Applications for the 2008 Boston Dog Licenses began arriving in area homes this month. If your dog is currently licensed, you should receive the application in the mail. Under state law, all dogs must be licensed by April 1st of each year.
If your dog is not currently licensed in Boston, you can obtain a license application at Boston City Hall in room 811. Forms may also be downloaded from the city's website at www.cityofboston.gov/animalcontrol/.
(Here is Pauline Bilsky with her dogs Gus and Jack.)
The application package and the web page also include a list of "Boston Neighborhood Licensing and Rabies Clinics." These begin on March 22nd at the Animal Rescue League at 10 Chandler Street in the South End. The clinics offer the opportunity to have a dog vaccinated at a low cost and pick up a license at the same time. The rabies vaccinations will cost $5.00 with a further discount making it $2.00 for seniors. A total of ten clinics have been announced ending with one at the Charlestown Community Center at 255 Medford Street on June 4th.
Boston has a three-tiered price structure for dog licenses. It costs $6.00 per year to license a neutered male or spayed female dog. That fee jumps to $17.00 if the animal is intact, and to $50.00 with a special application needed for a Pit Bull.
To pickup a license at City Hall, you should bring both a rabies and a spay/neuter certificate. Many veterinarians include confirmation that the animal is spayed or neutered on their rabies certificates. Then, the one form will serve both purposes. You can also ask your current veterinarian to issue a confirmation that your dog is not intact if you have lost your original paperwork.
Those who mail in their applications should pay careful attention to the instructions. You should be certain to include the requested certificates, a check payable to animal control and a stamped self-addressed envelope. That envelop will be used to be used to send your dog’s license and tag to you. Once your dog is registered with the city, Animal Control will provide a business reply envelope for you to use to send in your application and you will only have to pay the postage one way each year.
One reason for licensing is to assist the Animal Control Department in reuniting you with your dog if it should become lost of stolen. Dog guardians can assist in this process by giving detailed information on the form in the spaces where breed, and color/markings are described.
Mixed breeds should be described with the most recognizable breed first follow by any other part of the mix that might help identify the dog. Animal Control uses examples like “Shepard/Collie/X” and “Chihuahua/Beagle/X.”
Under the space on the application for color and markings, you may want to include any the placement of any tattoos and the location of a microchip if your dog has one.
The animal control web page also contains many valuable resources for families with pets. These include links to a list of low cost animal clinics, city rules and regulations that concern pets and pet adoption opportunities.
You can also download an important brochure on how you should plan to protect your pets in case of an emergency. Since many emergency shelters do not allow pets, families with pets have to make their own arrangements for somewhere to stay should it become necessary to evacuate their homes.
(Sylvia Chambliss-Hare and John Hare with their dog Oliver )
Photos ©2008 Penny Cherubino
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