Pet owners in the city of Woodstock are, for the most part, celebrating the discontinuation of dog licences.
“I’ve been waiting for it. I see no sense in it. I’ve never seen sense in it,” George Piemental told CTV News as he visited the Woodstock Dog Park with his four-legged friend, Major.
Effective in 2022, Woodstock will no longer require dog owners to have their pets licensed.
It’s a sign of the times says Tanya Klingenberg, who also visits the dog park.
“There’s so much more technology and ways for owners to track their dogs that it doesn’t really seem necessary anymore.”
Tanya Klingenberg and her dog are seen at the Woodstock Dog Park on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (Sean Irvine /CTV News)
And that’s a key reason why the city is axing the program.
City Clerk Amy Humphries says administration costs combined with modern alternatives for tracking pets convinced the council to end the program.
“We figure that our compliance is about 30 per cent, in terms of the number of dog owners that are purchasing the tag through us. So we are just not seeing those revenues anymore.”
Ending the program will cost the city about $20,000 in net revenue lost.
But dog owners predict they’ll get it back, “Oh please they’ll find a tax grab somewhere else,” stated Brandy Monday.
Humphries believes Woodstock is the largest community in the region to cancel dog licensing.
George Piemental and his dog Major are seen at the Woodstock Dog Park on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (Sean Irvine CTV News)
Interestingly, some other centres have gone the other direction.
In Sarnia, dog licensing was recently expanded to include an online third-party service that helps track dogs.
But back at the Woodstock park, Steve Pavicic says Vader and Kylo don’t need it.
He says they already have two layers of protection, and he’s happy to stop paying for their licence on top of that.
“They’re micro-chipped and they have the collars with the names on it and the phone numbers on the back.”