Center for Animal Welfare Legal Protection    
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Autonomous non-profit organization
Center for Animal Welfare Legal Protection

Procedure of economic incentives application in the U.S.A. and Canada, encouraging the neutering of pets by their owners

"The main thing is to shut down the tap of animals over-production"

Boston City Site (State of Massachusetts)
Animal Control Service


Dog licenses

      Massachusetts general law, chapter 140, sections 137 and 141 and city ordinances mandate that every dog owner must obtain a license for their pet each year. Proof of rabies vaccination is required to purchase a license and puppies upon reaching six months of age are required to be vaccinated and licensed accordingly. Search our database for information on an existing dog license.
      A dog license may be purchased by mail for your convenience. You must complete the dog license application and mail it along with a copy of your dog's rabies vaccination certificate and check for the appropriate fee (you must provide written proof of spay/neuter certificate to receive the discounted rate). Your license will then be mailed to you.
      In order to keep our records current please notify our office during the year of any change of information. Duplicate licenses may be purchased for $2.00.

License fees:
       Unspayed and/or unneutered dogs $17
            Requirements: Proof of current rabies vaccination

       Spayed and/or neutered dogs $6
            Requirements: Proof of current rabies vaccination and proof of spay/neuter.

       Pit Bulls & Pit Bull Mixes $50
            Requirements: Proof of ownership of home or letter of permission from landlord stating that you are allowed to have a Pit Bull or Pit Bull Mix; photo of your dog no older than 30 days; photo of the owner no older than 30 days old; proof of rabies vaccination; proof of spay/neuter.

Where can you license your dog?
       Mail the application and all of the required paperwork along with a check/money order to:

            Boston City Hall
            Animal Control - Room 811
            Boston, MA 02201

       Go to the Property Management Department located in City Hall, Room 811 with all the required paperwork, check/money order and the application (if you have cash, they will send you downstairs to the cashier's office).

       Go to our shelter in Roslindale with all the required paperwork and a check/money order (Please, NO CASH).

            City of Boston Animal Shelter
            26 Mahler Rd.
            Roslindale, MA 02131
            Hours: Mon-Sat 8-4pm & Wed until 8pm

Why license?
      Pet licensing ensures that every pet is traceable to its owner in order to foster pet-owner accounts. A Boston city dog license provides an excellent form of identification for your dog. Licensing increases the numbers of lost pets reunited with their owners. If your dog is lost, a license provides means of notification if your dog is found or taken to the animal shelter.
      A City Of Boston dog license provides rabies identification. Every year, hundreds of people in The City Of Boston are bitten by dogs. Treatment for rabies can be avoided when the dog is displaying a current license. When proof of rabies vaccination is required to purchase an animal license, licensing provides a means to control and monitor rabies with office records of rabies vaccination. This in turn helps sever the link between wild animals with rabies and domestic animals from which humans are most likely to contract the disease.
      Unlicensed dog owners may be cited for violation of city and state dog licensing laws ($50.00).

Why should I get my pet spayed/neutered?

      It's good for you...
      Spayed and neutered pets are better, more affectionate companions.
      Spaying a female dog or cat eliminates its heat cycle. Female dogs go into heat twice a year, lasting anywhere from three to fifteen days. During this time dogs are known to show nervous behavior and attract unwanted male animals.

      Owners of spayed and neutered dogs receive a discount on their license fee.
      It's good for your pet...
      Spayed and neutered dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.
      Neutered animals are less likely to roam or fight.

      It's good for the community...
      As responsible pet owners, as well as a caring and concerned citizen, prevent a litter by having your pet spayed or neutered.
      Obey the leash law and don't let your pet run loose. Keeping you pet under your control can help prevent unwanted breeding and protect your pet from getting lost or stolen.
      Pet overpopulation caused by unwanted litters cost communities millions of dollars to control and eliminate unwanted animals.

Exercise restraint...leash your dog!

      An essential rule to be followed by all responsible dog owners:
       When your dog is off your property, it must be on a leash. The purpose of massachusetts general laws, chapter 140, section 173 and city ordinance 16-1.9 is intended to protect people from free roaming dogs.

       When not confined to your property either inside the house or in secured fenced yard, your dog must be under control. A responsible dog owner does not allow their pet to be a menace to their neighbors, chasing cars and children, getting into trash, not to mention soiling their neighbor's yards.

       While enjoying our city's parks with our pets the same rules apply. We must respect the rights of those with whom we share the city's parks in order to ensure a clean and safe environment.

Dog fouling and the law

      The City of Boston's dog fouling ordinance, section 16-1.10a of the city code, requires dog owners to remove and properly dispose of any feces left by their dogs. This ordinance covers waste left by your dog on sidewalks, streets and parks, and on your neighbor's yards.
      When walking your dog, the law necessitates you to be prepared for such occurrences and be equipped with a bag or some other means of feces removal. After it is removed, it is important to dispose of the feces properly, either in a toilet or in a trash container (after being secured in a plastic bag).
      These laws are intended to protect the public from potential hazardous health conditions, and prevent environmental pollution caused by dog waste.

Official Site of the City of Seattle
(State of Washington)


      "A pet license is the best insurance policy you buy for your pet," says Don Jordan, Animal Shelter executive director. "For instance, if your pet is wearing its license and it shows up at the shelter, we will notify you that your pet is here. Or if we find your licensed pet in the field, well return it to you instead of taking it to the shelter. Often an injured animal wearing a license is more likely to receive veterinary care if youre not around," adds Jordan.
      Pet licenses cost less if your cat or dog is spayed or neutered:
One-year license:Two-year license:
Dog $40
($20 if spayed or neutered)
Dog $62
($30 if spayed or neutered)
Cat $25
($15 if spayed or neutered)
Cat $40
($22 if spayed or neutered)

Site of King County
(administrative district)
Information for pet owners


      Get your pet license! It's so easy and gives your pet an inexpensive insurance policy for their safety and protection. Plus, it's the law.

      How does a pet license benefit my pet and me?
      1. Found pets can be reunited quickly with their owner. To report a found pet, please call the Found Pet Information Line 206-296-2712.
      2. Your pet gets a Free Ride Home the first time it is found. County staff will attempt to deliver your pet home to you immediately, skipping a trip to the animal shelter.
      3. Your pet gets a longer care period. When found, your licensed pet will be cared for at the County Animal Shelter for a longer time.
      4. You and your pet get the Vacation Pet Alert. When you leave home on vacation, call 206-296-2712 to register where your pet will be while you are on vacation, who will be taking care of your pet and where to reach you. We will call the correct number if your pet gets loose during your vacation.
      5. Your pet can be picked up at no charge. Your dog or cat will be picked up from your home at no charge if you need to release your pet to King County Animal Control.
      6. You can use the shelters humane euthanasia service at no charge. When the time comes, Animal Control staff will perform humane euthanasia at no charge.
      7. License fees support the return of over 2,500 lost pets to their homes and help adopt 5,000 homeless pets to new families every year. Other services funded by pet licenses are investigation of animal neglect or cruelty, spay/neuter programs to reduce pet over-population, and community education services.

JuvenileUnder 6 months of age;
6 months expiration
AlteredProof required$20
UnalteredIncludes $25 voucher for savings on spay/neuter$60
SeniorProof that pet is altered and proof that owner is 65 years of age or older is required. License is good for life of pet. Limited to three per household.Dog $20
Cat $12
Service AnimalStatement that owner has disability and animal is a service animal.$0

Has your pet lost its tag?
      If you are renewing your license, you will receive a new tag. However, if your pet loses his license tag during the license year, just send us your receipt along with a check for $5.00 (or go to one of our convenient locations). We will send you a new tag.

Does the County sell pet licenses door-to-door?
      Yes. King County canvassers sell pet licenses door to door. For the current schedule of cities being served, click here. Pet licensing canvassers have official King County photo identification and wear bright blue polo shirts or windbreakers with the pet licensing logo. Summer and Fall canvassing hours are generally 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. weekdays, 9:00-6:00 on Saturday and 11:00-6:00 on Sunday. Canvassers ask homeowners if they have any dogs or cats and they explain the important benefits of licensing their pets, how licensing is the law, and how pet licenses provide the identification that is key to reuniting lost pets with their families. They can accept payment and issue license tags for your dogs and cats right while they are at your doorstep a great convenience to you and a great protection for your pets. When a canvasser comes to your door, please welcome him or her. They are on a mission that is beneficial to you and your pet, as well as the Countys Animal Services program that is provided in partnership with 32 suburban cities.

Site of the Police Department of the US Town of Cary


Animal Control
      The Cary Police Department employs three civilian animal control officers. They are responsible for investigating animal cruelty cases, reports of rabid animals, and animal bites. The animal control officers also enforce the leash law and other Town ordinances regulating dogs, cats and other animals. In addition, they capture stray and lost animals, and maintain pet tag files.
      Animal Control works closely with other animal service organizations such as the Wake County SPCA. Stray dogs and cats are usually kept at the SPCA shelter in Garner until they are adopted, picked up by the confirmed owner or euthanized. You can reach the SPCA by calling 919-772-3203

Leash Law
      One way to prevent your animal from biting a person or another animal is to obey the leash law. The Town of Cary requires that all dogs and cats be on a leash or lead if they are not on the owners property. The leash law also protects animals from injury.

Pet Tags
      All dogs and cats 4 months of age and older within the jurisdiction of the Town of Cary are required to wear a pet tag. If your pet becomes lost and animal control locates it, information on the ownership of the animal is quickly obtained by checking the pet tag number with computer records. It is vital to the safety of your pet to keep this information current, so please take the time to contact Animal Control by phone or mail with your change of address or phone number. There is no charge to update this information.
      Pet tags may be obtained for a one-time fee of $20.00 for animals that have not been neutered or spayed and $10.00 for animals that have been neutered or spayed. You must provide proof from your veterinarian that this operation has been performed. Acceptable forms of proof are either a copy of the bill for the operation or your veterinarians signature on the pet tag application form.
      If the tag becomes lost, you will need to once again provide proof that your pet has been spayed or neutered.

Site of Animal Control Service of the Town of Virginia-Beach (State of Virginia)


Police Department Bureau of Animal Control

FAQs About Animal Control City Codes

What are the rules on animals running loose?
      5-67. No animal is permitted to run at large within the City. This includes dogs, cats and other animals. There are several ordinances that apply:
      The "Animal at Large" ordinance states no animal is permitted to run at large. If an animal leaves the owner or custodian's property, it must be under the control of a responsible person and wearing a city pet license.
      The "leash law" that covers dogs only. This ordinance states that when a dog is being walked on any city sidewalk, city street or public right-of-way, it has to be on a leash or lead at all times. Dogs being walked on a leash must also be wearing a city pet license.

When do animals need licenses, and where can I get one?
      5-50. All dogs and cats over the age of four months need a rabies vaccination and a city pet license. The rabies vaccination is to be given by a veterinarian. City tags may be purchased at any branch of the City Treasurer's Office (Haygood Shopping Center, 19th St. & Arctic Ave., Courthouse and Kempsville), the Virginia Beach SPCA and the Bureau of Animal Control. Remember, a lost pet cannot call home; their tag is their ticket home!
      To purchase a city tag, you must present a current rabies certificate for that animal. If the animal has been spayed or neutered you must also present written proof in order to get the tag at a reduced rate. The price for a tag is $10.00 for an un-spayed or un-neutered animal and $2.00 if proof is presented showing the animal is spayed or neutered.
      Anyone bringing a dog or cat into the city has 30 days to purchase a city pet license if they intend to keep the animal in the city for more than 30 days. New tags must be displayed after February 1st of each year and the tags are good until Jan. 31st of the following year. New tags go on sale November 1st of each year.

How many animals can I own?
      Section 111 Kennels, residential. You are permitted to have up to four (4) adult dogs (more than 6 mos. old) at one residence. This number is governed by a zoning ordinance. Depending on where you live in the city, you may qualify for a kennel license to keep more dogs. A kennel license may be obtained through the Zoning Department (427-8074).
      There is no limit on the number of cats that can be kept at a residence. If there are up to four cats, each must have a pet tag.

What constitutes a "dangerous or vicious animal"?
      5-5. Dangerous dog means a canine or canine crossbreed which has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person or companion animal, other than a dog, or killed a companion animal.

Can I adopt a pet from Animal Control?
      Yes! Please do! Animal control does adopt pets that are not claimed by original owners. During the required holding periods you can sign up on a waiting list for animals in the kennel. At the end of the holding period you will be notified, and can adopt the pet at that time.
      Adopters are required to have the animal spayed or neutered, adopters will receive a 50.00 reimbursement upon proof of sterilization.

Adoption Fees:
Unaltered dogs: $75.00
Unaltered cats: $70.00
Altered dogs: $25.00
Altered cats: $20.00
All others: $15.00

Can I turn my pet into Animal Control to find it a new home?
      Animal Control will take "surrendered owner animals". Animal owners are required to sign a "release of ownership". This is a service that is provided, however the animal owner is encourage to think this decision through carefully. Animal Control cannot guarantee the adoption of a "surrendered animal". There are too many strays that need homes. There is a very real possibility that the "surrendered animal" will be euthanized. We do recommend exhausting all other reasonable possibilities (i.e contacting the SPCA, behavior training) before surrendering an animal. There is no charge to the owner that turns their pet into animal control.

Site of Regulatory Legal Acts of the City of Chicago.
Regulations governing the activity of the Municipal Animal Care and Control Service.
Chicago Pet Animal Regulations


7-12-040 Impounding stray and unlicensed animals.
      Any stray animal and any animal without a current license that is found in the public way or within a public place or upon private premises of any person other than the owner shall be immediately impounded by an animal.

7-12-140 License required.
      (a) Each owner, as defined in this chapter, of each dog four months of age or older shall pay a city license fee for the privilege of owning such dog, unless such dog shall be temporarily within the possession of a veterinary hospital, pet shop, kennel, or humane society Dogs which are the property of any subdivision of local, state or federal government shall be issued complimentary licenses. Any dog properly trained to guide or otherwise assist a blind person shall be issued a complimentary license upon the presentation of proof of vaccination.

7-12-120 Fees.
      The commission shall charge and collect the following fees and shall attach such additional requirements as are stated for release of animals from the animal control center:
      Redemption fee, dog impounded as unlicensed stray-$40.00 plus mandatory licensing within ten days;
      Redemption fee, dog impounded as licensed stray-$28.00;
      Redemption fee, cat impounded as stray-$28.00;
      Redemption fee, horse impounded as stray-$40.00 plus mandatory licensing within ten days if owner maintains horse within the city;
      Redemption fee, any species other than dog, cat or horse-$28.00 plus mandatory application fee for permit to own if species is covered by any protective law;
      Redemption fee, per animal impounded under provisions of this ordinance-$6.00 per day, plus mandatory licensing within ten days if applicable to species;
      Euthanasia fee, owners request-$4.00;
      Redemption fee, animal permanently relinquished to commission at owners will, return of which later is requested if still at hand-$6.00 per day;
      Adoption fee, male dog-$10.00 or at higher bid price if auctioned, plus mandatory licensing within ten days;
      Adoption fee, female dog-$10.00, or at higher bid price if auctioned, plus $20.00 deposit to guarantee spaying, plus mandatory licensing within ten days;
      Adoption fee, male cat-$5.00;
      Adoption fee, female cat-$5.00 plus $20.00 deposit to guarantee spaying.

7-12-170 License fees.
      The license fee shall be payable annuahy, shall be due on the date a dog is acquired or attains four months of age, and shall expire one year from the date of issuance. The license fee shall be as follows:
      Male or female, unneutered (i.e., unspayed or uncastrated)-$10.00;
      Male or female, neutered (i.e., spayed or castrated&$5.00;

News Site of Clallam County dated 14.07.2004.
New Pet Animal Regulations of Clallam County


Clallam: Cat licensing required in new county animal ordinance
      A new Clallam County animal code requires the licensing of cats and increases license fees intended to encourage owners to spay or neuter their pets.
      County commissioners on Tuesday approved new animal licensing fees and a new animal code after public hearings drew support from county animal welfare representatives.
      The annual license fees were set at $10 for altered dogs and $8 for altered cats.
      For unaltered animals, the fee is $35 a year, as approved by the commissioners.
      The new code requires that all dogs and cats of six months or older be licensed.
      Ann Gilson, county Animal Issues Advisory Committee chairwoman, voiced support for a fee structure that would penalize those who do not alter their pets "because they are the ones who cost the county."
      "All of us feels that one of the most important things is to get the animals licensed and altered," Gilson told the commissioners. of appropriate business, as established by the executive director.

State of Washington Site of Municipal Research and Services

About Animal Licensing

      According to AWC's 2000 Municipal Tax & User Fee Survey, 208 Washington cities and towns have some kind animal control licensing provisions. A MRSC survey found that 21 counties have licensing provisions either countywide or in dog control zones. Licensing requirements vary. Some jurisdictions require only dogs be licensed, while others require licensing for for both dogs and cats. Some provide for optional registration for cats.
      Licensing requirement generally provide lower fee incentives for animals that have been spayed or neutered, some require it as a condition of licensing. AWC's Municipal Tax & User Fee Survey also lists dog and cat license fees charged by Washington municipalities.
      Rabies inoculations are also listed among the licensing requirements. The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) recommends that "Local governments should initiate and maintain effective programs to ensure vaccination of all dogs, cats, and ferrets and to remove strays and unwanted animals. Such procedures in the United States have reduced laboratory confirmed cases in dogs from 6,949 in 1947 to 99 in 2002.

Extract from the Local Government Code of Laws of one of the Counties of the State of Washington

8.07.040 Dog licenseFees.

      The annual fee for licenses issued or renewed hereunder shall be forty dollars ($40); PROVIDED, that:
      (1) If a certificate from a veterinarian, or if such is unavailable, a statement from the owner under oath, is presented certifying that the dog for which a license application is made is either a spayed female or a neutered male, the dog license fee shall be sixteen dollars ($16).

Site of Toronto City (Canada)
( services/licensing.htm)

Animal licensing

      The new Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349, which addresses the licensing of dogs and registration of cats, offers unique opportunities to save money and provide your pet with the insurance of identification.
      It is estimated that one-third of all pets will be lost at least once in their lifetime. The best insurance possible to get your pet back home is identification. When Animal Services finds a lost pet with a valid licence tag, the pet will be returned directly to the owner rather than being admitted to one of our centres.

Pet Licence Application Program
      Toronto Animal Services offers reduced fee opportunities for cat and dog owners. It is the law that all dogs and cats must be licensed in the City of Toronto. Failure to licence your cat or dog each year may result in a $240.00 ticket. If you are taken to court under the current law, the maximum penalty is a $5,000.00 fine. Be a responsible owner, licence your pet today!
The new license/registration fee structure is as follows

One Year Fee
Male/Female, Unaltered$60$50
Spayed/Neutered and Microchipped$20$10
Personal AssistanceNo FeeN/A
Replacement Tag (includes GST)$3,21$3,21
Microchipped Pet of Senior Citizen$25$15
Spayed/Neutered Pet of Senior Citizen$20$10
Spayed/Neutered/Microchipped Pet of Senior Citizen$20$10

      Personal assistance dogs licences are free if a certificate is produced from The Canadian National Institute for the Blind or Hearing Ear Dogs of Canada.
      Please note that proof of senior citizen status, sterilization, rabies immunization and microchipping is required for the reduced fee.

Number of pets exemptions
      We often hear of people who have let their love for pets get out of hand. In a highly urbanized area like Toronto it is necessary to limit the number of animals a person may keep. This applies to cats, dogs, rabbits and ferrets. The number allowed under the Animal Care Code is six animals in total with no more that three of these being dogs.

Site of the Town of Livermore Police
(California, U.S.A.)
Animal Control Service
Dog lisensing


      State law requires all dogs over the age of 4 months be licensed in the area that they live. Upon moving to the City of Livermore, you are required to purchase a Dog License within 30 days of residency.
      A common misconception is that the tag you are given by your veterinarian when your dog receives it's rabies vaccination is a dog license. The tag that is given to you is NOT a dog license, rather a rabies tag. You must still take your proof of rabies vaccination to City Hall and purchase a City Dog license.
      Animal Control Officers regularly check the licensing status of dogs that they come in contact with for a current license. If the dog is unlicensed the owner will receive a "fix-it-ticket" requiring that the owner license their dog. Additionally, dogs must be licensed to use the city's dog park facilities.
      If your dog is lost or injured this identification makes it possible to contact the dogs owner. Animal Control has a list of all dog license numbers, including contact information, making it possible for them to locate the dog's owner.
      Contact Livermore city hall finance department to obtain a license. Be ready to provide them with current rabies vaccine information from a licensed veterinarian and documentation if your dog has been spayed or neutered. Licenses can be purchased by mail or in person. Contact city dog licensing at 960-4315, for further information.

Commonly Asked Questions:

Why does the City of Livermore license dogs?
      The State of California requires cities to monitor rabies by having a dog licensing program. The license fees help to cover the cost of city Animal Control services. If your dog is lost, a license makes it easier to reconnect lost animals with their owners.

What do I need in order to get a dog license?
      After your dog is four months old a vaccination must be obtained from a veterinarian. The rabies vaccine lasts for one year for puppies and three years for adult dogs. The veterinarian issues a rabies certificate which must be presented at the time of licensing.

What if a dog isn't licensed? Are there penalties?
      Yes. When an unlicensed stray is picked up a citation is issued to the owner. The owner must pay a fine, plus the license fee to recover the animal from the pound. However, if your pet is over 4 months old and has never been licensed, you may obtain a license without penalty during any of the 4 quarterly licensing periods.

Do I need to bring my dog in to get a license?
      No. Just bring in the rabies certificate, proof of spay/neuter, and a check or cash.

Can I get my dog licensed by mail?
      Yes, you can register by mail. Send us the rabies and spay/neuter certificate, which we will return, and the correct fee.

What about lost dogs?
      If your dog is licensed and becomes a "lost dog", animal control may receive a call from someone who has found the dog, then will identify it by the tag number. Animal Control also keeps a list of dog licenses and uses it when strays are found.

City of Livermore Fee Schedule:
      One year license, spay/neutered $5.50
      One year license, non-spayed/neutered $11.00
      Three year license, spayed/neutered $12.50
      Three year license, non-spayed/neutered $29.50

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