I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dog License Day

Here in Pennsylvania, as in many other states, dog owners are required to license their dogs.  There are various rates available depending upon certain circumstances.  For example, if I were over 65 or handicapped I could get a discounted rate.  Since I'm under that age and have no disabilities neither of those two options apply.   However, I can take advantage of the spay / neuter discount.  I have no interest in dealing with puppies so both of my dogs have been fixed, Gertie 4 years ago and Lilly just this past Monday.  Knowing I would need documentation I held off on Lilly's license until today.  Now I could have just zipped up to the township office, a 5 minute walk for the standard license, but there is one more option for dog owners.  You can purchase a 'lifetime' license if you don't mind driving to the County Treasurer's office.  For me, this is a 25 minute drive to Carlisle.  The cost for this license is $31.45 - gee.. no brainer, right?  At 9:30 this A.M. I clambered into my CR-V and headed down Interstate 81 to the County Seat.  I could have saved myself the trip.

To get the $31.45 rate for a lifetime dog license you not only need to provide documentation that your dog has been surgically sterilized, your beloved pet also needs to have been either tattooed with a serial number or had a microchip implant.  Lilly has had neither.  This means she is not qualified to get the lifetime license at all, unless, of course, I decide to spend the money to have her either tattooed or chipped.  Suddenly that lifetime license is such a deal.  How do I know?  I talked the implant thing over with my Vet - they charge $50.  Add that to the lifetime license fee and you got $81.45.  The standard fee for a spayed female is $6.45 per year.  If she lives 12 years that's only $77.40.  Does she really need that lifetime license?  Will I actually buy her a new license every year?  Was that drive to Carlisle a waste of time?  Did I answer 'yes' to anyone of these questions?

Now I can understand the license thing to a point.  If your dog gets loose and ends up in the pound it's a way for them to contact you.   However you don't see a lot of stray dogs running around my neighborhood.  Most people here take care of the pets.  My yard is fenced in and the gate is locked.  If I am going through that gate the dogs are in the house.  Outside of my house and my yard, my dogs are vulnerable.  They would be like children in a world they do not understand, so I keep them safe.  As of today, they do both have licenses.  I suspect the license fee is just another way for the state to put money in its coffers.  This is, I believe, the reason most states have dog license laws on their books.

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