A pet license is more than just a tag, even for unicorns; Here’s why

Dog with license tag

(Courtesy, Pasadena Humane)

It’s not often that pet licensing makes the headlines. Unless, of course, that pet is a unicorn.

A few weeks ago, our neighbors at Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control shared a unique story.

A little girl named Madeline sent a letter asking if she could obtain a pet license for a unicorn.Her request was granted. She was sent a plush pet unicorn adorned with an official heart-shaped license tag. A list of care requirements was also included, such as providing “regular access to sunlight, moonbeams, and rainbows” and only using non-toxic glitter and sparkles.

Madeline’s licensing inquiry was spurred when she asked her mom if she could keep a unicorn in the backyard if she could find one.

Her mother sensibly told Madeline she would need to ask the authorities whether unicorns are permitted. So, Madeline did her research to learn how pets are licensed.

Obtaining a pet license is a critical part of caring for a pet. In fact, it’s the law. A license is required for all dogs 4 months and older. Cat license requirements vary from city to city. And, unicorn licenses, like unicorns, are rare.

A pet license is more than just a tag! Licensing helps ensure healthy communities. A license proves that your pet is up to date with their rabies vaccine, and most cities offer significant discounts for spayed and neutered pets to help control pet overpopulation.

Tags are a great way to support your local shelter. One hundred percent of licensing fees support our lifesaving programs and services. When you license your pet, you are making a difference for the animals in our community who need help.Licenses also help reunite lost pets with their owners. A license tag is an easily accessible form of identification in case your pet gets lost.

Speaking of tags, gone are the days of plain silver tags. You now have options! You may select the standard-issue blue Pasadena Humane license tag. Or you can pick from a vast array of designer tags offered by our online licensing partner, DocuPet.

You can style your pet with tags that change with the season, holidays, your favorite sports team, and countless other themes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. While shopping for tags, you can feel good knowing a portion of DocuPet’s revenue from designer tag sales is donated back to Pasadena Humane.

The process for obtaining a license for your pet varies depending on where you live. At Pasadena Humane, we issue pet licenses for the cities of Arcadia, Bradbury, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, Monrovia, Pasadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre, and South Pasadena.

Licensing your pet with us has never been easier. You can buy and renew your pet’s license online through DocuPet. Or, if you prefer, you can license by phone, mail, or in person at Pasadena Humane’s Shelter Shop.

Regardless of how you choose to license your pet, be sure to have proof of their current rabies vaccine and proof of spay/neuter (if applicable) handy. For renewals of existing licenses, jot down your pet’s license number and the tag’s expiration date.

If you live in Pasadena Humane’s licensing service area, you might also see our licensing staff in your neighborhood. Our canvassing team goes door to door to help residents obtain licenses for their pets.

Next time you see a licensing canvasser in your neighborhood, stop and say “Hi!” Our friendly licensers are eager to talk to you about your pet and the many programs and services we offer at Pasadena Humane.Learn more about licensing your pet at pasadenahumane.org/licensing or visit your local city’s website.

Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane, pasadenahmane.org.

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on January 7, 2023.