Cat and dog owners will soon be able to register their pets again.
Over the past few months, the Spokane Regional Animal Care Service has moved its cat and dog data into a new licensing system.
This transfer of data forced SCRAPS to temporarily cease issuing licenses, except in an emergency. The ministry postponed most license applications and renewals.
“For those whose license has been postponed, notice of available licensing services will be sent as soon as our new (licensing system) is fully operational,” SCRAPS Director Lindsey Soffes said in an email. “No late fees will be attached.”
Soffes wrote that the new licensing system should be ready in about a week.
There are a few important reasons Spokane County pet owners allow their cats and dogs.
On the one hand, it is required by law. Pet owners can be fined up to $200 if SCRAPS finds their pet without a license.
Licensing fees, which range from $18 for a neutered cat to $53 for an unsterilized dog, cover about 25% of SCRAPS’ annual budget. One of the department’s main jobs is to operate animal shelters, so licensing fees effectively pay for housing homeless animals.
Although it was not mandatory, owners are encouraged to allow their pets.
SCRAPS estimates that only 12% of pet owners in the county go through the required licensing process, but the department has a better chance of identifying pets and bringing them home if they’ve been tagged.