SOUTH PORTLAND — The city of South Portland wants to make sure dog-owners, both old and new, avoid late fees.

To avoid a $25 fee — or a $100 summons — residents can renew their dog licenses online at www.maine.gov./cgi-bin/online/dog_license/index.pl  or visit the city clerk’s office at 25 Cottage Road.

According to South Portland’s website, licensing is handled through the Maine Department of Animal Welfare.

“Maine Director of Animal Welfare Liam Hughes said there are about 250,000 dogs in Maine and estimated about 50 percent of them are licensed,” said in a story in the Kennebunk Post.

According to the city of South Portland website, dog licensing fees help support animal control offices, make it easier to check for cases of abuse, help lost pets find home and is compliant with rabies vaccinations.

The fee to register is $11 for an unspayed or neutered dog and $6 for a sterile one.

According to the website, if residents are new to licensing, “You must have a current rabies vaccination certification issued by a licensed veterinarian. You must have an accurate description of your dog, including your dog’s name, breed, sex and color. You must have a written statement from your veterinarian that clearly states your dog is altered and/or sterile to qualify for the low cost altered license fee.”

To renew a license, make sure a veterinarian’s certification of rabies vaccination is handy.

According to the Kennebunk Post story, “Of the $6 fee for spayed or neutered canines, $1 goes to the municipal clerk’s office, $2 to the municipal animal control office, and $3 to the state animal welfare fund. Of the $11 fee, $1 goes to the city clerk’s office, and $10 to the animal welfare fund. State law allows the municipality to keep the $25 late fee, if charged, for their own animal welfare account.”

Besides licensing fees, South Portland requests that dog-owners be mindful of their pets on the beach. Dogs are not permitted on Willard’s Beach until May 1. The fee is $100 for any first offense.

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