KINGSTON, ON (December 15, 2017) – The number of online pet licences issued through the city’s pet registration program has seen “unprecedented” growth since it started in 2015, according to a report to city council.
The Responsible Pet Ownership Program, a contract awarded to DocuPet, has seen the number of pet licences increase from more than 4,250 in 2015 to more than 6,820 licences by last month, and increase of 63 percent.
“This type of growth in less than two years is unprecedented for not only pet licensing but for most city services,” wrote Lanie Hurdle, commissioner of community services.
“This is a result of how effective and customer friendly DocuPet has been by not only providing an easy and simple solution to pet licensing, but also by providing additional services such as the lost and found pet program and pet owner rewards.”
Of the 6,827 dog and cat licences issued as of November, 3,208 were first time registrations and 3,619 were renewals. Of the first time registrations, almost 3,000 qualified for free licences since they were either younger than six months or older than six months but were spayed or neutered.
The DocuPet program includes pet licensing, lost pet return and public education..
The importance of pet registration has been promoted through online advertising, mailouts to pet owners, signs around the city and door-to-door canvassing.
“DocuPet’s door-to-door awareness campaign has so far visited 10,000 homes in Kingston, resulting in the issuance of more than 550 new pet licenses,” Hurdle wrote.
DocuPet employees were instructed to look for signs of pets, such as beware of pet or save my pet signs, food and water dishes, and sights and sounds of pets.
The company employees carry two different door hangers to leave at residences depending on whether there are signs of pets or records show a pet lives there.
But DocuPet came under fire last month on social media with complaints about its employees looking into home windows.
“The DocuPet representatives are instructed not to knock on doors or ring doorbells, to stay on clearly marked paths, and while they are informed and trained to answer any questions asked of them, they do not seek to interact with pet owners. They cannot take payment for licences and they do not visit homes after 5:30 p.m.,” Hurdle wrote.
“The city received a few complaints from residents through social media related to the door-to-door campaign, which were thoroughly reviewed by staff,” she added. “City staff were able to determine that the complaints received were not a result of DocuPet door to door campaign employees.”