Registering a dog helps it become reunited with its owner if it is lost, avoids fines and helps fund local programs for animals. Registering dogs is the law in most municipalities because it is in the best interest of both pets and their owners.
Dogs who are not licensed may be euthanized at a shelter if the owner cannot easily be contacted; licensed dogs' owners can usually be identified. A licensed dog should also have all its current shots, which may make strangers more likely to approach and return a pet. Having up-to-date licenses also prevents any ownership disputes that could arise.
A dog license usually costs between $10 and $20 per year, but the fines levied on unlicensed dogs can be as high as $250, according to CesarsWay.com. The fees paid are, in most areas, used to provide funding for shelters and animal control workers that protect lost pets. They may also pay for facilities pets use, such as dog parks and waste bins. Low-cost programs to spay and neuter pets may also be paid for from these fees; minimizing stray and feral animals can reduce diseases among pets.
Pet owners should license their dogs from the time they are four months old. If the dog moves to a new city, the license must be updated. If licensing fees are too high, some municipalities offer reduced rates for low-income pet owners.