Dog of Distinction

Attention, Chicago dog owners: Starting this spring, Chicago Animal Care and Control begins a focused and fun effort to enforce dog registration.

To help increase city dog registration and raise awareness of the mandatory requirement, City Clerk Susana Mendoza is launching Chicago’s first-ever City Clerk’s Dog of Distinction campaign. 

“We believe many people are simply not aware of the requirement to register your dog with the city,” Mendoza says. “Right now there are some estimates that put Chicago’s dog population at almost a half million dogs. We currently have about 30,000 dogs registered with the city.”

Mendoza says the campaign is more about public health than simply complying with the law. “Registration aids in public health and reunites stray dogs with their owners,” she says.

All dogs registered with the City Clerk’s Office through March 31 are automatically entered into the Dog of Distinction campaign. On April 2, five dogs and their owners will be chosen at random to compete for Chicago’s first-ever Dog of Distinction, which will be awarded after a public online vote in April.

The winner receives a custom-designed dog tag with real rubies and topazes, an appearance in a ‘WCIU, the U’ TV ad and a weekend stay at the Palmer House Hilton.

Dog registration is $5 for neutered or spayed dogs or $2.50 for sterilized dogs with a Chicago owner over age 65. Unsterilized dogs are $50 to register or $5 if the owner is age 65 or older. Fines for not registering a dog range from $30 to $200.

Dog registration can be purchased online or an application can be mailed to the owner by calling 312-744-DOGS (3647).

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