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Tick-tock: OC License amnesty begins Thursday, April 1st

This Welsh corgi mix pup is available for adoption. Click on the photo to read more.

OK, dog owners, consider this your early reminder: It’s time to pay for Fido’s overdue license.

Orange County Animal Care will launch Thursday (April 1) a 45-day amnesty program for residents who have failed to license a dog in 17 contract cities serviced by the agency. Those cities include:

Anaheim, Brea, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Yorba Linda, and all unincorporated areas of Orange County.

Residents who do not live in the OCAC’s coverage area can check a list of shelters and animal-control agencies for information about pet licensing in their cities.

Live in Santa Ana? Residents there can take advantage of an identical amnesty program that also debuts April 1.

The program, which runs through May 15, allows dog owners to license their pet for the base price ($24 for altered dogs, and $100 for unaltered dogs), minus any late fees that might have accrued over the past four years.

Residents over the age of 65 are eligible to license one altered dog per household for $12. Licenses are free for assistance dogs.

Pet licenses help OCAC track rabies vaccinations and help identify lost pets. Cat licenses are optional.

“It is our goal, through this program, to ensure more pets are returned to their owners when the unfortunate happens,” said interim director Ryan Drabek.Approximately 97% of the animals impounded by OC Animal Care that are wearing a tag are returned to their owners.”

All dogs in Orange County over the age of four months are required by law to be licensed and vaccinated against rabies. Residents must provide proof of a California-approved rabies vaccination to obtain a license (OCCO 4-1-70).

While the amnesty program will eliminate revenue derived from penalties, it could help OCAC collect outstanding fees owed from owners of an estimated 247,327 unlicensed dogs in the service area. Hypothetically, if each of those dog’s owners paid the base license fee $24 per pet, the county could reap nearly $6 million annually in fees.

The program also will alleviate years worth of late fees that have accumulated for pet owners who have failed to register a dog or renew a license:

  • $41 delinquent fee for dog owners who have not renewed the dog license;
  • Dog owners who have owned their dogs for consecutive years and have never purchased a dog license are charged the corresponding license fee for each year of ownership up to four years, plus the $41 late fee for each year the dog was not licensed.

What is required:

  • Proof of rabies vaccination.
  • Proof of spay/neuter for discounted rate of $24.
  • If pet has yet to be altered (spayed/neutered), an owner can pay the discounted rate of $24, but proof of sterility must be provided within two weeks of licensing.

Time for a new ID tag? While you’re busy getting Fido’s paperwork and license in order, check out our tips on updating the family dog’s ID tag.

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Posted: Just One More Pet

April 1, 2010 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment