Callander’s council is considering removing the current annual pet tag program for a lifetime tag option. That lifetime refers to the pet’s, not the owner’s, and municipal staff feel it’s a way to cut administrative costs and make life easier for pet people.
“The current yearly model has raised some concerns among residents about ease of use and expense,” staff explained in a report to council. A new plan could assuage these concerns.
East year, the Municipality spends $120 dollars to buy yearly animal tags. The minimum order is 200 tags, and many of these must be thrown out at the end of the year, as each is stamped with the year of issue. Usually, staff noted, between 50 to 100 are disposed of.
In the past few years, 105 tags have been issued annually, with 44 of those sold at the office. The rest are usually sold online, which results in postage expenses for each tag. Staff estimate that processing each tag takes between 10 and 20 minutes, so the time spent on the task adds up.
The average annual revenue from selling yearly tags is $1,800, and this was averaged from 2020 to 2022. With lifetime tags, staff estimate “less revenue coming in, but there will also be less administrative hours spent processing applications.”
Currently, the annual fee to tag Rex the dog or Mitzy the cat is either $15 or $20 dollars. Replacement tags are $5. Staff propose a lifetime tag would go for $45 per neutered pet and $55 for the un-neutered. If Rex or Mitzy live to see their third birthdays, the savings will begin.
Other municipalities charge between $58 to $90 for a lifetime tag, staff discovered in their research.
With lifetime tags, the need for quality tags becomes paramount. Staff have sourced some stainless-steel tags your pets can wear for life that come in boxes of 200 and cost about $200.
The issue will return to council. At that time, councillors will decide which direction to pursue, and if adopted, decide what the price will be for lifetime tags.
“A one-time purchase of a lifetime tag is more convenient, more economical and ensures ongoing compliance,” staff explained, because sometimes when the calendar turns into a new year, many pet owners simply forget to renew licences.
A lifetime tag will remove that burden, reduce waste, and reduce costs for the municipality, staff emphasized.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca