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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 038-11
February 1, 2011

MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION INCREASING THE COST OF LICENSES FOR DOGS THAT ARE NOT SPAYED OR NEUTERED

Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

"The final bill before me today is Introductory Number 328-A, sponsored by Council Members Lappin, Brewer, Koppell, Sanders, Seabrook, Nelson, Rose, Rivera, James, Mark-Viverito, Mendez, Vacca, Dromm, Lander, Weprin, Gennaro, Crowley, Garodnick, Palma, Reyna, Rodriguez and Gonzalez.  Introductory Number 328-A increases the cost of a dog license for dogs that are not spayed or neutered.

"Based on the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Community Health Survey, there are more than 500,000 dogs in New York City.  State law requires all dog owners to license their dogs and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issues dog licenses locally.  Dogs are required to wear a dog tag license attached to their collars when in public and dog owners are required to renew their dog license every year.  Currently, the fee to license a dog in New York City is $8.50 for spayed or neutered dogs and $11.50 for dogs that are not spayed or neutered. Introductory Number 328-A increases the fee for those dogs that are not spayed or neutered by $22.50 for a total of $34.

"The differential in fees for altered and unaltered animal licenses serves two purposes.  First, it provides a financial incentive to alter animals.  Spaying or neutering is associated with health benefits to animals, such as reducing the incidence of certain cancers.  It also improves a pet's behavior, making it more social, less aggressive, and less likely to be abandoned.  Spaying and neutering also helps reduce pet overpopulation.  In addition an increased fee for unaltered dog licenses provides the City with resources to promote animal control and operate the shelters that receive unwanted offspring born to unaltered animals.

"Recently, the State passed legislation to create an Animal Population Control Program and Fund.  The extra fee we will collect to license unaltered dogs will be directed to the Animal Population Control Fund to subsidize animal population control activities, including but not limited to, free and low-cost spay and neuter services.  The Health Department is preparing to launch a campaign to promote licensing in conjunction with the launch of the NYC Animal Population Control Program early in the next fiscal year.

"I would like to thank Health Commissioner Thomas Farley and his staff along with their community partners for their work on this bill.  I would also like to thank the City Council for approving this legislation."







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