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County ditches annual dog fees, now offers lifetime licenses

STAFFORD — Dog owners in Stafford County get a break.

Instead of purchasing an annual dog license for $10, residents may now purchase a lifetime license for Fido.

The one-time cost: $10.

Dogs over the aged four months or older must have the dog licesnse, according to county documents. Or, dog owners must get a license within 30 days of their animal’s rabies vaccination.

The county will continue to issue metal tags as proof of purchase for the license, which dogs must wear at all times, according to county documents.

The move comes after Virginia legislators earlier this year change a law and allowed localities to charge a lifetime dog license fee ranging between $10 and $50 per dog.

Before the move, dog owners in Stafford County were required to purchase an annual dog tag for $10 a year, every year.

The $10-lifetime dog license is valid as long as the dog’s rabies vaccine is current. If the vaccine expires, the owner must pay for a new license.

The move also brings changes to dog tag fees charged for the owners of multiple dogs. For those who have a kennel of up to 25 dogs, owners may pay $25 annually for the kennel. For kennels of up to 50 dogs, the annual fee is $50.

The bulk licenses fees must be paid by January 31 of each year.

The county will not charge a dog license fee for service or guide dogs.

The change was approved Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, by the Stafford County Board of Supervisors.

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