Licensing WHY FAQ

 

Why does my dog have to be licensed?


What is the benefit to me?


What are the consequences of not licensing my dog?


My dog never leaves my property, why should I buy a license?


My pet is microchipped. Do I need to buy a license too?


Are cats required to be licensed?


How often do I need to license my pet?



Why does my dog have to be licensed?


The goal of licensing programs is two-fold. First, licensing helps prevent against rabies outbreaks by requiring a certificate of vaccination for all dogs over the age of 4 months. More importantly, licensing your pet increases the chance that you will be reunited with your pet in the unfortunate event he or she is lost. When you license your pet, your contact information is on file with the licensor allowing them to contact you if your pet is taken to an animal care facility.


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What is the benefit to me?


If you're like us, your pet is part of your family. Licensing your pet acts as a form of insurance, enabling animal control officers to contact if your pet becomes lost. Additionally, by purchasing a license for your pet, you are helping to ensure that all lost pets are given the appropriate attention and medical care while waiting to be reunited with their owners.


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What are the consequences of not licensing my dog?


In Los Angeles, a pet owner who chooses not to license their dog can be fined up to $500. Licensing your dog is a quick and easy way to avoid a stiff fine down the road.

More importantly, a pet without identification is less likely to be reunited with its owner and may ultimately be euthanized if a suitable home cannot be found. In many cases, pets without a license or microchip are held at the shelter for a shorter time period before being made available for adoption or being euthanized. Licensing your pet could provide you with a longer timeframe to be reunited with your pet.


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My dog/cat never leaves my property, why should I buy a license?


Animals are resourceful! Although many people believe that their pet will never leave their property, dogs have a way of getting out from a "secure" yard by digging, jumping over a fence, or exiting through an open gate. Natural disasters, aberrant weather, and fireworks also often cause animals to become anxious and flee their property. A license identifies you as the pet's owner and provides animal control officers with the necessary information to reunite you and your pet.

And, of course, because it is required by law! Even if your dog is a total homebody, and never wanders off without you, if you're ever stopped by an Animal Control Officer you can be fined for failing to comply with the law.


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My pet is microchipped. Do I need to buy a license too?


Yes. In addition to the fact that licensing is often required by law, a microchip is invisible to the eye and can occasionally go undetected. A license is visible proof of ownership, which lets animal control officers and members of the public know that your pet is owned. It is highly recommended that all pets be microchipped and wear a valid license


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Are cats required to be licensed?


At this time, cat licensing is required in some jurisdictions, and not in others. Currently, the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and some contract cities have mandatory cat licensing. The City of Los Angeles, however, currently does not require cat licensing . Even where not mandated, Found Animals® highly encourages cat owners to microchip and identify their cats for the same reason we encourage you to license your dog - doing so will increase the chance of reunification should your kitty ever wander away.


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How often do I need to license my pet?


In most cases, a pet's license will expire after one year or when his or her rabies vaccination expires, whichever comes first. To simplify the process, some jurisdictions have begun selling multi-year licenses. Contact your local animal control agency, police department, or city hall to learn about the licenses sold in your jurisdiction. If multi-year licenses are available, you will need to provide proof of a valid rabies vaccination for the length of the licensing period.


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