We decided that all the changes around the topic of Boston dog licensing this year made a weekday post the best way to get the information out to our widest audience. If you have a dog or have friends with dogs that count on you for information from social media, here's what you need to know.
This postcard from Inspectional Services arrived in our mailbox this week. We already have our dog license because we applied online when our own annual reminder came up on our calendar on March 1st.
No form and no return envelope were supplied with this mailing. An increased fee was announced effective May 1st but I was already charged this fee in March. And, no mention was made of the department's move to 1010 Massachusetts Avenue that you will learn about below.
As we said in one of our Sunday Dog posts, "Massachusetts law requires that all dogs be licensed with their city or town by April 1st of each year. To apply, you must have proof of a current rabies vaccination.
"Normally, Boston officials send out packages reminding people with dogs to renew. I called Animal Care and Control to check if the mailing had gone out and found that it's been delayed this year and that the city of Boston plans to delay enforcement.
"I don't know what this does if you are in another city or town with your dog, since it's a state law that requires a license. Better apply online today and I would carry a copy of the receipt from the city until your tag arrives. Then, you would have something to show if you are stopped."
Apply & Pay Online
Here's the link to apply for a dog license in Boston. (Check your city or town to see if it offers this convenient service.)
Here is a copy of the application if you want to mail it. Download 2015 dog License Application.
Animal Care and Control is Moving
If you want to apply in person, you should know that the Animal Care and Control department is moving. Here is the city's announcement on that.
"2015 Dog licensing notes: We're Moving!
Effective March 30, 2015- the administrative office of Animal Care and Control will be moved to 1010 Mass Ave. Boston, MA 02118. The Animal Care and Control Animal Shelter will remain at it's current location, 26 Mahler Rd. Roslindale, MA 02131. Thank you for your patience during our transition."
Facebook Instead of information on the City site
When we searched for information about low cost rabies clinics on the city site, we found only a stale 2014 list.
Apparently the department is now using Facebook to announce important information like this.
That's not great for those who try to avoid this particular social media outlet and silly since not all items posted there will be seen by the people who are following the page. What is shown to each individual is up to Facebook.
"All posts from pages you 'Liked' are not showing up in your Facebook news feed. Only 10% of you will see posts unless page administrators pay to promote them. Since pages like ours are run exclusively by volunteers, we do not have a budget to pay for advertising." More here.
You'll also notice that this is a much shorter list of clinics. Five are listed here, while there were fourteen scheduled last year.
Early on, we had hopes that this administration would be dog friendly when we heard that the department was renamed Animal Care and Control and was moved under the direction of Human Services and Felix Arroyo.
Now, it seems it has been put under Inspectional Services, a department historically understaffed and with a record of less than user friendly performance. This is all very disappointing. Lets hope the city gets its act together, schedules more clinics, and puts more CARE and COMMON SENSE into services for people who have animals.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photography: © 2015 Penny & Ed Cherubino with screenshots from the city outlets.