Special deals for dogs and cats available May 5-12 at RP shelter
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By Mickey Zeldes   April 26, 2013 12:00 am

We are celebrating national Be Kind to Animals Week by offering our community an opportunity to bring their pets up to compliance with their license requirement without a penalty.  This year, Be Kind to Animals Week (May 5-12) is also Animal License Amnesty Week – at least here in Rohnert Park.

Take advantage of this offer and get your dog and cat licensed without any late penalties.  Rohnert Park requires all dogs and cats over the age of 4 months be licensed (yes, even indoor cats).  The regular license fee for an altered pet is just $12 – the lowest in the County – and for unaltered pets it is $30.

Why should you bother to license your pet?  There are several reasons to do it – not the least of which is because it is the law.  More practically, licenses serve as a form of identification that enables pets to be returned home if they become lost.  It also serves as a way to ensure the vast majority of pet animals are vaccinated against rabies because a current vaccination is a prerequisite for the registration process.  This protects not only your pet but also other animals and any person that may be bitten in our community because rabies is transmittable to humans and is still not curable.  In case you don’t think rabies is a current threat, you should know that just a few months ago an unvaccinated pet cat in Glen Ellen was found to have contracted rabies, and his whole family plus everyone at the vet clinic that treated him had to undergo the series of post-exposure vaccines.  Pretty scary!

Purchasing a license also helps fund animal services in our community.  We have a beautiful, modern shelter where your pet would be housed were he ever found wandering lost and had to wait for you to reclaim him.  Keeping this shelter open is dependent on funding and therefore your license fees.  There is a formula that figures out the number of pets per household, and it is estimated Rohnert Park has more than 10,000 dogs and 11,000 cats.  If all of them were licensed at the lower fixed animal rate of $12, it would raise more than $250,000 annually, which would cover most of our budget and ensure continued high quality sheltering services for our community.

If your pet does not have a current rabies vaccination, VIP will be holding a special low cost vaccination clinic at the RP Animal Shelter on Wednesday, May 8 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at which rabies shots will be available for just $6.  We will also be offering free microchips during the whole amnesty week, so bring your dog or cat along for the ride.

Penalties for late licenses are $15 and accumulate for each year you neglect to register your pet.  All late fees will be waived for this week only in an effort to get more animals current on their rabies and license requirements.  Take advantage of this generous offer and stop by RP City Hall, 49er Pet Store or the RP Animal Shelter sometime during May 5-12 to update your pets’ licenses.  Happy Be Kind to Animals Week. 

Upcoming events: Show us that you’re our fan on Facebook and get a free bag of Milkbone samples and a bone-shaped squeaky toy!  Follow us on Facebook for adoption follow-up stories, help promote adoption animals, and hear about our special events.

Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at mzeldes@rpcity.org.

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