Dog owners have been thumbing their noses at the city’s mandatory dog license for decades. Chicago has roughly 500,000 dogs. It sells only 20,072 licenses despite years of threatened crackdowns.Did it ever occur to the city that the majority of dog owners merely forget to send in the application? That enabling them to pay the fee and get the tag when their dogs get their shots might be the answer?
Why, then, did the Daley administration quietly impose a five-fold increase in the annual license fee for dogs not spayed or neutered — from $10 to $50?Good question and why are we not concerned about cats?
“What we want to do is . . . make sure we make every effort to get our animals neutered and spayed so that we don’t have an over-population of dogs. This is a good way to do that,” said License Committee Chairman Eugene Schulter (47th).Don't cats overpopulate as well? What is preventing pet owners from lying about their pets status to pay the cheaper fee?
Three years ago, then-City Clerk James Laski finally got around to tightening the regulatory leash for unlicensed dogs — by using a computer program to cross-check the city’s short list of licensed dogs against Cook County’s 100,000-plus list of Chicago dogs with rabies shots. Laski mailed 3,130 warning letters. One-third of the dog owners who got them promptly bought licenses — even before fines were levied. But, there was a problem. It takes 10 minutes to process and engrave each metal license. “There weren’t enough people to process the applications. They mailed only a few thousand letters. But, when too many came back, they couldn’t keep up with the volume and the warning letters stopped,” said Jay Rowell, deputy director of the clerk’s office.Now why are we hand engraving city licenses? They don't have any personal information on the dog. Seems they could be mass produced, couldn't they? If they needed several categories, such as dangerous dog, neutered or non neutered, couldn't they still be mass produced? Did Toddy's budget cuts affect the number of engravers? Are the engravers city employees or is this contract licensed out? Do the engravers make a living wage?
Now, City Clerk Miguel del Valle has introduced an ordinance that would pave the way for dog licenses to be sold on the Internet and for the city to issue a three-year license, in addition to the annual one.What part of this are you having a hard time with Miguel? Veterinarians should be collecting fees and issueing tags!!!
Rowell said the clerk is also exploring the possibility of shifting to either a sticker to be placed on the back of the rabies tag or to a plastic license. And he’s forming a task force of dog lovers to explore ways to “add value” to the dog license by providing owners with information on dog laws, dog-friendly areas and how to access them.What is the likelyhood that an adhesive sticker will withstand beach sand, rolling and dog play? Go back to the drawing board!
Kent is promising a licensing crackdown, even before new revenue comes rolling in. She has authority to hire a new inspector to add to her team of three.So each inspector will be responsible for 125,000 dogs. They'll be as effective as our city's elevator inspectors. The whole embarrassing story here.