Skip to main content

Animal Welfare Act License Application and Renewal

The Illinois Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare has the statutory authority to license and inspect pet shop operators, dog dealers, kennel operators, cat and dog breeders, animal control facilities, animal shelters, day care operators, guard dog services and horse rescues . These facilities are defined in the Illinois Animal Welfare Act, 225 ILCS 605, and all facilities must comply with the Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Rules. 

Initial Application

**This application cannot be used to renew a license and will not be processed if used for that purpose.
  • Review the

    Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Rules (AAEP Guidelines for Equine Rescue and Retirement Facilities if applicable).
  • Determine which application(s) you are applying for.  A separate application must be completed for each required license.  There is a $350 application fee for each license type.

  • Complete the 

    Initial License Application
    • Return application with all applicable fees (Do not send cash. Payment must be in the form of a check or money order). 

      All license fees are non-refundable.
  • Be advised that your facility must be in compliance for licensure within 60 days of receipt of your application in this office to avoid forfeiture of your license fee(s) and the requirement to submit another application with an additional license fee(s). 

  • Preliminary Inspection - Department personnel will contact you to conduct a preliminary inspection and answer any questions you might have regarding the Act and its requirements as a prerequisite to final processing and issuance of your license(s). 
  • The license(s) expire annually on June 30th.

Required Reporting Statistics

Additional reporting of statistics for animal controls and animal shelters under 225 ILCS 605/7 have been added. 2020 was the first year that licensees were required to report these numbers for the previous calendar year.  These will be reported on the annual renewal form. 

Disclosure Forms 

For the licensees below who require a disclosure form, these templates can be used to fill that requirement.

Annual License Renewal

Licenses under the Animal Welfare Act with the Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare will expire on June 30, 2023.  Renewal letters will be mailed to licensees in May which will contain the license number and PIN.  Licenses can be renewed by credit/debit card securely online HERE. The license number and PIN are required to begin the renewal process.  Call 217-785-7734 if further assistance is needed.