Chicago dog owners are suddenly showing signs of obedience in the wake of the city's promised crackdown on unlicensed pooches.
About 2,200 dog licenses have been purchased since City Hall’s animal control chief put out the word last month that tickets will be issued starting next year to those who don't get them. During the same time period last year 631 dogs were registered, according to Kristine Williams, a spokeswoman for City Clerk Susana Mendoza.
It’s estimated that less than 5 percent of dog owners in Chicago buy the licenses, according to Cherie Travis, executive director of the Animal Care and Control Commission. Fines for not getting the tag range from $30 to $200.
To get a tag, an animal must have been vaccinated for rabies. If the animal is spayed or neutered, the tags cost $5 a year. If not, it costs $50 a year. Seniors pay $2.50 a year for sterilized animals and $5 for those that aren’t.
Based on 2010 census numbers and dog ownership rates, the Anti-Cruelty Society estimates there are more than 580,000 dogs in the city.
Dog registration can be purchased online at chicityclerk.com. Applications can be mailed to owners who call 312-744-DOGS. Registration is also available at clerk’s office locations at 121 N. LaSalle St., 5674 S. Archer Ave. or 5430 W. Gale St.