New Senior Discount for State Dog Licenses

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Staff Report

The Division of Public Health (DPH) Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) is announcing several changes to dog licensing for 2017 that will benefit Delaware residents. Senior citizens (65+) who own dogs will now be offered a reduced rate for dogs that have been spayed or neutered. The rate is $7 annually, a 30 percent reduction on the regular price of $10 for spayed or neutered dogs. Licenses for unaltered dogs remain $15 per year for all applicants.

License terms have also changed for the better. Licenses are now valid for one year from date of purchase, and no longer based on calendar year. This means no matter when the license is purchased, it will be valid for 12 months. Two and three-year licenses are also available.

“We are working hard to implement improvements that will make it easier for dog owners to license their pets,” said OAW Interim Director Christina Motoyoshi. “Reducing the cost for seniors who own a spayed or neutered pet and are often on fixed incomes, and ensuring licenses are valid for a minimum of 12 months are two customer friendly changes that we hope will result in an increase in licensed animals.” In August, OAW added three new locations to its list retail licensing partners statewide where licenses can be purchased in person.

Locations include:

· Yarn and Bone Pet Supply Store in Camden,129 N Main St., Suite 1, Camden, DE 19934, 302-423-8889

· Millville Pet Stop, 607 Atlantic Ave. Millville, DE 19967, 302-539-9382

· Fenwick Pet Stop, 1200 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island, DE 19944, 302-581-0046

· Furbaby Boutique, 204 NE Front St. Milford, DE 19963, 302-725-5078

· New Castle County Government Center, 87 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720, 302-395-5555

· Brandywine Valley SPCA, 600 South St., New Castle, Delaware 19720, 302-516-1000

· New London Veterinary Hospital, 437 New London Road, Newark, DE 19711, 302-738-5000

· Delaware Humane Association, 701 A St., Wilmington, DE 19801, 302-571-0111

Residents may also purchase dog licenses online at www.petdata.com/delaware or through the mail by calling 1-877-730-6347 for an application.

The OAW reminds dog owners that dog licenses are required by state law for all dogs 6 months of age or older. Proof of current rabies vaccination is required to obtain a license. Rabies vaccinations are mandatory for dogs, cats and ferrets 6 months of age and older. Those who fail to license their dogs face fines of $50 or more.

“There are still many pet owners who don’t know that licensing is required for dogs,” Motoyoshi said. “We are working hard to increase awareness while making the process as easy as possible for them.”

Delaware Animal Services (DAS) Chief Mark Tobin said there are several benefits to licensing dogs.

“Licensing your dog ensures that if they become lost and are picked up by our officers, they will immediately be brought home,” Tobin said. “It is also much easier and cheaper than paying fines if you’re caught with an unlicensed dog.”

According to the OAW, licensing lets people know your dog has been vaccinated against rabies. The license fees support the efforts of DAS, the OAW enforcement unit, which works to reunite lost animals with their owners, ensures care and placement of stray animals, and enhances public safety.

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