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Hamilton Animal Services Offering Dog Licence Amnesty in October

Hamilton, ON – September 29, 2016 – The City of Hamilton Animal Services today announced that during the entire month of October, dog owners who have a lapsed or non-existing licence for their pet can purchase one and will not be charged late fees or past years’ fees.

Hamilton Animal Services estimates there are approximately 70,000 dogs across Hamilton; however, only 50% are properly licensed. Through a number of proactive measures, such as the door-to-door dog licensing education campaign and the amnesty program, the City aims to increase compliance to 90% within a couple of years.

Dog Licence Amnesty Month - October 1 to 31. Purchase a dog licence and no late fees for past years will apply.Licence Benefits

The City of Hamilton’s Responsible Animal Ownership By-law requires that all dog owners obtain an annual dog licence before the animal is three months old. The licence must be attached to the dog's collar.

A dog licence comes with benefits for the animal, the pet owner, and the community:

  • Provides an easier way for an owner to find a lost pet
  • Allows Animal Services staff to contact an owner quickly in an emergency
  • Enables Animal Services to make vital decisions regarding the pet’s care
  • Reduces stress on a dog going to the shelter – Animal Services will take the dog directly home for free if wearing its tag
  • $1 from each licence goes towards funding Hamilton’s leash-free parks
  • Licence fees are also used to care for and feed lost or stray pets, and find a home for them

Residents who own, have custody of, or otherwise keep a dog without a licence may be charged a fine of no less than $180.

The City of Hamilton offers various convenient options for purchasing a dog licence, including online, in person, and by mail, phone or fax.

During amnesty month, Animal Services shelter located at 247 Dartnall Road will be open for extended hours on the weekends – 9 am to 3 pm (instead of 10 am to 2 pm).

For more information on animal licensing, visit

Animal Services also has a Facebook page at