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Animal Control Encourages Residents to License Their Dogs for Their Own Protection

Woodbine Clerk Lisa Garrison

By Press Release

COURT HOUSE — Being a dog owner requires all sorts of responsibility. One that is often overlooked is registering your dog with your city government and getting him licensed. Many residents do not understand that licensing is a great protection for your pet. Shore Animal Control Services, which provides animal control services to many of Cape May County municipalities, would like to clarify the misconception that licensing is primarily about municipal and state revenue. The primary benefit of licensing your dog is that it could possibly save your dog’s life and ensure the safe return of your pet. It’s often a free ride home for your pet if found by animal control officers.
If the above isn’t reason enough for you to properly register your dog, here are a few more reasons why Shore Animal Control suggests you should:
1. It’s the law. In most states, it’s mandatory that dog owners have their pets licensed. If you get caught without a license, which can and does happen, you will be hit with a hefty fine. Dogs must have a renewed license each year, which must be displayed on them at all times.
2. If your dog goes missing, having him licensed drastically improves your chances of getting him back. A license tag helps animal control and shelters quickly identify your dog and get him back to you safely. If your dog is found wandering the streets, a rescue organization can easily look up your dog via its license identifying number. Dogs that are licensed tend to be kept at the shelter longer than unlicensed dogs, which are the first to be euthanized if their owners do not quickly claim them. Dr. Holland, owner of Shore Animal Control continues, “ We have safely returned many dogs to their owners because of identification and a rabies tag. You would be surprised how many pet owners do not know their own local shelter and the number to call. With proper identification, the shelter can quickly call the owner for quick return of the pet.”
3. The cost of the license is far less than the penalty for being caught without one. If a city official finds your dog without a license, you can end up paying a fee of up to $250! In addition, some cities consider owning an unlicensed dog to be a class IV misdemeanor.
4. Licensing lets people know that your dog is up to date on its rabies vaccinations. A dog cannot be licensed unless it is properly vaccinated. Animal control or a Good Samaritan will be much more likely to want to handle and care for your missing pup if they know that it is healthy. Having that rabies tag can mean the difference between someone holding your pet, or just letting it go into the street.
5. License fees support the efforts of many local animal shelters. Typically, the annual fee that you pay to license your dog helps to keep shelters running and supports the work of your local animal control. By paying to properly ID your dog, you are helping to feed and house stray dogs found on the streets within your city.
The average price of an annual dog license in Cape May County is $4 to $11. Dog owners can expect to pay more to license a dog that has not been spayed or neutered.
What is required to get a license?
• In order to apply for a dog license, you must provide a certificate showing that your dog is up to date with its rabies vaccinations. There are many free rabies clinics that are being offered throughout the county. There are reduced fees if your pet is spayed or neutered.
• Dogs over 6-7 months and older in most municipalities must be licensed.
Please help your local animal control officers keep residents and pets safe by properly vaccinating your pets and licensing. Trying to save a few dollars by not licensing your pet could prove to be a fatal mistake if your pet gets lost.
For any information on licensing your pet, please contact your local municipal clerk’s office or animal control officer.

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