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As of January 1, 2011 the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets no longer provides dog tags, issues license renewals or maintains dog licensing data. Municipalities currently authorized to issue dog licenses will assume the dog licensing functions.

Each dog is assigned an official, permanent identification number on a metal ID tag to be attached to the dog’s collar at all times. Dog licenses are to be renewed yearly and will expire at the end of the month from the date of issue. A yearly reminder will be mailed by the City Clerk’s office approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the dog’s license renewal date. When renewing a license by mail, the appropriate fee and documentation must accompany the form. The dog license fee is NON-REFUNDABLE once a license has been issued/validated.

No license shall be transferrable. A license cannot be transferred to another dog. The original tag issued for a dog shall remain the same for the life of the dog as long as the dog is still in possession of its tag. If the tag has been lost, a new tag will be issued for $3.00.

DOG LICENSING EXCEPTIONS:
Guide dogs, war dogs, hearing dogs, police work dogs, service dogs, working search dogs, detection dogs or therapy dogs; such as a training certificate, etc. for licenses.

WHY LICENSE YOUR DOG?
New York State law requires that all dogs 4 months of age or older must be licensed. Licensing your dog(s) is important to animal control and protection of the public's health and safety. Dog Licensing information assists in the medical follow-up of persons exposed to potentially infected dogs. Licensing is also beneficial for lost or stolen dogs by helping to reunite them with their owners.

By municipalities enforcing the NYS dog licensing law, it assists with the spay/neuter surcharge mandated by the State and reduces the stray animal population and the chance that humans will become sick or injured from contact with potentially infected stray dogs or cats.

LICENSING FEES:
-For each spayed/neutered dog the cost is $15.00 ($1.00 is applied to NYS animal Population Control Fund Surcharge).
-For each unspayed/unneutered dog the cost is $20.00 ($3.00 applied to NYS animal Population Control Fund Surcharge).

The Dog Warden/Animal Control Officer or any Police Officer shall seize any dog found running at large withing the City. Every dog so seized shall be properly fed and cared for at the expense of the City until disposition of such dog is made. If the seized dog bears a license tag, the Dog Warden/Animal Control Officer or Police Officer seizing such dog shall ascertain the owner of the dog and shall give him immediate notice of such seizure by personally serving such owner, or an adult member of such owner's family with a written notice stating that the dog has been seized and will be destroyed.

The owner of any dog impounded by the City of Rensselaer shall be entitled to redeem within five (5) business days provided that the owner produces proof the dog is licensed and pays all expenses for feeding, boarding shots and any other medical expenses incurred due to the seizure. Also a fee of $20.00 for the first impoundment, with a $3.00 fee for each additional twenty-four (24) hour period; a fee of $30.00 for the second impoundment; and a fee of $40.00 for a third and each subsequent impoundment.

HOW TO LICENSE YOUR DOG:
To apply for a dog license in the City of Rensselaer, you must appear in person to the City Clerk's Office, located in Rensselaer City Hall, 62 Washington Street, Rensselaer, NY 12144 (City of Rensselaer Residents ONLY) and provide the following documentation.
-Proof of an updated rabies vaccination signed by a licensed veterinarian
-A spay/neuter certificate proving that the dog has been altered unless the Clerk already has this information on file.

It is the owner's responsibility to notify the City Clerk's Office within ten (10) days of discovery of the following changes occurring:
-Change of ownership
-If the owner has changed addresses
-If the dog has been lost or stolen
-If the dog dies.