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City unveils online dog licensing system

Starting Aug. 4, New Yorkers can license their dogs electronically. This new, quick system of online dog licensing will make it easier for dog owners to protect their pets.

"I've always believed in the power of technology to make government more open and accessible to the people it is supposed to serve ... That's the philosophy behind 311, which now allows for the online tracking of service requests, and we're trying to bring that same philosophy to all city agencies," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement.

Dogs can be registered electronically 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new application, available at www.nyc.gov, cuts the wait time for both new licenses and renewals in about 10 to 14 business days, as opposed to 20.

By licensing a pet dog online, its owner obtains benefits. Owners are assisted in medical follow-ups if exposed to sick or infected pets and helped in reuniting lost dogs with their owners. New Yorkers are also allowed to use dog runs and off-leash areas in city parks.

Although dog owners are legally required to license their pets and renew licenses annually, only 20 percent of the city's estimated 500,000 dogs are currently licensed.

The fee for a first-time dog license is $11.50; renewal costs $8.50 for a spayed or neutered dog and $11.50 for one that has not been spayed or neutered.

Online licensing is intended to increase the percentage of licensed dogs and make it easier for dog owners to annually renew their dog licenses.

"Licensing your dog has never been so simple" said Thomas Frieden, the city Department of Health commissioner. "A license can help keep your pet safe and healthy."

Registering pet dogs online is not the only convenience part. In addition, visitors can also access NYCServ, which allows more than 1 million New Yorkers to log on to the city's payment system to pay more than $1 billion in parking tickets, property taxes and water bills.

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