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Dog Licensing - How To Protect Man's Best Friend

Posted by PETCHAMP on December 4, 2017

We humans, are kind of territorial. We have a habit of marking things that are valuable and precious to us with some form of identification. Our automobiles are registered. When we travel our suitcases have identification tags with our names. We may have even carved the initials of our first sweetheart into a neighborhood tree. It only stands to reason then, that in taking steps to protect “man’s best friend,” we would take the responsible step of dog licensing.

A Legal Responsibility

In this day and age, you would be hard-pressed to find a single county or municipal government that does not have some type of dog licensing ordinance on the books. Most require dogs be compliant at around three-to-four month of age. And as pointed out on the Allegan County (MI) web page on animal ordinances, there are five sound reasons to comply with these pet legal requirements. They are:

  • It’s the law. Failing to license your furry friend could cost you in terms of fines and place your pup in jeopardy of being euthanized or confiscated in some local government jurisdictions. No license tag potentially means if a lost or missing pooch shows up at an animal services facility that is overcrowded or doesn’t carry a “no-kill” designation, it may, unfortunately, move to the head of the class to be put down when push comes to shove with population overcrowding.
  • That collar tag with a license number signifies that your dog is not a stray or homeless in the event he/she goes missing, gets lost or escapes. It’s a loud confirmation that, “Hey, I belong to somebody.”
  • It enables local Animal Services to protect people and neighborhoods from dangerous dogs that may roam and “pack” up.
  • It certifies that your dog is current on its rabies vaccination—protecting both your dog and the general public from the spread of disease in the event of a dog bite incident.
  • And ranking among the most important reasons to responsibly license: It aids greatly in the chances you will be successfully reunited in the event you become separated. Statistics from both the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Humane Association consistently verify that licensed dogs, with owner identification and rabies certification, stand more than twice the chance of being reunited with owners should they become lost, go missing or show up at shelters than unlicensed dogs.

To be fair, there are some arguments that run counter to licensing discussed at SimplyForDogs. But at the end of the day, we agree with everybody’s favorite Dog Whisperer that Cesar Millan is barking up the right tree when it comes to complying with the legal requirements of dog ownership.

Licensing Is a Sound Investment

All things considered, the relatively inexpensive cost to comply with local ordinances is modest—especially when compared to the potential consequences of failing to get Fido on the right side of the law.

On average, the cost of a license runs $10-$25 per pet, per year. Some jurisdictions charge slightly more for pets that are not spayed or neutered at the time of licensing while some offer slight discounts for dogs which have been “fixed.” Some states and empowered governments, like Pennsylvania, also offer discounts for “lifetime” licensing. But the Keystone State is also awfully tough on scofflaw dog owners who fail to comply with licensing ordinances. Dog owners there run the risk of fines up to $300 per pet per violation, plus court costs. And in some instances, their animals may be subject to confiscation for repeated violations. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to compute that a $25 license beats a $300 fine, paws down.

One Stop Shopping

Thanks to technology and online portals used by most municipalities and counties these days, getting this task done is easier than ever before. Armed with your pet owner identification and a current rabies vaccination certification, you can secure your license via the Internet, make payment by credit card, and receive it shortly after completing the application process. And in a growing number of communities, registering your dog into a database is now becoming part of the licensing process. Pet registration is another big step in the safety and welfare of your animal if they go wandering, escape or otherwise end up in a shelter. And it is step two of PETCHAMP’s highly recommended platform for responsible pet ownership: License/Microchip/Register.

When the dust settles, satisfying your obligation of dog licensing is perhaps the most fundamental way of protecting man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Leash up and get legal!



Topics: Dog Registration, Dog Licensing

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