Town of Stettler residents with pet dogs and cats should be aware that 2016 pet licences expired as of Jan. 1, 2017, and must be renewed.
The cost to register a pet depends on the animal and its reproductive abilities, with unspayed and unneutered animals costing more to licence.
Residents can take advantage of the town’s less expensive pet registry fees up until Tuesday, Jan. 31. The cost to register a spayed dog or cat is $15, or $40 for an intact dog or cat. After Jan. 31, the cost goes to $25 and $50 respectively. Replacement tags cost $15.
“The No. 1 reason for me to licence is knowing that if your pet gets off leash or runs off, if it’s found and licenced we can return it home,” Leann Graham, director of planning and development for the town, said.
She noted the town’s approach is always education before enforcement, so if the town finds out there’s unlicenced dogs or cats, owners don’t need to worry about an immediate fine.
“We send out notices and warnings long before it comes to enforcement,” Graham said.
When licencing pets, owners need to bring the relevant information, which includes microchip identification number or tattoo identification numbers, spay/neuter certificates, and address (physical and mailing).
The tags help ensure if a beloved pet goes missing and is found, it can be identified and returned to its owner. Anyone who finds a pet with a tag can simply phone Alberta Animal Services or the town’s office with the registration number on the tag.
If a dog isn’t licenced, sneaks out and is picked up by animal services, not only will the owner be looking forward to a no-licence fine, they may also incur a dog at large fine, which could require a trip to court to answer to the charges.
Licence fees help fund animal services and shelters, spay/neuter clinics, and stray dog/cat adoption programs.
The decreased fee for altered animals is an incentive to convince people to take the time to spay and neuter. In six years, an unspayed dog and her offspring can have 67,000 puppies. Two breeding cats, plus all their kittens’ kittens, add up to about 80 million cats in 10 years.
Spaying and neutering also reduces some negative behaviour associated with the reproductive system, such as going into heat, urine marking, urge to roam and aggressive. It also offers the medical benefit of reducing the risks of uterine and ovarian cancers in felines.
The town’s bylaws require all dogs and cats six weeks of age or older to be licenced. The bylaw also permits a total of three dogs and three cats per dwelling. The fine for not licencing an animal is $100.