Benefits of licensing your pet(s)

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SEATTLE — Many cities in Washington require pet owners to license their pets, including Seattle.

Licenses are also required for goats and pot bellied pigs.

The biggest benefit is that it’s easier to be reunited with your pet in case they get lost.

“Even though micro-chipping does help,” said Kristine Zewe, an Underwriting Quality Analyst at PEMCO Insurance. “Pets that don’t have tags are still going to have to visit a shelter before they get micro chipped and you are able to come get them and that can be a pretty traumatic experience for your pet.”

Licensing requirements vary city to city and county to county. Almost all require licensing for dogs and many require it for cats too.

Here are some tips from PEMCO Insurance on licensing your pet.

  • Check your city or county’s website
  • Rabies vaccines are usually required
  • Fees are lower for spayed and neutered animals
  • Licensing improves your odds of getting a lost pet back
  • You’ll avoid fines if your licensed pet is picked up

“Experts estimate that about 10 percent of dogs will end up in a shelter at some point in their life,” said Zewe. “Now some of those are abandoned dogs, but a shocking number are actually pets that got startled and maybe ran away from their owner and then couldn’t find their way back home.

Many places offer the option of renewing licenses in-person, by mail or online.

PEMCO Insurance said it is worth it to license your pet and it’s the law in many places.

Most of the money you pay for licensing goes to support animal services.

Pet licensing in Seattle

Pet licensing in King County

Pet licensing in Snohomish County

Pet licensing in Pierce County






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