Cities around the U.S. are beginning to enforce pet licenses especially in Seattle.
One Seattle resident failed to relicense his 17-year-old dog and he ended up paying almost $500. The man received notice last September from Seattle Animal Control telling him that he had not renewed his dog’s license since 2003. At that time, he owed $45 — $30 for the two-year license and $15 for a penalty fee. The man was about to move to Florida, so he didn’t pay for the license and the fee and didn’t tell Seattle Animal Control that he was moving.
While he was living in Florida, Seattle Animal Control cited him in December for failure for obtaining a pet license. His former landlady called the Seattle Animal Control to tell him that he had moved, but by that time, the case had already been transferred to a collections agency.
In February, the man ended up moving back to Seattle and forgot about licensing his dog and the violation. A couple of weeks ago, he discovered that almost $500 was taken out of his bank account due to the pet license citation. His original pet license fees had increased to include collection costs, court costs and bank processing fees. He has decided to not fight the case and just pay his fee.
Meanwhile, this may be a lesson to all Seattle residents and residents all over the US that animal control agencies mean business when they want you to license your pets. Seattle Animal Control has assigned three officers to target unlicensed pets, going to parks and even to your own home, and they issue about 1,200 citations a year.
Update: James, the Seattle man who was fined, emailed us in regards to his story and added some details to the situation:
1. August 27, 2006. Animal control officer shows up to my residence and demands payment for expired dog license. I explain to the officer that I’m moving to Florida next week. The officer threatens to issue citation ($54.00) for not renewing license. I offer to pay for license, but I do not want a citation. Due to the fact that she “showed up” at my door, she HAS to issue a citation. I plead my case of moving and offered a compromise to pay for said license. No deal. I didn’t pay it. No citation issued at that time.
2. September 9, 2006. Moved to Florida (a wonderful drive with Cayla, my dog)
3. November 10th, 2006. Animal control shows up at old residence looking for me. Landlord tells the officer that I moved to FL.
4. December 20th, 2006. Animal control leaves citation posted to front door of old residence.
5. May 25th, 2007. Paying bills online from my checking account, notice almost $500.00 missing. I call bank. Bank says to call Alliance Once collections. They say: “failure to obtain dog license” . I called the Seattle Times. A reporter interviews us, does research, and finds that there was a court order to garnish said funds from checking account. I originally paid by check to obtain her license (which was how the funds came out of the checking account — they did not take credit cards at that time). This all happened while I was living in Florida.