues, humane societies, and local government animal shelters that hold a valid license with the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

If you have been the victim of an internet pet scam or have evidence about such a scam, report it to the FBI at

Note:  Individuals and businesses selling animals over the internet may be required to hold a U.S.D.A. license.

Picture of a pet cat


  • Pets

    GDA's Companion Animal Program employs a professional workforce dedicated to the education, regulation, and licensing of anyone who sells, breeds, trains, boards, grooms, rescues, or shelters companion animals or equines.

    To ensure local animal issues are addressed appropriately, the Program coordinates with and provides guidance to local law enforcement and other local government officials. If you want to learn more, contact us using the information below.


    Search for Licensed Establishments


  • Complaints

    The Georgia Department of Agriculture has authority over our licensed facilities. You can log a complaint with us concerning one of our licensed facilities.  If you want to report animal cruelty, contact your local law enforcement agency.

    Report a Complaint
  • Shelter Data

    All government-run animal shelters in Georgia must submit a monthly report to GDA of animal intakes and outcomes. This report lists how many dogs and cats entered and left the shelter. 

    GDA provides a full online export of data submitted to the reporting system. 

    Report your information or view downloaded data
  • Dog and Cat Sterilization Program (DCSP)

    Dog and cat overpopulation is a tragic problem that affects all areas of Georgia. Each year, thousands of healthy, friendly dogs and cats are euthanized because of overpopulation. Spaying and neutering of dogs and cats helps reduce this problem. Since this program began, thousands of sterilization procedures have been performed by Georgia veterinarians benefiting from the DCSP grant.

    The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) manages the Dog and Cat Sterilization Program. In 2003, the Georgia General Assembly created the Dog and Cat Reproductive Sterilization Support Program to subsidize spaying and neutering of dogs and cats, resulting in the DCSP program.

    See Program Details
  • Licenses for Non-Residents

    If you do not reside in Georgia and want to sell animals in the state, you must provide a consent to jurisdiction form.

    Standard Bird or Pet Dealer Licenses for Non-Residents

    To sell animals wholesale or retail in Georgia, you need a non-resident bird dealer license or pet dealer license.

    Exhibition Licenses for Non-Residents

    To sell birds and/or reptiles only at exhibition events, you need an Non-Resident Exhibition license,  Exhibition events are reptile or exotic bird shows that have been issued a special written permit by the State Veterinarian's office. If you are not sure whether an event you are planning to attend falls under this category, contact the event organizer.

    You will need to have the license on your person at the events. Any birds that are brought in from out of State in Georgia must be accompanied by a health certificate that has been issued within the past 30 days. Health certificates will not be written at the events.

    You can apply for exhibition licenses at the bird dealer license or pet dealer license (for reptiles) pages.

    Specific Requirements for Birds

    Any birds that enter Georgia for exhibition, sale, or adoption must be have a permit number that was issued before the event. See the Birds tab on our Bringing Animals into Georgia page for more information and to request a permit.

    If you do not meet these requirements, either your birds will be quarantined on the property or the you will be required to remove all birds from the premise and return their State of origin.


  • Local Government Companion Animal Trust Fund


    A Large-scale animal impoundment can be costly for a local city or county government. There can be expenses such as transportation, veterinary care, and temporary boarding of impounded animals. With this in mind, The Georgia General Assembly established the Local Government Companion Animal Trust Fund (LGCATF), in July 2021, to help Georgia’s local governments that may incur expenses directly related to such an event.


    The purpose of the LGCATF is to allow for reimbursement of costs incurred due to a large-scale impoundment of dogs, cats, or horses, by law enforcement and or animal control agencies of Georgia’s local governments.  


    Qualified Local Governments (OCGA 50-8-2 (18) ), that have a had a physical seizure of more than 29 dogs or cats or more than 9 equine, performed by officers of its law enforcement or animal control agencies, may apply for reimbursement of direct costs incurred as a result of the impoundment.

    You can access the complete LGCATF rules here: Local Government Companion Animal Trust Fund

    To qualify and apply

License Types

Renew your license before it expires!

Your license expires 12 months after being issued. If you allow your license to expire, you may not continue business until all fees are paid and your license is brought current. Continuing business without an active license is a violation of the Animal Protection Act rules.

Note: If you are an Animal Shelter, Kennel, or Pet Dealer: after the expiration date, you will incur a late fee of 100% of the license fee. By law, GDA cannot waive or exempt this fee.

Licenses for this Program

Laws & Regulations

Contact Us



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