Did you know that your pet’s Osceola County license tag may be his Free Ride Home?
We receive many lost pet reports every day at Animal Services. We certainly understand that sometimes things happen and pets get loose. What is difficult to understand is why so many pets are not wearing County license tags? or any form of identification? Many pets that have microchips don’t track to an owner because contact information hasn’t been kept current.
Nationally, only 5% of lost pets that are not wearing current identification get back home. In Osceola County, only 20% of all dogs that come to us are reclaimed by their owner. Less than 2% of the cats that come to us go back to their home. One dog in 5 gets back home and 2 cats in 100 are reunited with their owners.
If you have pets, we implore of you to put identification on them, preferably a County license tag, which is required. Please consider the following benefits of putting a county tag on your pet’s collar or harness and keeping it there at all times.
1. Pets that are loose, first time violation, and not posing an immediate threat to public safety will get a Free Ride Home if the animal is wearing a current county tag. Officers attempt to contact owners to ensure they are home and will deliver your dog or cat to your doorstep free of charge. If this is the first time your pet has gotten loose, there will be no citations or other penalties for the violation.
2. Animal Services maintains the database for rabies vaccination and Osceola County licenses. That means that Animal Services Officers have 24/7 access to owner information. This is unlike other tags you may have acquired.
3. Pets that come to the shelter and are wearing valid identification (must track to current owner information), are held two additional days for owner reclaim and we work hard to locate owners so they can be reunited with their pets.
4. Officers can determine rabies vaccination status of a pet from the information tracked through the tag number. This is particularly important when people are bitten by pets. Pets that are current on rabies vaccinations “may” be allowed a home quarantine depending on the circumstances.
5. If a citizen finds your pet and calls us with the tag number, we will attempt to contact you to avoid bringing the pet into the shelter.
Osceola County’s license tag fees are among the lowest in the State of Florida. It only costs $6.00 for a one year license for a neutered pet and $12.00 for an intact pet. We also recognize the 3 year rabies vaccination and issue 3 year licenses accordingly. A neutered pet 3 year license is only $12.00 and a 3 year license for an intact pet is only $24.00.
We have an on-call Animal Services Officer available during off hours including nights, holidays, and weekends. That Officer will respond to emergency calls including injured animals. Pets wearing County ID have a huge benefit over other pets since the Officer has access to owner information any time.
This program only works if you have gone to your veterinarian to get the required rabies vaccination and have obtained and placed on your pet’s collar the County tag. This is one of the easiest and least expensive things you can do for your pet to help ensure his safety.