Whether or not you should license your pet is a topic that is often shrouded in controversy. Some believe it is essential for the safety of the animal, while others think it's just another opportunity for the city to take their money. Wherever you stand in the argument, here's an overview of the pros of licensing, because we know you've got the "cons" covered already.

If you haven't already licensed your animals, it's a good time to look into that, as summer brings in more volunteers, interns and student staff members in to work for the city. That means they have the time and budget to go door to door and determine which residences have dogs so that animal control can follow up.

1. Costs are covered for the care of your dog if ever it gets lost 

You might also have your dog microchipped, , but registering your pet also makes it immediately traceable without requiring a scanner. There's a license number on the tag provided by the city (if your dog wears one as recommended). Animal control can then obtain your information to return your dog to you. Of course, you simplify the process even further if you have your contact information on their collar. However, the work involved with notifying you is paid for by your registration dues. Depending on your city's regulations, a day of housing and/or an escort home may also be included. Though some cities will charge a release fee that covers this as well.

2. You're helping dogs in need

With a little luck, your dog may never got lost or require the services of animal control in its lifetime. But the funds you pay by registering do typically go right back into related programs - like feeding and/or housing stray dogs that aren't as lucky as yours are.

3. Licensing encourages proper pet care - registration costs are significantly lower when your dog is spayed or neutered. It's also impossible to have your dog registered unless they are regularly vaccinated for rabies and other illnesses required by your municipality.

4. Avoiding fines - it's against the law to have an unlicensed pet, and you can face significant fines if you are caught with an unlicensed animal.

Your city is responsible for issuing licenses for your pet. In order to register them, you need to submit proof of vaccinations and a spay or neuter certificate. In most cases, licenses must be renewed annually. You'll be provided with a tag that should remain displayed on your dog's collar (or at the very least on your person) when you're out in public.

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