Tagged: “animal license”

One-month countdown

One-month countdown

Only one month left before our fees go up – including animal licenses! Licenses for altered dogs and cats will go from $12 to $18 and if your pet isn’t fixed yet, (what are you waiting for?) it will go from $30 to $36. If your license is due soon I suggest you renew it now and get one more year at the lower fee. If you’ve never licensed your pet before, now is a very good time to do so since the late fee is also increasing from $15 to $25, which is a bigger slap on the hand, and will hopefully motivate more people to license their pets, (if being legally required wasn’t enough motivation for you).

Why should you license, you ask? Besides feeding government pockets what’s the point of a license? Well there are several reasons to license your animals besides being required by law (although being a law abiding citizen is a good thing in and of itself – and sets you up as a role model to your children and neighbors).

It’s been shown that people are more apt to help a lone dog or cat if it’s wearing a collar and tag showing clearly that s/he is a lost pet vs. a feral animal. A collar and tag shows the world that this is a loved family member and a license is traceable and can help reunite a lost pet with his worried parents. A microchip is a good back-up for that just in case the tag falls off – or is removed – but a visible tag is the first layer of protection that all pets should have.

A current license also indicates that the animal is up-to-date on his rabies vaccine. That’s actually how licensing got started – as visible proof of rabies protection. Through a diligent program of vaccination we are able to control the spread of rabies in our pet population. It is still out there though in wildlife such as bats, raccoons and foxes so we can’t become complacent. Rabies is zoonotic, which means humans can get it and there still is no known cure once infection has taken hold. If you are bit by an unvaccinated animal, or one with an unknown vaccine history, you might have to go through a series of anti-rabies shots – which is no fun at all! If all animals had on their license tags you could tell at a glance that the dog or cat that bit you at least had a rabies vaccine once (can’t tell without looking up the license number if the vaccine is still current). That is helpful information if you weren’t able to catch the animal to quarantine.

License fees are also used to pay for animal services in the community. The City run’s a (very nice, I might say) animal shelter so that the lost pets in Rohnert Park and Cotati have someplace safe to go while waiting to be reclaimed. Running animal services costs a lot and license fees offset some of that expense. It would be nice, and more fair, if all pet owners paid their share instead of the burden falling on those who comply willingly (or have been caught and made to comply). It is estimated that there are approximately 22,500 dogs and cats living in Rohnert Park. If everyone licensed their pets it would cover the costs of all the services, we provide!

So here’s your chance to step up and make your pet legal while the fees are still at their lower amount. The higher rates will take effect on July 1 so take advantage of this last month and get your dogs and cats caught up on their rabies shots and come in for a license (no late fee if you do this voluntarily!).

Animal License Amnesty Week – May 4-11

Animal License Amnesty Week – May 4-11

By Mickey Zeldes April 25, 2014

We are celebrating national Be Kind to Animals Week by offering our community an opportunity to bring their pets up to compliance with their license requirement without a penalty. This year, Be Kind to Animals Week, May 4-11, is also Animal License Amnesty Week – at least here in Rohnert Park.

Many people don’t realize both dogs and cats (yes, even indoor cats) over 4 months old are required to be licensed in Rohnert Park and aren’t in compliance simply out of ignorance. Now that you know, take advantage of this offer and get your dog and cat licensed without any late penalties. The regular license fee for an altered pet is just $12 – the lowest in the county, by far –and for unaltered pets it is $30.

Why should you bother to license your pet? There are several reasons to do it – not the least of which is that it is required by law. More practically, licenses serve as a form of identification that enables pets to be returned home if they become lost. It also serves as a way to ensure the vast majority of pet animals are vaccinated against rabies since a current vaccination is a prerequisite for the registration process.

This protects not only your pet but also other animals and any person that may be bitten in our community because rabies is transmittable to humans and is still not curable. In case you think rabies is a thing of the past, you should know there has been at least two rabies positive pets in our county this past year. Pretty scary!

Purchasing a license also helps fund animal services in our community. We have a beautiful, modern shelter where your pet would be housed were he ever found wandering lost and had to wait for you to reclaim him. Keeping this shelter open is dependent on funding and therefore your license fees. There is a formula that figures out the number of pets per household, and it is estimated that Rohnert Park has more than 10,000 dogs and 11,000 cats. If all of them were licensed at the lower fixed animal rate of $12, it would raise more than $250,000 annually, which would cover most of our budget and ensure continued high quality sheltering services for our community.

If your pet does not have a current rabies vaccination, VIP Vet Services will be holding a special low cost vaccination clinic at the RP Animal Shelter on Wednesday, May 7 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at which rabies shots will be available for just $6.

They will have other vaccines and services available at the regular low-cost as well.

The shelter will also be offering free microchips during our regular hours that week (Wednesday 1-6:30 p.m.; Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 1-5:30 p.m.; and Sunday 1-4:30 p.m.) so bring your dogs and cats along for the ride. Show them your love by protecting them with a microchip.

Penalties for late licenses are $15 and accumulate for each year you neglect to register your pet. All late fees will be waived for this one week only in an effort to get more animals current on their rabies and license requirements. Take advantage of this generous offer and stop by City Hall, 49er Pet Store or the RP Animal Shelter sometime during May 5-12 to update your pet’s licenses. Happy Be Kind to Animals’ Week.