It is commonly thought by many dog owners that municipal dog licenses are “a waste of money”, or “just another cash grab”. However, have you ever really thought about what that money goes towards? Why municipalities mandate that our pets are licensed? Or what happens if your pet runs away? But my pet will never run away… right? Look at the natural disasters such as floods, and forest fires that we have seen over the last year. There were a lot of cases where people became separated from their pets. However, there is a simple way to give yourself and your dog the best chance of reuniting when something goes wrong, keep the community a little safer, make the city a better place for lost pets, and even save the lives of some animals while you are at it… Get your dog licensed!
1. It is the Law!!
Sure, just being against the law isn’t the ultimate motivation for everyone, but perhaps the penalties may be enough motivation. Penalties for not having your dog licensed can lead to some hefty fines, usually in the hundreds of dollars (and yes, that is multiple hundreds, not just one). This is a very easy trouble to save yourself, and the cost of a license is not an onerous one. For about $10-$20 per year, you can license your dog and avoid a hefty fine later on. You could keep your dog licensed for its entire life and pay less than one fine. Plus, when your pet is licensed, you receive all of the other benefits of a licensed pet while you’re at it! These license fees are not a “cash grab” from your local government. All of the money collected from licensing fees goes directly to the benefit of animals and citizens within the community. So please do your part.
2. License Fees Provide Important Funding For Animal Services Departments
The money from dog licensing fees is all directed towards Animal Services Departments. This money funds important programs that help animals and owners. Municipal shelters that house and care for rescued animals are funded with this money. The funding allows for animal services members to be dispatched for rescues. License fees also pay for pet adoption programs, public education programs, and for the data base that allows pets to be reunited with their owners, as well as track vaccination records. That’s a lot of services for a few dollars a year and it all helps to make your community a more animal friendly place.
3. Get Reunited With Your Pet!
The most simplistic and potentially the most directly beneficial part of getting your dog licensed, is that your dog’s tag will give you the best chance of being reunited with your pet. Dogs can get lost any number of ways. As we have seen over the past couple of years, natural disasters such as floods and fires can create separation quickly. Once everything has settled down, that little dog license tag, will give you the best chance of being reunited. This little identification tag also comes in handy for that pesky curious dog that occasionally runs off, or even in the event that someone makes an attempt to steal an animal. Keep your pets safe, and by your side with a dog license.
4. Keep Dogs Out Of Shelters!
As much as it is great that these licensing fees can help cover costs for shelters, and reunite dogs with their owners, if your dog isn’t licensed to your name, the system doesn’t work for you. Your lost dog could end up in a shelter, and you won’t have any way to prove that it belongs to you. You could end up having to try and adopt it back, and there is still no guarantee that you will end up with your dog. It could be adopted by another family, or even worse not adopted at all. Many shelters simply can’t keep up with the amount of strays that are brought in. Sadly in some cases animals have to be put down when a home cannot be found for them. Get a license, and keep your pet safe at home and by your side, rather than alone and in a strange place.
5. Ensure that Dogs’ Vaccinations are Up To Date
In order to license your dog, the vaccinations have to be up to date. By ensuring that vaccinations are up to date, the whole community is a little safer. Stopping the spread of diseases like rabies before they start is very important. Nobody wants to lose their pet, or have to make a trip to the hospital for their child because the vaccinations for your pet were out of date when it got in that tussle with the neighborhood raccoon. Dog licensing serves as a great check and balance system to ensure that the pet owners within the municipality are all doing their part to keep the community and their own pets safe.
So make sure that you contact your local municipality about getting your pet licensed. It is a very important piece of responsible ownership, and being a responsible member of your community. Help to make your community a better place for everyone. If you don’t own a dog, but you are looking, be sure to check out that local shelter too. You never know, your perfect dog companion may be sitting there waiting for you, because someone didn’t care enough about them to pay the small fee that would have kept them together.