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New Puppy Check List: Bowl, Bed, Toys…License?

Updated: Feb 9

(All online application fees for dog tags will increase to $15 on June 1, 2024)

So, you’ve brought your adopted bundle of joy home over the holidays…Congratulations! And, thank you for rescuing a dog!

No doubt, you’ve bought everything your puppy needs and you’re determined to make sure he or she gets plenty of exercise, good food, proper vaccinations, and lots of love.

But, are you forgetting something?

Connecticut law requires that puppies be licensed by 6 months of age and within 30 days of ownership and the license must be renewed each year by June 30. Proof of rabies vaccination and spay/neuter certificate is mandatory in order to receive the tags that should be fastened to dog collars. (If you adopted your dog from Where the Love Is, you are good to go: your puppy is already fully vaccinated spayed/neutered and microchipped!)

Many owners think licensing is inconvenient. Or, they don't see the benefits. Perhaps they just don't know the regulations...or simply forget to apply. Whatever the reason, here are the best arguments to license your puppy (beside the law):

  • It's proof that your dog (and others) are vaccinated against rabies;

  • There's a greater chance your dog will be returned if lost (microchips work only if they're registered); and

  • The fees are shared by the municipality and the state to operate animal control shelters and control the state's animal populations.

  • If a city official finds your dog without a license, you can be fined $75.00. 

Your city or town may offer opportunities online for applying and fees, while varying, will be reasonable. Right now, state law requires a $7.00 fee for neutered/spayed dogs and a $12.00 fee for unneutered/spayed dogs.

But the online fee will increase June 1 as a new law goes into effect -- $15.00 per dog regardless of sterilization status, so now is a really good time to get it done. (The new law will also require the state Department of Agriculture to operate a statewide, online dog-license portal beginning in June.)

When you can break away from the adorableness that is your new puppy, make sure to apply for a license. It's certainly one more opportunity to ensure your precious companion's health and safety.

For more information:

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