Allen Animal Control is due to launch its online pet registration portal June 1.
Instead of requiring owners to annually register their dogs, cats and ferrets via mail or in person, Allen’s pet registration online portal will allow owners to register their animals every one to three years, depending on the expiration date of their vaccinations, without paperwork.
Upon registration, each animal will receive a PetHub tag with an ID number and QR code allowing owners to set up an optional online profile for their pet. If a lost pet with a tag is found, all of the animal’s medical data – including their allergies, their vaccination and veterinary history and emergency contacts – is accessible through the QR code, so it can be taken to the proper facility. This information will allow whoever finds the animal to take it to its veterinarian and quickly return it home.
“What we did was we recently signed a contract with PetData, which is a Dallas company,” Allen Animal Control Supervisor Deborah Mitchnick said. “It will allow citizens to create a little profile for their dogs and give as much or as little information as they want, and it allows for multiyear registration, which we haven’t been able to do until now.”
PetData specializes in registering and licensing animals. They primarily work with municipalities, humane societies and animal welfare agencies to improve license compliance on a streamlined, online platform.
“My pets are on it too, so I’m a firm believer in it,” Deputy Chief Ken Myers said. “It’s very easy to use, certainly for the owner. We are able to use PetData to help reunite lost pets with people, and it helps with rabies control, which is our job. Right now, it’s a very manual process folding letters and mailing them out. Having it online allows more men to be on the field and spend more time with the animals.”
Registration fees will vary depending on the sterilization of the pet and duration of registration. Registration fees for sterilized pets range from $10 to $20, and seniors receive a discounted rate of $5 to $12. Registration fees for unsterilized pets will range from $35 to $50. Multiyear registration fees set by PetData are designed to be more cost-effective for pet owners than the annual registration fee.
The City Council passed the ordinance Feb. 26 in addition to a resolution to registration fees allowing multiyear registration based on the duration of the pets’ vaccinations. The resolution will also require forms to define or redefine ambiguous terms more clearly in transference of custody and will charge a $10 fee for the mandatory microchipping of impounded animals.
“We obviously encourage microchipping because it’s a way for us to reunite a pet with its lost owner more conveniently,” Myers said. “We can just scan them and get a number off that microchip, and we know how to link that number with the owner. It is not a city requirement to have, but any pet that is impounded or adopted out of our shelter will be microchipped.”
In-person and mail registration is still available to those who choose to register on paper. The information will still transfer online through PetData and will be linked to the tag issued to the animal.