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PR- 298-08
August 4, 2008


New Yorkers Can Now Get New or Renewed Dog Licenses Electronically 24/7

Latest Example of the City's Commitment to Expanding Customer Service as highlighted in his 2008 State of the City Speech

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden today announced the launch of a new online dog licensing system that will make it easier not only for dog lovers to protect their pets, but also for them to comply with the law. The new application, available at, also cuts the wait time for new licenses and renewals more than in half to approximately 10 to 14 business days. This announcement builds on the commitment of enhanced customer service, government efficiency and accountability that the Mayor made a focus of his 2008 State of the City speech. The Mayor and Commissioner Frieden were joined at the Hillside Park Dog Run in Brooklyn by Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C) Executive Director Charlene Pedrolie, and New York Council of Dog Owner Groups (NYCDOG) Vice President Matthew Parker.
"I've always believed in the power of technology to make government more open and accessible to the people it is supposed to serve," said Mayor Bloomberg. "That's the philosophy behind 311, which now allows for the online tracking of service requests, and we're trying to bring that same philosophy to all City agencies. Now, New Yorkers will be able to renew or obtain dog licenses quicker they have before."

Dog owners are legally required to license their pets and renew licenses annually, but only 20 percent of the city's estimated 500,000 dogs are currently licensed. The fee for a first-time dog license is $11.50; a renewal costs $8.50 for a spayed/neutered dog and $11.50 for one that has not been spayed or neutered. Online dog licensing is part of the City's continuing effort make it easier to access its services using technology. The current system of renewing and obtaining dog licenses by mail could take up to 30 days or more. By choosing to renew or obtain dog licenses online, owners will receive tags within 10 to14 business days after an order is placed online.

"Licensing your dog has never been so simple," said Commissioner Frieden. "A license can help keep your pet safe and healthy - and it's required by law. We urge all New Yorkers to tag their pet online today."

Today's announcement adds to the online tools currently available on to enhance customer service, government efficiency and accountability. Delivering on technological improvements proposed by the Mayor in this year's State of the City speech, the Department of Consumer Affairs launched its new Online License Renewal Service allowing businesses to renew their licenses online at any time during their renewal period. To date, more than half of DCA 's 60,000 licensees can take advantage of the online renewal process, including some of DCA's largest licensing categories: laundries, newsstands and tobacco retail dealers.

This year, the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication s launched a new tool on allowing New Yorkers to track the progress of their 311 service request online, and the Office of Operations launched the new Citywide Performance Reporting system, an online accountability tool that includes information from 45 city agencies. Visitors to can also find NYC Business Express, which currently allows a number of business sectors to manage all of their permits, licenses and interactions with multiple City agencies on a central website. The can also access NYCServ, which allows more than a million New Yorkers to log on to the City's payment system to pay more than $1 billion in parking tickets, property taxes, or water bills.

"You and your dog are welcome in New York City parks, so come enjoy the outdoors," said Parks Commissioner Benepe. "Just remember to be safe, obey the rules, and respect the park and others."

"We applaud today's announcement of online dog licensing," said NYCDOG Vice President Matthew Parker. "We have worked in the past with the Health Department to make the process of licensing dogs less cumbersome for dog owners. We encourage all dog owners in the City to be responsible, which means license your dog, always pick up your dog's waste, and leash your dog where required."

Benefits of Licensing for Pets and their Owners:

  • Assists in medical follow-up for people potentially exposed to sick or infected dogs, especially in cases of possible exposure to rabies.
  • Helps reunite dogs with their owners in cases of separation. Licensing is an important step for family emergency preparedness.
  • Allows New Yorkers to use dog runs and off-leash areas in City parks.
  • Promotes spaying and neutering by discounting license fees for owners of fixed pets.
  • Reminds owners that their dogs must be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies vaccination provides protection for both people and their pets.

"Being a good pet owner means licensing your dog as soon as you bring him home," said New York City Animal Care & Control Executive Director Charlene Pedrolie. "More and more New Yorkers are adding pets to their families, and thanks to this site, doing the right thing for your dogs are even easier."

The site, which will be hosted by the New York City Department of Health, and is accessible at, allows dog owners to order, renew, or replace a license with the Health Department, learn about the benefits of licensing, or make a donation to New York City Animal Care & Control.

Pet Health and Safety Tips

Pets are a life long commitment-dogs can live for up to fifteen years. Keeping your pet healthy is important to your families' health. There are a few simple steps all pet owners can take to make sure your pets are healthy and safe.

  • Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered. Spaying or neutering reduces the number of unwanted dogs or cats, reduces risk of cancers and helps prevent aggression - studies show unaltered animals are more likely to bite than altered ones.
  • Keep your dog on a short leash. To keep people and pets safe, all dogs must be kept on a leash when in public, except in designated areas during off-hours in parks.
  • Dogs need exercise and socialization too. Visit one of the city's nearly 50 dog runs to give your pet a break from the leash. More information can be obtained at or by calling 311.
  • Pick up after your pet. According to New York 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 of $100.
  • Get your dog a rabies shot. Like you, your dog needs vaccinations and a regular check-up to stay healthy. Visits to the vet can help you stay on top of any health issues and preventable diseases.

How to Adopt a Pet

Also in attendance at the Hillside Park Dog Run were Ricky, Winter, Smokey and Pepper, four New York City pooches who are ready for adoption. AC&C always has many healthy, loving dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and rabbits available for adoption. New Yorkers can visit their website at to see the animals they have up for adoption. The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals also offers a list of rescue groups from which you can adopt. View the list at

It is important to be prepared before you adopt so that you can provide a good home for your new pet. Some tips:

  • Pick a pet that's right for you. Do you want a pet that needs a lot of attention or a little? A walker or a lounger?
  • Care and feeding cost money. Make sure your budget allows for a pet.
  • Pets need you to take care of them. Make sure you have the time to spare for a pet.


Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker   (212) 788-2958

Jessica Scaperotti   (Department of Health and Mental Hygiene)
(212) 788-5290

More Resources
Go to Dog Licensing System
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