Word To The Wise: Get Them Proper Paperwork Or Be Fined

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Everyone knows you need a license to drive and a license to practice law or medicine.

But a license to own a dog?

As CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport reports, what you don’t know could cost you.

You see them all over the place — in streets and in parks — so it seems like a no-brainer that these dogs are licensed right?

Not necessarily. Some dog owners either don’t know they have to get a license or just don’t do it.

“Why license them? What’s the point?” one dog owner said.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene estimates 400,000 dogs — or 80 percent of the city’s dog population — are unlicensed, even though a license only costs about $10.

“The law is that every dog 4 months or older in New York City must be licensed,” Health and Mental Hygiene worker Norma Torres said.

Torres said the law is in place largely as a matter of safety, a way to make sure that the dogs have had their rabies shots, among other things.

“The money that we collect from dog licensing fees helps support our animal shelters in New York City and Animal Control services,” Torres said.

Rapoport checked in with towns in Nassau County on Long Island and in Essex County in New Jersey and found the laws there we’re virtually the same.

And if you don’t license your dog it could cost you — anywhere from $25 to $200 in the city.

“It’s what the city requires. It’s not a big deal. A few dollars to make sure she’s safe and I don’t get a ticket. It’s worthwhile,” one dog owner said.

Leaving folks like Marian Holly vowing to pay now so she doesn’t have to pay later.

To get your dog licensed in most cases you need to get in touch with your local department of health. Many allow you to complete the application process online.

CLICK HERE for the NYC Dog License Web site

Comments (6)
  1. Tomboy says:

    @ BACK TO SCHOOL, there is a “Rabies proof provided? Y or N” checkbox in the FOR OFFICE USE ONLY section of the application, but where the dog owner writes, it only asks that you give a date of vaccination. That is not proof.

    If these other people haven’t provided any to get their licenses, wouldn’t they know that?

    Please clarify what you

  2. Afan Sitagyl-Manor says:

    You don’t have to provide proof of a rabies shot to get a dog license in NYC, I’ve never had to do so in 12 years of licensing my pit bull. You do have to provide proof of spay or neuter to get the lower license fee.

    According to the off leash “rules” your dog is supposed to be licensed before you let it run off leash in a city park. I guess that means that the hordes of loose dogs overrunning Prospect Park every morning are all part of the 20% who have valid licenses (and vaccinations), but somehow I doubt it. Prospect Park would be an excellent place for the DOH to start checking and fining the off leash dog owner scofflaws who have ruined the park for everyone else.

  3. Philo Vance says:

    The story neglects to mention the most important benefit of licensing your dog: every dog is given a tag with a unique “311” phone number that provides anyone who finds your missing or lost dog with your information. While before the “311” system all license tags had unique ID numbers (as do rabies tags), owner information would presumably only be available during business hours and then perhaps would have to be looked up manually. I presume the new system is computerized. Having a convenient way for good Samaritans to help reconnect dogs with their owners is more than worth the $8.50 a year fee. Plus as the story indicates part of the money collected from fees supports homeless pets. BTW if your dog bites someone a license is not going to prove your dog is vaccinated against rabies. You are not require3d to prove vaccination to get a license. That’s why vets who vaccinate must give you a uniquely numbered and dated tag. A dog that bites who is not up to date on rabies vaccination can be much more easily confiscated or put down.

  4. Lynn Pax says:

    Much of the nervousness we find in our dogs is related to rabies vaccinosis or over vaccination. The nervousness (and this is a VERY BROAD statement) can present as obsessions and fears.

    Most veterinary schools have changed their vaccination protocols and most vaccines are considered unnecessary and many of them are considered by these schools as dangerous.

    I would suggest everyone read veterinarian Dr. Dodd before vaccination.

  5. Back to school for you says:

    Wrong Johnny.

    In order to obtain a dog license you must provide proof of the Rabies shot and also provide the experation date.

  6. Johnny says:

    Another hidden form of taxation that does nothing to confirm if your pet has the proper vaccinations. The city should start taxing the idiots that come up with these laws.

Leave a Reply