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Bradford West Gwillimbury

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​​Dog Licensing FAQ

My dog has an old BWG tag. Why do I need a new one?

The dog tag process in BWG is annual, so you need a new tag/licence each year. This year's tags say "2016" and have a phone number someone can call if they find your dog.

Some municipalities offer a lifetime tag. Why doesn't BWG?

The annual process ensures our information on your pet is always up-to-date. Lifetime tags - like microchips - are useless if the pet owner moves or changes their phone number and doesn't tell us. The annual fee also enables us to offer animal control services without impacting property taxes.

Why do I need a Town tag? Isn't my own tag/microchip good enough?

There are three ways that licensing your dog is beneficial to pets, pet owners and the entire community.

The tag:

The tag helps quickly reunite you with your pet without the animal having to go to a pound or shelter, or be looked after by whoever found it. If your dog has a Town tag, a phone call either to the Town Administration Office (905-775-5366) or K9 Animal Control (1-855-898-8605) allows an officer to collect the animal and return it to you immediately. Unlike a tag with your name and address, the finder is not responsible for tracking you down, and your personal information is protected. Unlike a microchip, the information is updated annually, and the animal does not have to go to a vet to be identified.

The fee:

The fee helps pay for variety of animal-related services from our service provider. Animal Control Officers:

  • respond to calls from concerned residents, including those who have lost or found a pet or who have been bitten by a domestic animal
  • patrol for dogs that are at large and/or in distress, and take them for veterinary care if required
  • rescue sick, injured and stray cats and other domestic animals
  • maintain a Facebook page to reunite pets with owners
  • manage a shelter to find families for animals that are stray or unclaimed

The requirements:

​The licensing requirements help protect people and animals in the community by encouraging pet owners to keep their animals healthy and to reduce overpopulation. Dogs must be vaccinated in order to be licensed, helping to prevent the spread of rabies. There is a reduced fee to license a spayed/neutered dog and there is a limit on the number of dogs permitted per household. If a dog bites a person or another pet, the tag can be used by Enforcement Officers to locate the owners and to access vaccination information.

​While the revenue from dog tags does not completely cover all of the animal services offered in BWG, by sharing the costs with pet owners the Town can reduce the impact on property taxes.​