Paws for Thought - Licensing Your Pet
There are many expectations for pet owners including providing your pet with the basics like food, water, shelter, as well as exercise and attention. But beyond being a responsible pet owner in your home, there are also requirements within our state for what you must do as a pet owner. Wisconsin law requires that all dogs over five months of age have a current dog license. Because a dog must be up to date on the rabies vaccination in order to be licensed, dog licensing is a public health measure to prevent an outbreak of the rabies virus.
Conservative estimates indicate that over 50% of Wisconsin’s dogs are not licensed. This may mean that just as many dogs are not given the life-saving rabies vaccination. The rabies vaccination is very cheap and can be done quickly and easily by a licensed veterinarian. Keep in mind that owners who do not license their pets are much more unlikely to spay and neuter, vaccinate for a variety of diseases, and pay for medical emergencies when a pet is injured. Licensing is just one important part of being a pet owner.
LCHS will be hosting a rabies clinic from 3-6 p.m. on Monday, March 25. It is $20 per vaccine. Dogs must be on leashes and cats must be in carriers. Other vaccinations and microchips are available for additional fees. 2013 Lincoln County dog licenses will also be available. Call us with any questions.
It is also extremely important to put the current license on your pet. When a dog license is issued, the owner’s name and contact information are recorded by local officials and this information can be accessed if your dog does become lost. A lost dog’s only “ticket” home may be the license and identification tags it is wearing. Because an owner with a dog that is wearing current licenses and information is easier to contact and thereby requiring less work on the part of humane society staff, it is less expensive to redeem your dog from the shelter if your dog has the current information on its tags. Although it is not a current law that the feline companions of Lincoln County have a license, please make sure your cats have the rabies vaccination.
If you purchase the current dog license before March 31, it is a cheaper fee. It is only $10 to license a spayed or neutered dog and $30 for an unaltered dog. After March 31, the fees will be increased. According to the Merrill Police Department, the fine for a first offense of a dog not having a rabies vaccination is $77.50 and the same rate applies to a dog that is not licensed. Imagine paying $155 in fines for something that should be done as a protection for your pet and your community! Because less than 50% of Wisconsin’s dogs are not licensed, well over one million dollars worth of licensing fees are uncollected.
In the unlikely event that your pet does bite someone, having a current rabies vaccination is also a money saving investment. If you pet were to bite and does not have a current rabies vaccination, the pet will need to be quarantined for ten days in an appropriate facility. This quarantine includes 3 veterinary checks to ensure that the rabies vaccination is not present. If your pet is current on rabies, the quarantine can take place at home and the pet owner will not be responsible for paying the quarantine and vet check fees.
Please be a responsible pet owner and provide this service to your pet. Current rabies vaccinations and licenses will potentially save money, create a safer environment for your pet, and increase the level of responsibility for pets within your community. Isn’t your pooch worth that investment?
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