Do you know any Shih Tzus or Yorkies? How about a dog named Bella or Lucky? Chances are good that you do if you live in NYC. New York public radio station WNYC has created a really cool map detailing the most popular dog breeds and names in the Big Apple, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Examining dog licensing records for almost 100,000 dogs, WNYC found the most common pooch on the street is a mixed-breed named either Max or Bella.
While the map is super cool for finding the most common dogs in each NYC neighborhood, the data it uses—provided by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which runs the dog licensing program—also reveals a sad fact: Only one in five dogs in NYC is licensed.
So, what’s the big deal? Well, not only is it illegal to have an unlicensed dog in the city, but licensing helps reunite lost dogs with their pet parents and assists with medical follow-ups for individuals potentially exposed to infected dogs. Plus, the proceeds from registration fees help support New York City’s Animal Care & Control (AC&C).
“If the city encouraged and enforced dog licensing, we would be able to raise more revenue for animals in need,” says Michelle Villagomez, the ASPCA’s NYC Legislative Director.
According to the 2009-2010 American Pet Product Manufacturers Survey, if 50% of NYC dogs were licensed, the City could raise approximately $3.7 million to help animals.
“A well-funded animal population control program would likely reduce the number of dogs and cats euthanized and reduce potential threats to public health and safety,” says Villagomez.
The license fee is $8.50 for an altered dog and $34 for an unaltered dog. The surcharge of $25.50 for unaltered dogs goes to the City Animal Population Control Fund to help AC&C implement a population control program.
If you’re a New Yorker with an unlicensed dog, what are you waiting for? License that pup to help save lives!