Seeing a lost or missing pet sign while driving around town is a reminder that losing a pet is never fun."What could I have done? What do I tell the kids? Should I have put a chip in?," are questions you might ask yourself after a pet goes missing. Good news is that residents of Santa Clarita can take preemptive steps to make sure their pet can be easily identified if found.
Pet licensing is one way to help recover your four-legged family members if they ever become lost. The County of Los Angeles offers free grant-funded dog micro-chipping to further assist in identifying Fido if picked up by Animal Control.
Licensing your furry friends isn't just a county law, it's a state law as well, and licenses must be renewed every year. The county also advises that all dogs over the age of four months must be licensed. Failure to license your animals could result in fines or even court appearances.
If your dog is spayed or neutered the license fee is $20 and $60 if they are unaltered. Cats are $5 if spayed or neutered and $10 if unaltered. Also, a significant senior citizen discount (60 years of age and older) is provided for Santa Clarita residents with altered animals. Cat licensing is voluntary but recommended.
Dog licensing in the City of Santa Clarita declined over the last several years prompting the city to embark upon an education and outreach campaign to help the county, aimed at ensuring local dog owners are obtaining required County pet licensing.
The City of Santa Clarita contracts with the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control Department for the provision of animal services, including licensing, within Santa Clarita. The small cost of animal licensing provides regular updates when rabies vaccinations are due and helps care for injured and lost animals, pet adoptions and more.
"Since the recession, the number of animals flooding local shelters has risen more than 20 percent," said Mayor Laurene Weste. "Due to increased home and job losses and downsizing, many pet owners and families are sadly forced to give up pets, which often find their way to local animal shelters."
Local resident and celebrity Cesar Millan, the "Dog Whisperer," is lending his name to the cause to help the City of Santa Clarita get the word out about the importance of animal licensing. Along with his dog Junior, Cesar appears in the City's campaign, which was shot at Central Park, home of the city's first dog park "Central Bark."
Beginning this spring, canvassers from the L.A. County Animal Control will perform door-to-door visits in Santa Clarita to help license pets. County canvassers will be able to provide a new license tag on the spot for newly licensed animals and license renewals will also be available.
There will be no extra canvassing charge for this door-to-door licensing service through June 2010, but unlicensed animals after that time may be charged a fee if they are not licensed. Dog owners are encouraged to obtain a pet license as soon as possible or renew their existing license so that they are in compliance.
For a complete list of license fees, how to license your pet and other information, please contact the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control Department at (562) 728-4706, or online at www.animalcare.lacounty.gov .