Riverside County residents who didn't buy a license for their dog or failed to renew an expired license on time have a chance to get one without a penalty.
The Department of Animal Services is offering a penalty amnesty until Oct. 31. The program only applies to residents of unincorporated communities, however.
"We have done this with great success in the past," said Dr. Allan Drusys, chief veterinarian for Riverside County. "Although we always like when dog owners have been compliant for the entire period they have owned their pet, this program certainly encourages those who have fallen behind in their responsibility to catch up without getting hit in the wallet."
A license costs $16 for a sterilized dog and $100 for one that hasn't been spayed or neutered. Under California law and a county ordinance, dog owners are required to register their pets and have them vaccinated for rabies by the time they're 4 months old.
The Department of Animal Services typically assesses a $25 penalty for an overdue license application, but during the amnesty period, that fee and any accrued fees are waived, county officials said.
The new amnesty program is separate from one currently available in the city of Jurupa Valley, where delinquent pet owners can obtain licenses without any penalties being assessed until Nov. 30.
Information on how to apply for a license can be obtained by calling the Department of Animal Services at 951-358-7387, or visiting its website: http://rcdas.org/home/.