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Dog License Amnesty Campaign – October 1-31, 2016

As part of our ongoing efforts to increase compliance across the City, we will soon be announcing to the public that during the entire month of October, dog owners with a lapsed or non-existing licence for their pet can purchase one and will not be charged late fees or past years’ fees.

Our communications will include widespread outreach, including:

• Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton Community News and VIEW magazine ads; • Radio ads running on CHML, K-LITE and Y108; • Tweets and posts on the Animal Services Facebook page and the City Twitter account; • Distributing posters to all Municipal Service Centres, City Libraries, Recreation Centres, and Arenas; and, • Media release to local media distribution list.

We would appreciate it if you could take the opportunity to help raise awareness of this Campaign.

Attached is the poster we are displaying across the City that you are welcome to use. Feel free to also re-tweet social media posts during the Campaign and relay the following key messages.

Key Messages:

• The City of Hamilton’s Responsible Animal Ownership By-law requires that all dog owners obtain an annual dog licence before the animal is three months old. The licence must be attached to the dog’s collar. • In October 2016, the City is encouraging pet owners with overdue licences to get in and renew without financial penalty. • This offer is only available for the month of October. • After October 31, Animal Services will enforce a Zero Tolerance Policy for unlicensed dogs, with charges no less than $180 for the pet owner. • There are a number of benefits that come with licensing for the animal, the pet owner, and the community, including:

o Easier way for an owner to find a lost pet; o Allows Animal Services staff to contact an owner quickly in an emergency; o Enables Animal Services to make vital decisions regarding the pet’s care; o Reduces stress on a dog going to the shelter – Animal Services will take the dog directly home for free if wearing its tag; o $1 from each licence goes towards funding Hamilton’s leash-free parks; and, o License fees are also used to care for and feed lost or stray pets and find a home for them.

The City of Hamilton offers various convenient options for purchasing a dog licence, including on-line, in person, and by mail, phone or fax.

During amnesty month, Animal Services shelter (247 Dartnall Road) will be open for extended hours on the weekends – 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (instead of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

For more information on animal licensing, visit or please contact Animal Services Advisor, Karen Edwards at Ext. 1789.

Finally, I wanted to share with you an example of the exceptional work of our Animal Services team, with this story that just appeared on CHCH. It also underscores the importance of having a dog licence:

Stolen dog returned

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