Edited in January 2017 to reflect changes to license fees.
As you might expect, we hear this question. A lot. We understand — although $24-35 to purchase a license for a spayed or neutered cat or dog won’t break most bank accounts, it is still an investment of your hard-earned dollars. It’s also an investment in the Seattle Animal Shelter, its services and its commitment to helping you and your pet in your time of need. Luckily, our Seattle Animal Shelter is totally worth it.
First, let’s face it together: Pets get lost.
None of us wants to imagine losing our best pal, but we receive reports of lost pets every day. Additionally, there are steady streams of lost and found pets posted daily on websites such as the Lost and Found Dogs of King County Facebook Group, Lost and Found Pets WA State and Craigslist. Many lost animals are well-loved, cared for and were never lost before. It just takes one accident, and it’s worth it to be prepared just in case…
- A pet sitter, friend or child leaves a door ajar.
- A hole rips in the window screen.
- Your pet gets scared by fireworks, a car misfiring or even an earthquake.
- You get into an auto accident and your pet bolts when the door opens.
- There’s a hole in the fence you didn’t know about.
- The new kitten’s favorite game turns out to be running for the door.
The list is endless. Accidents happen. A pet license is one important, easy way to prepare!
But isn’t a microchip the same thing?
Microchips are amazing. A microchip is tiny – about the size of a grain of rice – and it is implanted under the skin, usually between the shoulders. Each chip contains a unique identification number, which can be read painlessly with a microchip scanner. Most veterinarians and animal rescues have scanners. If the microchip has been properly registered, you can contact the registration company and they will try to contact the owners. Microchips provide permanent identification and are highly recommended. However, they work best in partnership with visible identification. Plus, you can easily add your pet’s microchip number to your Seattle license record for added protection.
Visible identification is essential for getting lost pets home. Tags are deceivingly simple, yet so important. A tag tells your pet’s finder that he’s owned and lost, and not a stray that can be kept or ignored. By providing the Seattle Animal Shelter’s phone number, it makes it easy for the finder to help. And while Seattle is an extremely cat- and dog-friendly city, your pet’s finder may not be savvy about microchips and how to help a lost animal. The phone number on a license tag provides a simple call to action that doesn’t require additional knowledge or a quest to find a microchip scanner. We also recommend your pet wear a tag with your phone number, but a pet license is still vital in providing someone your pet’s finder can call when you can’t get to the phone. Perhaps someday our pets will all be GPS-equipped, but in the meantime a license tag can help be your pet’s voice if he becomes lost. [Read more…]