Pet license fee increase to benefit Animal Services programs

July 2, 2010

Pet license fees in Multnomah County will increase later this summer, as a result of a resolution passed by the Board of Commissioners on July 1. Beginning August 1, pet owners will pay a yearly fee of $25 for dogs and $12 for cats, a 30% increase over current prices. All revenues from licensing will directly benefit Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS). Some previously eliminated services will be restored.

Pet license fees fund MCAS animal welfare services like 24 hour emergency animal rescue, veterinary hospital, shelter and care for lost and abandoned animals, animal neglect and mistreatment investigations, and emergency care for sick pets.

Licensed pets benefit from being part of the MCAS database of over 80,000 licensed animals, which makes finding lost or missing pets easier and more likely. A licensed pet has the best chance of being reunited with its owner if it becomes lost, turns up missing or injured. Licensed animals are also guaranteed longer stays at the animal shelter while MCAS locates the owner.

With additional funding from the fee increase, Animal Services will now be able to implement many of the recommendations of a 2008 City-County Animal Services Task Force.  Expected to raise approximately $500,000, the fee increase will fund a new license collection position and restore two officer positions, whose responsibilities include stray holding dog pick-up and neighborhood nuisance investigations.  It also includes dedicating $65,000 each year to spay and neuter pets of low-income residents. Multnomah County citizens currently own about 179,000 dogs and 200,000 cats, but only about 29 percent of dogs and 14 percent of cats are licensed.

Pet owners are encouraged to renew or register their pets through July 31 while the current fee prices ($18 for dogs, $8 for cats) are still available. MCAS will also host its third annual Toga Party on July 31 where they will be registering animals until 11:59 p.m. Licenses can be purchased online or at one of many vendor locations throughout the county. 

Pets must have a current rabies vaccination which will be good for the duration of the license.  Animal Services will be holding a low-cost vaccination and micro-chip clinic on July 25 during which pets can receive microchips for $20 and rabies vaccines for $10. 

Microchip, Rabies and Licensing Clinic will be held on July 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the animal shelter, 1700 W Columbia River Parkway in Troutdale.

The third annual Animal House Adoption Party will take place Saturday, July 31 from 11 a.m. to midnight, also at the MCAS Shelter.