Dogs, cats and ferrets four months and older are required to be licensed with the Alachua County Animal Services.
The agency has made it more simple and more affordable to be in compliance with the law.
County-issued tags act as identification if a pet is ever lost, and shows proof of vaccination against rabies. The new county regulations now provide two kinds of animal licenses: sterilized and microchipped, or not sterilized and or not microchipped. Renewal will be either $10 or $40 on an annual basis whether one-year or three-year rabies vaccines have been administered.
Those with existing Alachua County animal licenses do not need to renew until their current licenses expire.
Animal services director Ed Williams said that the county will take several measures to notify the community of this new ordinance by verbally speaking to members and sending postcards in the mail.
He said that if a pet is found without a license, pet owners with a limited or fixed income will be given a warning and a grace period of 30 days to be in compliance with the new law. Thirty days is also the amount of time for individuals relocating to Alachua County to take the proper measures.
A failure to comply may result in a citation with fines that could exceed $140.
The Alachua County Animal Services supervisor Jane Grantman hopes that the increased revenue will soon benefit more animals in their care.
Williams, however, said that there is no financial assurance just yet. “We are not counting our chickens before they hatch,” he said.
Alachua County Animal Services also make referrals to low-cost options like free adoption events, Alachua County Humane Society’s vaccine and wellness clinics. Applications are piling up, and residents can get a new pet license at Alachua County Animal Services, the Humane Society, and local veterinarians.