Only 42 per cent of the 1,980 dogs in the township are licensed
A licence is valid for the calendar year in which it was issued, and owners are required to renew their dog’s (dogs’) licence(s) and pay the associated fee of $15 for the first dog and $25 each for two or more dogs on an annual basis.
In his information report, Mr. Poupart stated that township residents may not be obtaining the required licence for a number of reasons, including the belief “that there is limited benefit for the cost,” that they feel the fee is “a cash grab” for the municipality, that dog owners may be unaware of the requirement of obtaining a licence, and that owners may prefer to obtain a licence online.
The report explains that the township “has implemented a number of ways” to apply and pay for a dog licence, among them: allowing residents to purchase licences at one of four local retail outlets in the township; as well as at the township office in Lancaster and through an annual door-to-door sales campaign. Snail mail is also an option. Currently, online purchases are not offered.
Mr. Poupart’s ongoing review comes on the heels of comments made by Coun. Lyle Warden wondered whether township staff could look into ways to “streamline” the existing licensing program.
Among the options Mr. Poupart has suggested for revamping the current system are the implementation of a lifetime or one-time licence purchase requirement, or eliminating the dog licensing program altogether.
Another possibility involves outsourcing the service to the private sector – similar to what has been done in the cities of Brockville and Kingston, as well as the Municipality of Clarington (in the Durham Region).
Mr. Poupart’s report adds that administration will take another look at the existing dog licensing program this fall, and “present one or more recommendations to council” in a future staff report later this year, meaning any changes wouldn’t likely come into effect until 2019.
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