BRUCEDALE – Guelph-Eramosa is hoping the on-line sale of dog tags will provide greater convenience for residents, and more compliance with the animal control bylaw.
On May 6 township council approved a committee of the whole recommendation to enter a three-year contract with DocuPet, a firm that will provide a range of services online.
Currently, dog tags are available in person or by mail from the township office. They cost $30 for a fertile dog, $25 for a spayed/neutered dog (prices go up $5 after April 30) and $5 for a replacement tag.
The fees will likely increase to cover new processing costs with the new system.
“Staff will be presenting a report later this year about any necessary increases needed to offset the cost of implementing the DocuPet system,” deputy clerk Amanda Knight told the Advertiser.
The report will be part of a comprehensive review of the dog licensing fees, which has not been done since 2017. Township fees and charges will be examined as part of a review of service efficiencies.
The township will conduct a community awareness program, including door-to-door canvassing and the township’s digital newsletter, website and social media platforms.
DocuPet projects the township will see at least a 50 per cent increase in sales. They will receive a performance fee of 50% of new revenue generated over an established threshold.
In addition to online sales there will be real-time reporting of lost and found animals, automatic renewals, a 24/7 hotline, pet ownership advice and various reward discounts.
“It’s less confusing for the public,” said Mayor Chris White.
The multi-year tags are linked to online pet profiles, frequently leading to a prompt return of lost dogs.
“DocuPet is widely used and recommended by other municipalities in Ontario,” said Knight.
“Staff expect their system will enhance the dog licensing experience for the end user, provide additional incentives for dog owners to license their pets and increase overall efficiencies.”