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.



Be extremely careful when purchasing or adopting an animal online. Many pet scams aim to deceive unsuspecting pet lovers. These criminals commonly offer a pet for little or no cost, then demand a hefty deposit to ship the animal or to release it from quarantine.

Pet dealers, kennels operators (groomers, trainers, boarders), animal rescues, humane societies, and local governments operating shelters in Georgia must have a license from the Georgia Department of Agriculture. If they’re selling animals over the internet they may also need to have a U.S.D.A. license.

Many of these scam artists are from foreign countries, and prosecuting them or getting your money back may be impossible. Never wire money. Research your purchase thoroughly. Find out as much about the seller as you can.

Check for valid Georgia license holders

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.


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