With dogs out and about, enjoying the beautiful fall weather with their owners last week at Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore, Town of Hempstead officials announced a new program that’ll make it easier to make sure pups are licensed.
“Our town clerk has come up with a really great initiative, thinking out of the box,” Town Supervisor Don Clavin said. “It’s something that is forward thinking, that is using technology, to really make it easier for residents to do things.”
Residents with dogs used to have to go to Town Hall, bring and fill out paperwork, and pay a small fee in person in order to license their dog — something that is required by law in New York, not only the Town of Hempstead. Now, dog owners can simply do this online, making it more convenient, as well as helping the town assure that the pets are licensed.
“We know everybody’s exceedingly busy these days, everybody’s working, they’re doing a million different things,” Town Clerk Kate Murray said. “So in effort to make this aspect of the dog licensing program more convenient for our residents, we did something that we did with our commute parking, license and sticker a couple years ago.”
Murray said the online dog licensing program had a soft roll out, to work out any issues, and was happy to report they’ve already seen an increase in license applications coming in.
All dogs ages four months and older must be licensed. To license an unneutered male or unspayed female, the application costs $18. Neutered and spayed dogs cost $9. A valid veterinarian certificate is needed for proof, as well as proof that the dog received its rabies inoculation. Renewals must be done annually.
Murray said licensing dogs is important, because all dogs are issued a unique identification number, attached to the owner’s phone number.
“It can help reunite dogs who get lost, who somehow get away from their pet owners,” she said. “No other dog gets the same number.”
The proof that the dog has a rabies vaccination is “exceedingly important,” Murray said, ensuring the safety of both dogs — and humans.
“We are here to just let all of our residents know and encourage them to apply for that dog license online,” she said. “It’s a very, very small fee to obtain the license, but it will be a great degree of comfort to not only the pet owners, but everyone else in the neighborhood.”
Town Councilman Chris Carini, who was at Newbridge, with his dog, Molly, agreed the online program was great idea.
“It’s very important,” he said. “If (Molly) ever gets lost, I want to make sure she’s returned to me. And like (Murray) said, I’ll ensure she’s up to date (on vaccines). I encourage all dog owners to get out there, sign up for the program.”
To apply for a dog license online, visit HempsteadNY.gov/177/Licenses-Permits. Aside from Newbridge Road Park, the town maintains two additional dog runs in Baldwin Park and Oceanside Park. Visit HempsteadNY.gov/269/Dog-Parks for addresses and more information