Being a pet guardian comes with its own set of responsibilities. One that is unfortunately too often neglected is the registration of the animal with the municipal authorities and the obtaining of a license.
It is estimated that in Quebec, at least 40% of dogs are not properly registered, and possibly twice as many cats. Some people don't see the need - my dog never runs away! - while others think it's just a scam to make a quick buck. But have you ever really wondered what the license is for? What do the fees go towards? Why did municipalities implement by-laws to that effect?
Simply put, registering and wearing a license tag is a simple way to give you and your pet the best chance of being found in case of trouble (think of the floods that are currently plaguing Western Canada!), to make the community a little safer, to make the city a better place for lost pets, and even to save some pets' lives while you're at it...
Here are three good reasons to register your pet this year.
- It is the law
Several municipalities in the Outaouais have implemented a municipal by-law requiring animal guardians to register their pets (e.g. for Gatineau, by-law 183-2005 is the one governing the keeping, control, and care of animals). The municipal license is then mandatory and must generally be renewed every year.
If the simple application of the law is not enough to convince you, you should know that those who choose to circumvent the municipal licensing by-law expose themselves to severe penalties that can exceed the annual cost of the license for the life of your animal!
Finally, you should know that the funds collected from the sale and renewal of animal licenses are directly injected into activities that benefit the animals and citizens of your community.
- It funds animal services
The sale of licenses - and the funds raised from them - is a critical source of funding for many animal services such as those we provide at the SPCA de l'Outaouais. In our case, license sales are our primary source of revenue since we have no government subsidies to support our efforts.
As such, the money you pay when you purchase or renew your municipal license is used to fund animal control services (patrol and investigation), adoption services, our education and community service programming, veterinary services for injured, abandoned, or stray animals, and much more. Every dollar helps make our community more pet-friendly.
Moreover, registering your animals also allows municipalities to maintain up-to-date statistics on the animal population on its territory, which in turn informs council's decisions when the time comes to invest in dog park infrastructures, targeted sterilization programs or other services whose need can be measured according to the number of animals to be served.
- It keeps your pets safe
The simplest reason and possibly the most direct positive effect you could consider in support of registering your pet is that it is the most efficient and quickest way to reunite a stray or lost pet with its family.
The little tag around your pet's neck is still the best chance you'll ever have of seeing your furry friend come home, whether it's after an unexpected getaway or an intense squirrel chase! Without an up-to-date registration, a stray or escaped pet could end up in a shelter with no way for us to identify its guardians. With one in three pets being lost at some point in their lives, making sure your pet is wearing their license tag will help keep them safe!
If you are a pet guardian and have completed your license purchase diligently in the past; thank you. Keep an eye on your inbox/mailbox in the coming days for a renewal notice for the upcoming year.
If you have more specific questions, you can now find answers to frequently asked questions on our website. When the time comes, you can also renew your license online at your convenience.
Our team remains available to answer any questions or concerns. Happy renewing!