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County drops online 'convenience fee' for dog license

FILE PHOTO - Washington County Animal Services have removed their $2.49 convenience fee for online dog licensing, the department announced on Wednesday.

Washington County’s pet owners will have a cheaper time licensing their pets from now on. $2.49 cheaper, to be precise.

This week, the county’s Animal Services department announced that it was cutting its online “convenience fees” for dog licensing.

“Washington County was one of the first counties in Oregon to set up an online dog licensing alternative. It was time to modernize our approach to online licensing, and take away the charge,” Deborah Wood, manager of Washington County Animal Services, said in a statement on Wednesday. “We see an increasing number of people licensing online each year, and we are expecting that removing the fee will encourage even more people to use the online option.”

Effective Thursday, the county dropped its $2.49 fee for online licensing.

Under state law, dogs older than six months must be licensed within 30 days of moving to Washington County, or face a $500 fine.

The fees are used to the county’s animal services department to investigate animal neglect and abuse cases and operate the Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter, Wood said.

Licenses for dogs cost $22 a year for spayed and neutered dogs, $17 for dog owners 65 and older.

Dog licenses were created to help keep track rabies vaccinations, Wood said.

“If your dog bites someone and breaks the skin, dogs with current rabies vaccinations face far fewer restrictions and less costs to their owners than dogs that do not have current vaccinations,” Wood said.

Lost dogs wearing their license on their collar are also easier to return to their owners, Wood said. Dogs have a 10 percent chance of being lost in their lifetimes.

“We can often return your dog directly to you without the animal even coming to the shelter.”