raskc-pet-licensePart of being a responsible pet owner is making sure your cat or dog is properly licensed. Not only is it the law, it’s just the right thing to do. Pet license fees pay for all the services RASKC provides, including sheltering, our very successful pet adoption and fostering programs, and investigating cases of animal cruelty and neglect. In all, RASKC provides animal care and control services for more than one million residents of King County, located in 25 cities and the unincorporated areas. It’s a big job, but one that we’re proud to do.

Through an industry standard formula developed by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there are an estimated 475,000 cats and dogs in the RASKC service area. However, only about 109,000 pets are licensed with RASKC, or about 23 percent. So, to remind pet owners of the benefits and requirements of pet licensing, RASKC runs a robust community outreach program.

One way we do this is through our door-to-door education and outreach initiative that runs during the spring, summer, and fall. You may have seen our representatives out in your neighborhood.

We also work with a local direct mail marketing company to reach out to possible pet owners. The firm compiles targeted mailing lists based on consumer data collected from retailers, among other sources, then uses those lists to send information about RASKC services and pet licensing to King County residents who may have pets.

Using this data makes our outreach more efficient and effective. By better identifying which households have pets, we’ve increased the number of cats and dogs that are licensed. That has increased revenue that we’ve used to improve services – including boosting our pet save rate from just 60 percent a few years ago to about 90 percent today.

Increasing the number of cats and dogs that are licensed has also makes it easier to return stray pets to their families. A pet license is an inexpensive insurance policy in case your cat or dog gets lost. Pets with proper ID are far more likely to be returned to their owner. RASKC also has a Free Ride Home program, where a first-time lost pet with a King County pet license is returned right to the owner, bypassing a trip to the shelter.

We’re proud to serve the people and pets of King County, and we appreciate the support we get from the community. We also appreciate the feedback we get from residents, and we’re always working to improve our service. We invite you to contact us at pets@kingcounty.gov or 206-296-PETS (7387) any time you have a question or concern about RASKC.