Kirkland Animal Services (KAS) is coming up on its ninth month of operations and recently kicked off a pet licensing emphasis, which is a service the city took over in January.
KAS handles pet licensing for the city of Kirkland along with animal control, animal shelter, lost and found pets, wildlife issues and community outreach. The Kirkland Police Department (KPD) recently tweeted about a pet license renewal and registration emphasis for the week of Sept. 24.
“Next week in Kirkland there will be pet licensers in neighborhoods helping with pet license renewals and registrations,” KPD tweeted on Sept. 20. “The pet licenses will be registered with the city of Kirkland under the new Kirkland Animal Control Program. A pet license is a lost pet’s ticket home.”
The animal control program is under KAS, which is overseen by KPD’s animal control officer, Jennifer Matison. Matison was hired to help launch KAS after the Kirkland City Council ended the city’s contract with the Regional Animal Services of King County in favor of starting its own program in 2016.
Matison worked as a surgical assistant for a veterinary neurologist and orthopedic surgeon before joining KPD in September 2017.
“I have giant soft spot for animals and I think education is huge when it comes to pet owners,” she said in a 2017 interview with the Reporter. “So me being that person who helps provide educational info to keep these animals safe and healthy…that was very appealing.”
When the city switched to running its own animal services program, there were nearly 10,000 pet license holders in Kirkland who were registered under the county’s service and each of them must renew their licenses through the KAS.
After nearly nine months of operation, KAS is sending licensers door-to-door to educate the thousands of local pet owners and help them renew or register under the new system.
City laws require that all dogs and cats older than 12 weeks must be licensed. Licenses must be renewed yearly and licensing fees can be paid on a one- or two-year basis.
Annually, an unaltered pet requires a $60 fee, spayed or neutered pets only require a $30 fee, while pets younger than six months or senior citizens who own pets only need to pay a $15 fee. The city also includes various late fees for more than 45 days after the due date.
The city also warns that owners of stray unlicensed pets may be subject to fines.