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CityLink Seattle

Make a New Year’s resolution to protect your pets!

The Seattle Animal Shelter has a suggestion for a New Year’s resolution that’s quick and easy to keep: make sure your pets are licensed and your contact information is up to date. Whether you just adopted a four-legged friend during the holiday season or added them to your family long ago, don’t neglect this essential type of protection for your dog or cat.

It is easy to assume that a pet license is included in the tags your pup or kitty is wearing, but this may not be the case. Though the Seattle Animal Shelter has a strong and growing network of over 40 licensing partner locations, many rescue organizations and veterinary offices do not currently provide Seattle pet licensing services. Luckily, purchasing a license is easy and inexpensive, and you can locate a licensing partner near you or even license online at http://www.seattle.gov/animal-shelter/license/purchase-or-renew-a-license.

Some pet owners may not be aware of pet licensing and its benefits. “We want dog and cat owners to know that a Seattle pet license is not only required by law, but also helps lost pets and directly supports the lifesaving work of our animal shelter,” says Seattle Animal Shelter Director Don Jordan.

Odin, a local Italian greyhound, can attest to the value of a license. After unexpectedly escaping his yard last summer, Odin was hit by a train in Magnolia and suffered several injuries, including a severed tail. Fortunately, a railroad employee contacted the Seattle Animal Shelter and Humane Law Enforcement officers were able to transport Odin to an emergency veterinary clinic. Thanks to Odin’s license tag and the information linked to it, officers were able to contact Odin’s family immediately so they could meet him at the clinic and take him home after treatment. In this case and so many others, a pet license helped reunite a lost pet with those who love him.

You can also feel great about licensing because licensing fees directly support the lifesaving work of our Seattle Animal Shelter, which boasts a more than 90 percent save rate. Additionally, licenses help get lost pets home faster, and this frees up space and resources that can be used to save more animals. Humane Law Enforcement Officers make every effort to return lost animals while still in the field, and pet licenses frequently enable shelter staff to assist the finders of lost animals with returning animals directly to their owners. In many cases, pet licenses help lost animals get home without a trip to the shelter.

An up-to-date license can also save pet owners from a $125 citation, as pet licensing is required by Seattle Municipal Code Section 9.25.050. You can avoid a fine by licensing your dog or cat for as little as $27-37 for two years (or a discounted provisional tag for a pup or kitten too young to be spayed or neutered yet), and know that your money will not only provide protection for your pet, but will also directly support the Seattle Animal Shelter’s many services including Humane Law Enforcement and its Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic.

To learn more and purchase or renew your pet’s license, please visit www.seattleanimalshelter.org. You can also license in person at the Seattle Animal Shelter’s Pet Licensing Office, located on the lower level of 2015 15th Ave. W., or by phone: (206) 386-4262. Office hours are Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. If you are a veterinary clinic or pet-oriented business interested in becoming a license sales partner, email Melissa.Warner@seattle.gov.