Did you know your dog, cat or Vietnamese potbellied pig needs a license in the city of Longmont?
A city ordinance requires pet owners to purchase an identification license each year for pets 6 months or older. Pet licenses can be purchased or renewed each year before Feb. 1 and expire on Dec. 31, according to the ordinance.
When the ordinance was established in 1993, the city clerk issued the licenses, however, after a few years the program was handed over to the Longmont Humane Society, said Tammy Dietz, community service officer with Longmont Animal Control.
Licenses register pets' current information with the city and the Longmont Humane Society and owners are issued a tag to place on the pets’ collars. If a pet is picked up by Animal Control or taken to the Longmont Humane Society, the tag includes the year of the license and a license number to speed the animal’s return to its owners.
Animal Control uses the information to give the pet “a free ride home” and the Longmont Humane Society reduces its reclaim fee if the pet has a current license, said Carrie Brackenridge, director of marketing and communications at the Humane Society.
A rabies tag can provide similar information, however, Animal Control must wait to call veterinary offices during regular business hours; the city-sanctioned licenses allow for 24-hour access to the information, Dietz said.
“It is another resource for us to try to get pets back home,” Dietz said. “If pet owners have any ID on the animal that is wonderful because our goal is to get animals home and one resource is the city license. But if they just go to PetSmart or PetCo and get a tag made, I’m happy with that as long as I can get an owner. It is one of those ordinances that we can enforce but our main goal is to get the animal reunited with its owner.”
In 2019, the Longmont Humane Society issued 4,500 licenses. In the first three quarters of 2020, 3,400 were issued, Brackenridge said. Neither the Humane Society nor Animal Control could estimate how many pets reside in Longmont.
The license fee is $15 for spayed or neutered pets and $25 for unaltered pets. The fees remains at the Longmont Humane Society and are put into its general operating fund, Brackenridge said. “In 2019, city of Longmont pet licenses fee income accounted for 2% of LHS annual revenue,” she said via email.
To apply for a pet license, owners are required to show proof of a rabies vaccination. Pet owners can purchase licenses from the Longmont Humane Society online, can call the Humane Society at 303-772-1232 for an in-person appointment, or by mail. Licenses also can be purchased at offsite locations including Longs Peak Animal Hospital, Happy Hounds Dog Care Center, Bark Me Beautiful, Tender Loving Care Animal Hospital, Family Pet Hospital, and Olde Towne Animal Medical Center.
“This is not something we are trying to penalize people for, it’s more a benefit to keep your pet’s information current so we can reunite them with their owners,” Dietz said.