Pet licence changes could bring ‘smart tags,’ fewer renewals and higher fees in Brampton

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Published September 6, 2023 at 12:40 pm

Changes could be coming to the pet licensing program in Brampton that will make registering your furry friends more convenient and help track down a lost pet, but will also cost more money.

The city is looking at revamping pet licensing in Brampton, allowing dog and cat owners to purchase a one- or two-year licence and switching to “smart tags” with a unique identification number that can be loaded with your pet’s information.

Under the city’s current rules, a pet licence is only valid from Jan. 1 through to Dec 31. and must be renewed every calendar year, regardless of the date they are purchased and the cost is not prorated.

The proposed changes would mean pet owners could purchase a longer licence for up to two years with the renewal date set from the time of purchase, cutting down on red tape at City Hall and giving residents more options for renewals.

“This change ensures that residents receive the full value of their purchase and, over time, will spread licence renewal dates throughout the year, eliminating the heavy workload that occurs at the beginning of each year to re-licence all pets,” a report from the city reads.

But the changes would also come with an increase in fees. The annual rate for a dog that has been sterilized and microchipped would increase from $20 per year under the rules to $25 or $40 every two years, while ats that has been sterilized and microchipped would climb to $13 from $10.

In 2022, the city says 4,696 dogs and 973 cats were licenced in Brampton, and should the number of registered pets remain the same under the new rules the city could see a revenue increase between $12,200 and $63,500, depending on the types of licence purchased.

The proposed changes would take effect on Nov. 1 if approved by Brampton City Council.

A pet licence is the Brampton Animal Services’ primary way of returning a lost pet with their owner and the city says some 600 lost pets are reunited with their families every year, and the city said the price “should not be a barrier to obtaining a licence.”

All dogs and cats in Brampton must be registered each year under the city’s animal control bylaws, and Brampton has partnered with local businesses with the BluePaw program to give discounts to responsible pet owners and help promote pet licensing in Brampton.

Pet licensing can be done online, in person, by phone, or through the mail. For full pricing and more details visit www.brampton.ca/animalservices.

The city looked at the pet licensing rates in Mississauga, Vaughan, Oakville, Toronto, Hamilton, Pickering, and Oshawa to develop the new pricing framework and found that Brampton generates the second-least amount of revenue from pet licensing on a per-pet basis.

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