The Lewiston City Clerk’s Department is reminding all Lewiston dog owners that the one-month grace period for licensing their pets will expire Jan. 31. Per state law, a dog’s license expires Dec. 31 of each year, and a $25 state late fine will be added to each license for all dogs licensed after Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023.
According to the City Clerk’s Office, only about seventy percent of the dogs that were licensed in 2022 have been re-licensed for the new year.
“We do not want our residents to have to pay the $25 late fine, but it is a state requirement. In Nov., we sent letters to all owners of dogs licensed in 2022 to remind them that the licenses expire Dec. 31 and the late fine is effective Feb. 1," said City Clerk Kathy Montejo.
Dog license fees are $11 for a male or female dog and $6 for a spayed or neutered animal, which means the late fine is more than the cost of the license itself.
“We have over 800 dogs that still need to be re-licensed,” said Montejo, “which means that we will be doing a lot of dog licensing during the next month, before the Jan. 31 late fine begins, or many of our residents will have to pay the state-mandated late fee.” Per state requirements, the late fine is assessed per dog and not per household.
Many dog owners may not have re-licensed their pet because they may have misplaced the animal’s rabies certificate, which is required to be shown at the time of licensing. Pet owners should contact their veterinarian’s office to request a duplicate copy of the rabies certificate if they cannot locate their copy.
As a convenience, dog owners may mail in their license renewal information, and the tag for the new year will be mailed back to the owner. The dog owner should mail a copy of the rabies certificate, along with the dog’s name; the owner’s name, address, phone number; and a check payable to the City of Lewiston for the correct amount. Residents may also register their dog’s license online by visiting the City’s website: www.lewistonmaine.gov/licenseyourdog.
Rabies is a serious problem in the State of Maine. Residents are urged to take the time to protect their pet against this deadly virus. If an animal is suspected of having rabies, it is quarantined. If during this time, the signs of rabies still appear, the only way to test an animal for rabies is to euthanize the animal. Dog licensing ensures rabies vaccination which protects the health of your pet.
The City Clerk’s Department has office hours on Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM. Questions can be directed to the City Clerk’s Department at 513-3124.