By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
I took an informal poll of about 300 people and found that more that 80 percent of dog parents have purchased licenses for their dogs and 55 percent of cat parents have licenses for their cats. The 45 percent of cat parents who don’t have licenses for their cats all said the reason they didn’t think their cats needed a license was because their cats never go outside.
I got curious about the importance of licenses and learned that dog licensing arose as a need to identify the owner of a particular dog. “In the days before the development of microchips, dog licenses helped identify dogs and return roaming animals to their owners,” says Thomas Dock, CVJ and managing editor of Veterinary News Network. “In many cases, dog licenses were connected to or associated with the legal requirement for a rabies vaccination.”
Tom went on to answer the following questions:
Pet News and Views: What can happen if you don’t get a license for your dog or cat?
Tom: Depending on the jurisdiction, fines for unlicensed pets are often generated. As far as lost pets, those without licenses (and any other identification) would be at risk for being adopted to a new home or even, in some cases, euthanasia.
Pet News and Views: How often do licenses have to be updated?
Tom: Updating licenses depends on the jurisdiction. Some allow licenses to be valid for the time the rabies vaccination is valid.
Pet News and Views: Do licensing rules differ from state to state or town to town? How so?
Tom: They vary greatly. Some towns in the same state have different regulations and you can even find places where neutered pets cost less to license than intact animals.
Pet News and Views: On average, how much does a dog license cost?
Tom: I have seen costs as low as $2 and as high as $125 or $150.
Pet News and Views: How much does a cat license cost?
Tom: Again, it depends on the locale…
Pet News and Views: Where does the money go for these licenses?
Tom: In most cases, the fees collected for the licensing of pets goes to the maintenance and operation of community shelters and animal control budgets.
Does your pet have a license? If so, why or why not?