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MsAnneThrope 04-29-2014 05:30 PM

Dog License Fees
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.

martemchik 04-29-2014 05:40 PM

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My county's fees are the same way...not as high, but unaltered are higher $24 rather than $12. I think you'd be amazed at how many people probably neuter/spay because they do want to register a pet and get the "discount." Many people are oblivious, they don't know how/why they could get caught, so they'll register, and when they see that the fees are less, they'll spueter. IMO...due to the pet population, if it gets just one more person to speuter, its worth it. And if you decide not to, and you license, well then you're providing income to Animal Control which is also useful.

I know for a fact that most dogs in our county aren't registered...I live in Milwaukee and I registered in April last year (day before the deadline) and I had tag number no where near the true amount of pets in the county.

You do get some things in our city other than your dog is then registered with animal control so if its picked up, and is wearing its tag, they can look up your information and get the dog back to you (if you don't have a microchip). You're also not allowed to purchase a license to the county's dog parks without one...even though I'm sure the majority of people don't buy those either and still go to the dog parks.

llombardo 04-29-2014 05:48 PM

Actually there is only a $10.00 difference in my area. They actually give you the altered price up to a year, so they do give more time then most and allow the animal to be fixed later.

selzer 04-29-2014 06:14 PM

We have no difference here, yet. Though it is written into the new law in Ohio, that leaves a provision for it, and counties can do that if they choose to.

A dog license is $12.

A kennel license (required for anyone who keeps dogs for the purpose of breeding or hunting) is $60. And you get 5 license tags, and additional tags may be purchased for $1. (You will have to have a vendor's license, which is a 1-time fee for $25.

If you do not have your dog licensed by 1/31 then the charge is doubled. $24.

I have NEVER had to turn in evidence for vaccination while getting my licenses.

The money goes to the dog/kennel fund. This funds the dog warden, and whatever expenses for picking up strays. Some is supposed to go to farmers if livestock is killed by dogs. They have to make a claim. Beyond that, they can donate to an organization for the prevention of cruelty of animals and children. But I think it just goes into the general fund which is always in bad shape.

The shelter here is privately owned and operated. The dog warden can pay to house strays there for the number of days required. After that, the shelter may take on the dog, or the dog will be euthanized.

We have no dog parks, no dog-friendly beaches, no poopie bags paid for by the government on the bike trail.

If you do not license your dogs, nothing will happen to you UNLESS the dog warden is called to your house for a different complaint, then they can ask whether or not your dogs are licensed, and fine you -- twice what a license will cost you, and for that you get a license. I would be so much better off, if I had all these years, not purchased a license.

If they pick up your dog, and you have it licensed (like you have the collar with the tag on it -- fat chance), then they will keep it longer in the shelter so you can get it back and they will contact you. I don't know if they will fine you or not for dog at large, probably.

I think all dog owners should pay for the privileges that the government pays for with respect to dogs. If they maintain a dog park, shelter, dog warden, etc. That should be paid for by dog owners. ALL dog owners, not just the responsible ones. And I think that if the government runs a shelter, then they it makes sense for them to increase the cost of licensing for intact animals, even though only a percentage of people actually allow their intact animals breed, and only a percentage of them do not home their puppies.

You have government or you have anarchy. If you choose government, then you have to pay for it. If you choose anarchy then likely you will pay for it a lot more. If you do not like the choices the government makes, get involved in it. Know what laws are proposed and argue against them. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but at least you do something. If you have done something, and it doesn't come out your way, then maybe civil disobedience is an avenue to trod. I would choose my battles on that though.

Giving up on going through channels, writing letters to your assembly-persons, writing letters to the editor, etc, and going right to civil disobedience though, I think is a cop out.

llombardo 04-29-2014 06:20 PM

I was also surprised to see that in my area the annual budget for animal control is almost 2 million dollars. They do supply poop bags everywhere. There are dog parks but those are through the forest preserve district.

Liesje 04-29-2014 09:16 PM

I license my dogs. It's double for an intact dog. Now they let us get 3 years at a time. You need a valid rabies certificate. I saved myself from a boatload of fines and having my dog quarantined when I needed stitches for a dog bite (my own dog, did not intend to bite me) and the bite was reported to the county health department. Because my dogs were license, the dog warden simply had to confirm I was alive 10 days later to make sure I didn't have rabies. There was no fine or bite record or quarantine for my dog. If he hadn't been licensed I would have been fined and would have had to pay for them to do the quarantine.

I don't however have my dogs wearing licenses 24/7. I don't think it's safe and not all my dogs wear collars unless we're actually training or they're out in public.

SoCal Rebell 04-30-2014 02:03 PM

I just called Los Angeles animal control to license my un-neutered 5 month old pup, they told me the yearly fee would $325 :eek:


Traveler's Mom 04-30-2014 03:14 PM

In Palm Beach County Florida: Unaltered is $75. Altered is $15.

nktigger99 05-02-2014 02:29 PM

I just looked up Moore's licensing rules....2.50$ a year but I don't know a single person who has ever gotten a dog license.

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SuperG 05-02-2014 02:44 PM

".....................the responsible owners pay for the others who don't bother and/or don’t want to spend money on their pets."

Your observation....which I completely agree with, is similar in most all sectors of life in America these days. Those that produce and "do" are taken advantage of by those who chose not to "do" or are deadbeats. The worst part of this malaise which has been festering in this country for the last few decades is: Those who are truly needy and deserve our benevolence, end up getting far less than what they should.

Sorry for the strong opinion but your post speaks exactly to my observation of the changing times.

Culpability is becoming more rare with each passing day.


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