Indio dog owners have 30 days to comply with licensing law

Indio dog owners have 30 days to comply with licensing law

INDIO, Calif. - Soon, more dog owners in Indio will see signs hanging on their doors reminding them to follow state law to license their pet.

"It's a 30-day notice to comply. They're going to be receiving forms with what they need to do," said Maria Rivera, a supervising office assistant with the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

Licenses have been required with the state since 1993. All dogs four months and older must show proof of vaccination, being micro-chipped and spayed or neutered.

But some Indio residents say for a law that hasn't been enforced in many years, the tactics the county's using are unfair and harsh, targeting low income neighborhoods.

"I know the license inspectors are canvassing the whole area. I'm told they're trying to get everyone in compliance," Rivera said.

A one-year license for a spayed or neutered dog costs $16 dollars. That jumps to $100 for unaltered dogs.

The county says these measures are for the protection of people and their animals. Some dog owners we met think the reminder is a good idea.
"I think it's a great idea and I like the noticing without the fines. You're giving them 30 days without financial penalty," said valley pet owner Mark Harmon.

The county says pet owners can ask for an extension within that 30-day window and assured us they're willing to work with people to find affordable options.

"Most people have more than one animal so as long as they're showing intent to comply we can definitely grant extensions," Rivera said.

If the 30-day window passes the notice becomes a citation with an additional $25 dollar fee. The county says most of the money collected goes directly back to the city of Indio.

"We're trying to make residents aware that it is state law to have a license for a dog and they want to be able to reach out to the community and have everyone in compliance," Rivera said.

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