Wake up, Wompus! Its time to get legal.
  • Goldy | The Stranger
  • Wake up, Wompus! It's time to get legal!

Seattle, Bothell, Federal Way, and King County officials announced today a one-month amnesty for expired pet licenses. Through the month of April, owners of these undocumented animals (or, as Alaska Rep. Don Young likes to call them, "petbacks") can renew their pet licenses without paying late fees and other penalties.

“A pet license is the best insurance policy you can buy for your pet,” says Dr. Gene Mueller, manager of Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC). “For instance, if your pet is wearing its license and it shows up at our Pet Adoption Center, we will notify you that your pet is here. Or if we find your licensed pet in the field, we’ll return it to you instead of taking it to the center. What’s more, an injured animal wearing a license is more likely to receive veterinary care if you’re not around,” adds Mueller.

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While the license for my dog, Fiesty, is up to date, our cat, Wompus, is a year or two past due. I know, it's only a $15 penalty. But he's old I figure, so maybe he'll just die, and who wants to throw good money after bad? But now that there's pet license amnesty, I'm making him legal again. Because, such a bargain!

Everybody wins. I save a few bucks, Wompus regains the security and dignity of being a legal resident again, and Seattle gets a bump in revenue for animal control. In fact, the only potential downside to this would be if they raise enough money to increase patrols at the informal off-leash park I take my dog to.