With the arrival of a new year, Fido needs a new dog license.

Clatsop County Animal Control is now selling dog licenses that are good for either one year or three years. Dogs are issued a permanent tag that has the identification number and the address and phone number for the county animal shelter. Instead of buying a new tag each year, pet owners keep the same tag and mail in a renewal fee.

All Clatsop County residents are required by law to license their dogs. Residents of Seaside and Gearhart must license their dogs through their local police departments.

"Licensing your dog isn't just the law, it's a very good idea," said Animal Control Supervisor Steve Hildreth. "If your dog is lost and turned in to us, the license lets us know that your pet isn't a homeless stray and helps us contact you and reunite you with your pet."

The shelter keeps a list of tag numbers and owner's addresses and phone numbers. Owners can call in to update the information if they move.

Pet license fees help pay for investigations of animal cruelty, neglect, abuse and abandonment cases, enables animal control to protect neighborhoods from dangerous dogs, investigate dog bites, and for the care and adoption efforts for homeless dogs and cats at the shelter.

A license is required for any dog that has a set of permanent canine teeth or is six months old, whichever comes first; within 30 days after acquisition; or within 60 days after new residents move into Clatsop County.

A rabies inoculation certificate, good for at least the first six months of the time of the license, is required.

A license costs $15 for one year or $40 for three years for a neutered dog. A license for a fertile dog runs $30 for one year or $90 for three years. Residents 65 or older can qualify for a senior discount of $10 for one year or $25 for three years. The dog must be neutered. There are no discounts for multiple or fertile dogs. For altered dogs, the spay or neuter certificate or a written statement from a veterinarian is required.

Current licenses expire one year from the month of purchase. Owners have until the last day of that month to renew without a late penalty.

Licenses can be purchased in person or through mail from the Animal Shelter, 1315 S.E. 19th St., Warrenton. If mailing in a license application, include copies of the rabies certificate and a statement from the veterinarian confirming if the dog is neutered.

Licenses can also be purchased in person from Clatsop County Health and Human Services and the Clatsop County Clerk's Office, 820 Exchange St., or from several vendors around the county, including: Astoria Animal Hospital, Bayshore Animal Hospital, Cannon Beach City Hall, Remensnyder Pet Clinic, Riverside Pet Supply, Papa Jack's and Granny Patti.

New license forms are also available on line at (www.co.clatsop.or.us )

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