King County going door-to-door looking for unlicensed pets



Posted on October 25, 2010 at 6:19 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 25 at 7:18 PM

Do you license your dog or cat?

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Canvassers from King County are going door-to-door as the county gets tough on unlicensed pets.

Pet licenses are required for all dogs and cats in King County, but only about 25 percent of pet owners pay the $30 fee to have their pet licensed. The county estimates some 400,000 dogs and cats are unlicensed.

So seven days a week, canvassers knock on doors in 27 cities and unincorporated King County. If there's an unlicensed pet in the home, they have two options.

"One option is to license the pet," said canvasser Al Crawford, "and second is to issue a 72-hour notice of non-compliance."

If you get one of those notices, you have three days to license your pet or face a $150 fine for each spayed or neutered pet that is not licensed or $250 for each pet that isn't fixed.

It's better to run into the canvassers because, if an animal control officer happens to pick up your pet and it isn't licensed, you don't get that 72-hour grace period. You will be fined on the spot and you still need to pay the $30 for the license.

Some pet owners don't seem to mind the county's new zero tolerance policy.

“It’s for the animals’ safety, along with some that are strays that might need a home,” says cat owner Zoe.

The licensing rules affect only dogs and cats. Rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and others are exempt..