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License pets before fireworks send them running

Give them a “ticket home,” prevent $100 fine


Paul Scarpelli, Animal Protection and Control
Phone: (360) 397-2375 ext. 4705

Vancouver, WA – Licensing your pets anytime helps ensure you will be reunited with them if they become lost. But licensing them before the noisy Fourth of July fireworks season is especially important. To make it easier, applications will be available at many local firework stands starting June 28.

More dogs and cats end up in animal shelters just before and after Independence Day celebrations than any other time of the year. Cats and dogs have extremely good hearing and may be frightened by loud noises, even those far away. In panic or confusion caused by exploding fireworks, they may try to escape enclosures, dig under fences, chew through leashes and run from home.

Only 17 percent of lost pets without licenses return to their owners. But the rate for pets wearing collars with license tags is almost 80 percent. Information on license tags helps Animal Control or shelter staff quickly notify owners. A license also means you have more time to claim your pet before its released for adoption.

All dogs and cats more than eight weeks old must be licensed in Clark County. Licenses are free until the animal is six months old. Licenses for spayed or neutered pets and those owned by seniors have reduced rates.

License applications will be available at many firework stands in Clark County, as well as the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. For a list of other locations, please call (360) 397-2488 or visit

The fine for an unlicensed dog or cat is $100.

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