It’s time to get your dog and cat licenses

We’re all business this week because I need to remind you that it’s time to get or renew your pet’s licenses. Check with the dog registrar’s office at your municipal building for the cutoff date; some municipalities require that you register by March 1 and others by April 1. Some towns require both cats and dogs to be registered. Fees for licenses vary from town to town and are higher for unaltered pets. You should be able to find all the information on your municipal website.

Late fees also vary from as little as $3 to as much as $50, so make sure you are familiar with your city or township regulations. You can receive a summons for an unlicensed pet and the fines start at $100, so best to keep things up-to-date.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind that will help streamline things when you go to register. Most, if not all, townships do not take cash, so you will need a check or money order to pay. Also, your pet’s rabies vaccine cannot expire before Nov. 1 of 2018, or you will not be permitted to get the license without updating the vaccine.

 On a good note, there are free rabies clinics available throughout Cumberland County. There’s one in Vineland this coming Saturday, Feb. 17, and then again on March 17. The last clinic of the season is March 24 in Hopewell Township. You can go to the website for the Cumberland County Health Department for other clinics around the county.

If you are planning on taking advantage of the free clinics, make sure you take precautionary steps to keep you, your pet, the people and animals around you, safe. Pets at events like these are anxious and may exhibit aggressive or unusual behaviors while waiting in line. Dogs should be on a short leash at all times – and by short, I mean within 2 feet of you. If you have a small dog, you may want to keep him in your arms or in a carrier. Cats should ALWAYS be in a carrier – absolutely no exceptions! Too many times I have seen cats escape from the arms of their owners because they are panicked by the presence of all the other animals and people in line at the clinics. Be alert at all times. If at all possible, leave the kids at home; if they must accompany you, never allow your child to handle your dog’s leash.

So, that business over with, let me remind you that Valentine’s Day is Wednesday and we have lots of sweethearts here at the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter that are waiting to show you some love! We have kittens, which we don’t normally have this time of year, along with some great adult cats who would be great to snuggle up with on these cold, damp February days. The dog kennels are full – again, a little unusual for this time of year – of love bugs who really need to get out of those kennels and into a nice, cozy living room. Even if you can’t adopt right now, come in and visit our “Kissing Booth” for some special smooches from our pooches!

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