“Of all the taxes and fees we have to pay, pet licensing is the stupidest one of them all,” said Dori. “But if you don’t get those pet licenses, big penalties.”
Many people think they won’t get caught, but if you’ve seen someone around your neighborhood peering through windows and into backyards, it might be someone getting ready to bust you for not having a licensed pet.
One of Dori’s neighbors experienced this firsthand.
“It turns out the person looking in the window was from King County Animal Control,” said Dori. “They were going house to house to see if all the pets were licensed, and they were peering in the window to see if my neighbor had a dog or a cat.”
Those fees can get up to $125 per animal. Late fees for delinquent licenses add up quickly at $15 per year. And those fees still count for indoor-only animals like house cats.
Dori thinks that if your pet is on your property, the city shouldn’t be able to do anything. He said it’s like getting dinged for not having a sofa license or a fridge license.
Licensing cars makes sense because they wear on public roads. But on-leash dogs walking down city streets don’t exactly crack sidewalks.
Seattle Animal Shelter director Don Johnson said that requiring pet licenses is necessary because makes it easier to reunite a lost animal with their owners.
But now that most pets are micro-chipped with identifying information or have stamped tags, Dori thinks the responsibility should be on pet owners to keep that information up to date.
Others argue that it tracks how many dogs are in one house to prevent mistreatment and dog fighting.
But Dori still thinks it’s a ripoff, taking taxpayer money without providing a solid service – that pet owners don’t do themselves – in return.
“This is nothing but the most shameless of money grabs,” said Dori.
Crystal Mullins: Its stupid. I could see if the cost involved chipping the animal so we can find the owner if it gets lost or attacks someone but otherwise what are you paying for? Are they going to ask ‘excuse me but is this pet a viscious beast?’ Or ‘are you going to let it roam unattended?’ Another way to get money that the government won’t use wisely
Judy Minor: It’s just another way to get your money. Our cat was an inside cat. Still got bills every year for licence.
Esther Chilcutt: 21 hours to respond to my reporting a found pet – it’s a scam. If my pet is spayed, vaccinated and micro chipped with a collar that has a working phone number vs the busy signal I got for four hours calling the King County tag number.
Matt Fraser: We can’t find the money to update our infrastructure, but we have plenty of money to pay people, who most likely have benefits, to act like the pet gestapo. Anyone who does this job should be embarrassed as they are a leech on the hindquarters of society.
Tricia Inman-Caldwell: I would rather see them use the money they are spending on snooping into people’s yards on something more useful like getting the coyotes and other wild animals out of the city that are killing our domestic licensed animals. An indoor pet is just that and should not require a license.
David Carnahan: I have never understood registering pets. Make in optional.