I live in a city that requires owners to license their dogs and to yearly renew said license. Here is the fee schedule:
I bolded that last part because I have noticed something interesting. When registering your dog for the first time, you must select the correct option. If you are licensing an altered dog, then you must provide proof that this procedure was in fact, completed on your dog by a licensed veterinarian. Here is what I have noticed that is of interest: people look at the fees for unaltered pets, and INSTEAD of actually having their dogs fixed, they choose not to license at all. What is the definition of counterproductive?
I can’t say that I blame them. Duke is unaltered, but not because I am going to breed him. After much research, I decided to wait until he is 2 years old to have the veterinarian perform that procedure. We are going to obtain a CGC and then try our hand at tracking. He did marvelous in his HotDog Puppy Classes!
What is $60 a year? Well…the single Texas State Park Pass (Primary Pass) may be purchased for $70. An additional (secondary) pass may be purchased for $25.
What is the purpose of the fees?
According to the city:
A pet license identifies and protects your pet in case it becomes lost. Even indoor pets can get out and become lost. You are required to renew your license yearly and to keep your license updated when you move and/or your pet is given away, lost, stolen or is deceased. A pet license is not only a requirement, but it provides the following benefits:
• A license tells everyone that your pet is not a homeless stray.
• When licensed, found pets can be quickly reunited with their owner
• BARC will call you or send you a letter if your pet comes to the shelter wearing a license.
• Your license is proof that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies.
• A license provides emergency medical care for your pet when in the care of BARC
• When found, your licensed pet will be cared for at BARC for a longer holding period.
• Animal licensing is an essential part of animal care and control in our community. License fees support the return of lost dogs and cats to their homes and help adopt homeless dogs and cats to new families. Other services funded by pet licensing are the prevention of animal neglect or cruelty, spay/neuter programs, over-population programs, and community education services.
I bolded that last bullet point because that is what this all comes down to: the purpose is to have the responsible owners pay for the others who don't bother and/or don’t want to spend money on their pets. I am all for those wonderful programs, I just wonder…
I have watched the fees keep climbing over the last decade, and I am fairly certain they will continue to rise. Quite frankly, I don’t understand the city’s thinking. I am willing to bet that over 50% of the dogs in this city are not licensed.
Oh, and the fine for not licensing your dog? It is $112 per dog. They don’t have any way to know if your dog is licensed or not, so enforcing it is quite a joke. The only way an owner with an unlicensed dog is caught is when said dog has been picked up by the city and placed into doggy jail…erm…the shelter.
I know many people who don’t license their dogs. One said to me, “I bet you think I am an irresponsible owner.” I replied, “I don’t think not licensing your dog makes you an irresponsible owner. I think not spending time with a dog, not training/socializing a dog, not providing any form of ID in case something happens, and not providing medical care and sustenance make a person an irresponsible owner.”
That being said, as with all civil disobedience, one must be prepared to handle the consequences.