SEATTLE – As the weather continues to be mild this winter and pet owners allow their animals to go outside, household pets are at higher risk of being accidentally lost or stolen. To protect pets, the Seattle Animal Shelter continues its aggressive campaign to make sure pet owners license their pets.
“A license is like a life insurance policy for your pet. If your pet gets lost and doesn’t have a license tag or a microchip, the odds are you‘ll never see your pet again,” says Shelter Director Don Jordan.
“Only 17 percent of the nation’s 3.8 million stray dogs and 2 percent of the nation’s 2.3 million stray cats ever make it home again. It is our sincere hope that the dual protection of having both a pet license and a permanent microchip will increase the odds that you and your pet are reunited if your pet is ever lost or stolen. And with more pets licensed, fewer animals will have to be euthanized each year,” says Jordan.
Without exception, and as part of the shelter’s “zero tolerance policy” regarding unlicensed pets, animal control officers will continue patrolling city parks and neighborhoods and will issue citations to pet owners for each pet without a current license. The fine for having an unlicensed pet is $125 per animal.
Officers will follow up this winter with known delinquent pet owners who have expired licenses in the shelter’s database, and will also conduct emphasis patrols in specific parks and off-leash areas to ensure compliance with pet licensing laws.
The costs for pet licenses are:
Dog: one-year $47 ($27 if spayed or neutered); or two-years $69 ($37 if spayed or neutered).
Cat: one-year $25 ($15 if spayed or neutered); or two-years $40 ($22 if spayed or neutered).
If a pet wearing its license shows up at the shelter, the owner is notified. If officers find a licensed pet in the field, they will attempt to return it to its owner instead of taking it to the shelter. Experience shows that an unaccompanied injured animal wearing a license is more likely to receive veterinary care than a non-licensed animal.
Revenue from pet license fees helps support efforts such as protecting public safety, preventing animal cruelty, solving nuisance animal problems and providing low-cost spay and neuter services in Seattle.
The Seattle Animal Shelter is located at 2061 15th Ave. W., approximately one mile south of the Ballard Bridge. Pet licensing hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (206) 386-PETS (7387) or visit www.seattleanimalshelter.org to learn more about pet licensing or purchase a pet license online.
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