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Deschutes County commissioners to hold hearing on creating multi-year dog licenses

(Update: Adding video, comments from county chief financial officer. dog owner)

Proposal also would expand fee exemption for assistance animals

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Deschutes County commissioners will hold a public hearing next Wednesday on two proposed changes to the rules for dog licenses – an option to buy a multi-year license and expand a fee exemption for assistance animals.

If the changes are approved, an annual dog license would go from $16 to $22. Seniors will see no increase, as long as their dog is spayed or neutered.

Deschutes County Chief Financial Officer Robert Tintle said Friday the proposed license options arise from county residents' recommendations.

"We've heard from our customers, they would really like an option for a two-year or three-year license," he said. "And that's what our other comparable counties do as well."

The county charges a $30 annual dog license fee for an unaltered animal and $16 for one that has been spayed or neutered. A replacement tag costs $4. The new or renewal licenses can be purchased from the county online. They can also be bought at animal shelters or from participating veterinarians.

Tintle also explained that even though changes are coming, if you have an assistance animal, you won't be charged for renewing an annual license. "So there is no charge for licensing your service animals, but it still does not need to be licensed. It refers specifically to a dog that owned by either a blind or deaf person."

Jakob Bear is a Bend resident and dog owner. He says that after originally licensing his dog through his vet, he had to go back through the county before getting his dog updated shots.

He's hoping the county lets more veterinarian offices allow license purchases on their premises. "I think the county would get a lot more users if they did it that way," he said.

Of the fees paid by city residents, 75% goes to the city they live in, with the other 25% going to the county administrative office that handles dog licensing.

Prices for a 2 or 3-year dog license will be discussed at a county commissioner meeting later this month.   

"And once they're in alignment with that annual date, then they can choose to license their dog. They can continue the one-year option, or you can choose a 2-year or 3-year," Tintle explained.

State law and Deschutes County require dog licenses for dogs over six months, with some exemptions. The owner must provide proof of a rabies vaccination by a licensed veterinarian.

If you'd like to read more about the potential adoption of the new ordinance, you can check it out here.

Article Topic Follows: Deschutes County

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Blake Mayfield

Blake Mayfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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