The Director’s Cut
Love your dog – get a license. In addition to having your pet spayed or neutered, licensing your dog is the single greatest thing you can do to support animal care and control in our community. If you have not done it yet, license your dog today
It is estimated that fewer than 10% of the dogs within the city of Rochester are licensed. In an ongoing effort to elevate that rate of compliance, we developed a public awareness campaign to promote the importance of dog licenses… Brochures and posters were disseminated internally to City’s facilities including recreation centers and libraries and externally to veterinary clinics and pet stores. Additionally, our partners at Verona Street Animal Society are helping with an ongoing social media campaign.
Although many people know that dog licenses are required by law, the benefits have not historically been emphasized and are central to the awareness campaign. One obvious reason to license one’s dog is to avoid the fines attached to the violation.
Other reasons to license a dog include the following:
• Identifies a dog as being owned
Lost dogs can’t speak. But their owners can speak for them with a license tag, which lets people know that the dog is not a homeless stray. The tag is the dog’s way of saying: “I have an owner who loves me and is looking for me.”
• Longer holding period at a shelter
A lost dog wearing a license tag will be held at the Animal Services Center for a minimum of seven days and the owner of record will be notified via certified mail. Unidentified dogs are held a minimum of five days and there is no contact information available for notifying an owner.
• Legal proof of ownership
The dog license certificate is an official New York State document substantiating ownership of a dog, which minimizes legal disputes.
• Reduces the spread of rabies
Proof of rabies immunization is required for obtaining a dog license. The dog license law reinforces public health by ensuring that our dog population is protected from rabies exposure, which prevents spread to other pets and people.
• Permits dog park access
Dog parks are great environments for exercise and socialization for dogs, both of which are core components of a dog’s health and wellness. The City established its first dog park at Cobbs Hill Park in July 2017. Access to that park is limited to dogs licensed to City addresses. Future City dog parks are under consideration. Monroe County and other local municipalities also have dog parks and they similarly require a valid dog license to register.
• Fees support Animals
All license revenue helps animals in our community live longer, healthier lives.
These funds contribute to enhanced care in the animal shelter, more spay and neuter surgeries, and more assistance for pet owners through community outreach. These activities support pet retention and reduce euthanasia rates. The benefits of such work extend to citizens who do not own dogs too as our animal control officers help improve quality of life and public safety throughout Rochester’s neighborhoods.