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Buying a license for your dog isn’t just about the law--it can save your dog’s life.

Anyone who has experienced the panic and sorrow of having a lost dog knows how important it is to license your pet. Our dogs are our friends and companions, and they look to us for nearly everything: food, shelter, water and love. They also need us to help bring them home if they wander.

One of the best and most basic things we can do for our dogs is to license them. Our goal is to be able to reunite all lost dogs with their families, and you can help us reach that goal with increased dog licensing. When Good Samaritans find stray dogs that are licensed, they can call the Lincoln County Animal Shelter or Dispatch to find your information, and your pet may never even have to come to the shelter.

While happy reunions are the most important consideration, failure to obtain a dog license can result in a $265 fine. All dogs in the county are required to be licensed within thirty days of residence, whether or not you live in the city and whether or not your dog leaves your property. While cat licenses are not required, they help the animal shelter reunite families with their feline friends, too.

You may easily purchase or renew a license by mail, at the Animal Shelter, or at many local veterinarians’ offices. Applications and additional information are available online at www.LincolnCountyAnimalShelter.org.

Why licensing is important

- License tags allow us to contact you as soon as possible--providing you peace of mind, leaving space at the shelter for another animal in need, and saving the community tax-payer money.

- License fees support shelter programs and operations which provides approximately 1,000 animals with food, veterinary care, safe shelter, training, behavior enrichment, foster and adoption services each year.

- License fees support field services and investigations to address loose pets, aggressive dogs, and bite reports.

- License fees allow Animal Services to investigate, seize, and care for animals who are victims of cruelty and neglect.

- Fees support our pet retention programs, including distribution of over 1,000 pounds of pet food from our food bank each month, to help people keep pets in their homes.

- Last year, our redemption rate was over 90 percent for dogs, well above the national average, but only 4 percent for cats. Our goal is to reunite all lost pets with their families.

- If your animal is found injured and wearing its license, it is much easier for us to obtain emergency medical attention for him or her and contact you with the details.

- Identification is critically important for your pet in the event of a manmade or natural disaster.

- If your dog is impounded and is current on its license and altered, then the first $30 impound fee is waived (but if they are impounded again, the second impound fee must be paid).

- License fees are an important way the community supports our policy of not euthanizing for space and finding new homes to as many animals as possible.

Please keep your pets safe with a license, ID tag, and microchip, and remember to search for your lost pet at the Lincoln County Animal Shelter at 510 NE Harney St. in Newport and by calling 541-265-6610.

For more information and tips, visit our web site at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and Like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.

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