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City To Begin Cracking Down On Unlicensed Dogs Next Year

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CHICAGO (CBS) – If your dog doesn’t have a city license – a dog tag – and you live in Chicago, you might end up paying a fine after the first of the year.

As CBS2’s Mike Parker reports, Chicago is home to somewhere between 200,000 and 500,000 dogs. The city says fewer than 30,000 are licensed by the city.

City ordinance requires that every dog should have one of those little official tags.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

Several dog owners in the West Loop on Tuesday said they are okay with the ordinance, which has been on the books for years, but was rarely enforced.

Melissa Driscoll said she thinks “It’s something we should do, to be responsible dog owners, to register them with the city.”

“Everyone who’s a dog owner will think it’s a good policy,” said Gigi Rozsypal alongside her two golden retrievers.

The city is about to mount a big push to get every dog a tag. The price is $5 for spayed or neutered animals, $50 if they’re not sterilized. Seniors pay only $2.50 for spayed or neutered dogs, $5 for unsterilized dogs

Cherie Travis, executive director of Chicago’s Animal Care and Control Center, said, “We want people to get the dog license and ticketing will only be something we’ll use down the road.”

That would mean fines for the owners of unlicensed pooches, ranging from $50 to $300.

One West Side man, who admitted his two dogs are without tags, called the plan “Obviously absurd. Just the manpower they would spend on that is ridiculous, considering we have other important issues in the neighborhood, such as crime.”

Total up the licensing fees and the fines, and it is clear the new policy has the potential to bring in millions in added revenue to the city every year.

The effort to get all dogs registered will begin shortly after the New Year begins with a three-month education campaign urging dog owners to get licenses.

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