Maple Ridge dog parents can get better rates on dog licences if purchased or renewed before Jan. 31.
The Maple Ridge branch of the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) is urging residents to get their furry friends a permanent dog tag, which allows the society to identify and reunite a dog if they are lost anywhere in the world. In addition to working as a form of identification for dogs, the licensing fees assist in adopting homeless pets every year, explained Krista Shaw, manager at BC SPCA’s Maple Ridge branch.
The fees also pay for education and enforcement of the city’s animal control and licensing bylaw and the cost for operating the local animal shelter. Since dog registration is mandatory under the municipal bylaw, people who don’t comply can be subject to a penalty from the city. Ticketing is done by the branch which is contracted to provide animal control services.
All dogs four months and older must be licensed annually. Shaw said that the protection of animals is more important than the penalty and the dog tag allows their team to trace the pet and get them back to the owner in case they are found at large.
“We prefer voluntary compliance, and depending on the situation, we give them warning, but if they don’t follow the laws we have to take action,” she said.
The BC SPCA team scans social media posts to identify a lost dog without a tag, but Shaw said the process is time-consuming and less fruitful at times.
In January 2019, the city of Maple Ridge introduced permanent dog tags that allow dog parents to use the same tag for the lifetime of a dog – people still have to pay an annual licensing charge. If lost, the tag can be replaced for a $5 fee.
In Maple Ridge, a dog licence can cost anywhere between $12.50 to $200, depending on whether a dog is altered or not. Seniors get extra discounts, and people with aggressive dogs pay more.
“It is really important for you to get a dog licence,” Shaw said. “It keep them [dogs] safe and also helps the local animal shelter.”
Those who apply for a renewal after Feb. 1 will be charged higher licensing fees.
To obtain a dog licence, people can fill up an application, available on the city’s website – mapleridge.ca – and then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, people can send the completed application to the city’s licences and bylaws department via fax at 604-467-7445.
BC SPCA is a non-profit animal welfare organization that advocates for animal protection legislation, operates animal shelters with dogs, cats and other animals available for adoption and. The SPCA also runs educational workshops and public awareness programs throughout the province. BC SPCA Maple Ridge office can be reached at 604-463-9511.
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