“Animals never worry about heaven or hell. Neither do I. Maybe that’s why we get along." -- Charles Bukowski

It’s that time of year to license your pets. On Dec. 1, animal control started selling 2018 licenses. It’s the perfect gift for your four-legged family members. Every pet deserves a little bling in its life, and animal control lives by five simple principles to why you should license your pets.

It is a possible free ride home for your pet. When a pet that is licensed and wearing said license is picked up at large, animal control and the Columbus Police Department will attempt contact with the owners. We will come to your home and call you in an attempt to return your pet before taking it to the shelter. Although we know who the animal belongs to, we have to place it somewhere safe, so if the owner is not home it has to go to the shelter.

Your pet is more likely to get back home. Whether animal control picks your pet up or someone in the public picks it up, your pet is more likely to get home if it is licensed and wearing its tags. Licensed pets are three times more likely to get home. People tend to return animals quicker if they see the animal is tagged.

Your pet will get prompt medical attention. That does not mean we do not get medical attention for unlicensed animals, but vet clinics are more likely to treat a client’s pet than a stray. This would ensure that if picked up injured we can take your pet to its normal vet clinic.

It is the law. Nebraska state statute states that each community has the right to govern pet licensing how they see fit. Columbus has that ordinance. Owners who have failed to license in the past have gotten citations and even spent time in jail for refusal or failure to license their pets. Animal control would rather not have this happen.

Lastly, it ensures your pet is vaccinated against rabies. Nebraska state statute 71-4402 states that all domestic animals in the state are to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. In cases of bites, animal control would have a record on whether the animal is vaccinated or not if the animal is licensed.

Animal licenses can be picked up at animal control, 1462 25th Ave., or many of the vet clinics. Licenses are $13 for spayed or neutered pets and $25 for intact animals. A current rabies vaccination certificate is needed when coming to animal control.

Animal control also offers lifetime licenses. The pet must be spayed or neutered and microchipped to get these tags. They are good for the lifetime of your pet. These prices are $50 for pets under the age of 5 and $100 for pets over the age of 5. This form of licensing started last January and has been quite popular. After getting the license, all the owner will have to do is have their vet fax rabies information after each booster is given. Animal control will enter it into the database and it’s just that simple.

Columbus Animal Control Lead Officer Shawn Flowers can be reached at sflowers@columbusne.us or 402-564-8839.

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