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Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: December 27, 2016
New Castle, DE (Dec. 27, 2016) - The Division of Public Health (DPH) Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) is announcing several changes to dog licensing for 2017 that will benefit Delaware residents. Senior citizens (65+) who own dogs will now be offered a reduced rate for dogs that have been spayed or neutered. The rate is $7 annually, a 30 percent reduction on the regular price of $10 for spayed or neutered dogs. Licenses for unaltered dogs remain $15 per year for all applicants.
License terms have also changed for the better. Licenses are now valid for one year from date of purchase, and no longer based on calendar year. This means no matter when the license is purchased, it will be valid for 12 months. Two and three-year licenses are also available.
"We are working hard to implement improvements that will make it easier for dog owners to license their pets," said OAW Interim Director Christina Motoyoshi. "Reducing the cost for seniors who own a spayed or neutered pet and are often on fixed incomes, and ensuring licenses are valid for a minimum of 12 months are two customer friendly changes that we hope will result in an increase in licensed animals." In August, OAW added three new locations to its list retail licensing partners statewide where licenses can be purchased in person.
Residents may also purchase dog licenses online at www.petdata.com/delaware or through the mail by calling 1-877-730-6347 for an application.
The OAW reminds dog owners that dog licenses are required by state law for all dogs 6 months of age or older. Proof of current rabies vaccination is required to obtain a license. Rabies vaccinations are mandatory for dogs, cats and ferrets 6 months of age and older. Those who fail to license their dogs face fines of $50 or more.
"There are still many pet owners who don't know that licensing is required for dogs," Motoyoshi said. "We are working hard to increase awareness while making the process as easy as possible for them." Delaware Animal Services (DAS) Chief Mark Tobin said there are several benefits to licensing dogs.
"Licensing your dog ensures that if they become lost and are picked up by our officers, they will immediately be brought home," Tobin said. "It is also much easier and cheaper than paying fines if you're caught with an unlicensed dog.'
According to the OAW, licensing lets people know your dog has been vaccinated against rabies. The license fees support the efforts of DAS, the OAW enforcement unit, which works to reunite lost animals with their owners, ensures care and placement of stray animals, and enhances public safety.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.