October 3, 2012 – Health Department and Parks Department staff will be in City Parks starting today during normal dog walking hours to help pet owners obtain or renew their dog license. Owners who do not have licenses will be given an application and other information on the benefits of licensing their dog and responsible pet ownership.
“Many New Yorkers don’t know that dogs must be licensed each year,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “With this campaign, the Health and Parks Departments are meeting dog owners where they are – in New York City’s parks. During the month of October, pet owners can make sure their dogs are legal during a morning or evening walk.”
Health Department and Parks Department staff will be on site in parks in all five boroughs on Wednesdays in October during morning and evening dog walking hours (generally before 9:00 AM and after 5:00 PM).
This is an outreach and education effort; dog owners will not be cited for violations if they do not have a current license for their pet.
Dog licensing is a legal requirement in New York City. The annual fee to license your dog in New York City is $8.50 if your dog is spayed/neutered or $34 if you do not provide proof that your dog is spayed or neutered. Dog licenses are also quick and easy to get online (search “dog licensing” at nyc.gov).
Once New Yorkers have licensed their dogs, the Health Department welcomes owners to share their photos and stories about their pets on the My Good Dog NYC Tumblr page (http://mygooddognyc.tumblr.com).
Licensing has many benefits for pets and their owners:
- Reunites lost dogs with their owners. The Health Department’s NYC Dog eLocator System is an online service available to anyone who finds a lost dog that is wearing a New York City dog license. By entering either a telephone number or an email address into the Dog eLocator System on the Health Department’s website, a person who finds a lost dog can send his or her contact information directly to the dog’s owner.
- Licensing is key to family emergency preparedness planning to ensure a dog and its owner are reunited in case of separation.
- Reminds owners that their dog must be vaccinated against rabies, a requirement for all City dogs. Rabies vaccination provides protection for both people and their pets as well.
- Assists in medical follow-up for people potentially exposed to infected dogs.
- A dog license is required to use New York City’s many dog runs and off-leash areas in City Parks.
- Licensing helps support the operation of animal shelters, and supports free and low-cost spay and neutering services for dogs and cats.
Pet Health and Safety Tips:
- Make sure your pet is fixed: Spaying or neutering reduces the number of unwanted dogs or cats, reduces risk of cancers and helps prevent territorial aggression – studies show unaltered animals are more likely to bite than altered ones. All cats allowed outdoors must be spayed or neutered.
- Keep your dog on a short leash: To keep people and pets safe, especially from unfriendly dogs, all dogs must be kept on a leash when in public, except for in designated park areas.
- Pick up after your pet: According to City law, pet owners must pick up pet waste from sidewalks and other public spaces. Failure to clean up after your dog can result in a fine.
- Get your dog to the vet each year: Like you, your dog needs a regular check-up and important vaccinations to stay healthy. Visits to the vet can help you stay on top of any health issues and preventable diseases.