Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dog License Campaign: Off to a Good Start

Earlier this year, we faced a dilemma. Because fewer than 40% of dog owners have the required license, our revenue from dog license fees is far too low to pay for the dog warden services those fees are intended to support. Our County general fund then has to subsidize this state mandated service, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars away from other public safety functions. To solve this, our administration initially proposed that we double the fee.

We said no. Rather than doubling the dog license fee on those who are already doing the right thin, we decided to do a little experiment: Keep the fee at $13, engage in much more aggressive marketing, work with pet stores and veterinarians to help spread the word on the dog license requirement and benefit, include mailers in the Cincinnati WaterWorks bills, and create a public-private partnership with Iams, who is now giving away valuable dog merchandise to anyone who purchases the dog license.

I announced this initiative when the license renewal season began on December 1, and even served as the grand marshall of the Reindog Parade, along with Clifford, to help spread the word.

So far (knock on wood), the new approach seems to be working.

These are preliminary numbers, but SPCA Cincinnati, who is leading this effort and also directly sells some of the licenses (people can also buy them directly through the auditor, including renewing your license online if you already have one), reports that between Dec. 1 and Dec. 22, they have sold more than 1,000 licenses. That is a 99% increase from the numbers they saw in same period one year ago! Hopefully others are seeing the same results.

If you are a dog owner, you still have until the end of January to get the license. Go here or here to get it. It's good for your dog (ensures their safe return), it's a good deal (Iam's supplies you get are more valuable than the $13 fee), it helps the County budget, and it's the law.

1 comment:

Tamara Follett said...

FYI -- A new resource with standardized requirements for "Adequacy of Containment", "Multiple Levels of Containment", Canine Risk Assessments, etc. is: www.PreventDogBites.com

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