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Boston dog laws: What you should know

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Living in the city of Boston with a dog can certainly have its benefits. Lively dog parks abound, local shops offer fresh water and cookies to passing pooches, and area residents often stop to say hello to furry friends. Getting slapped with a $50 fine for not having a dog license, however, is not one of the perks. 

Boston, like many other cities nationwide, has a dog licensing mandate that requires all dog owners to obtain a license for their pet every year. However, awareness of the law is not widespread.

Both new and longtime residents of the area are often surprised to learn that the license is required, and sometimes worry that the accompanying penalty is unwarranted in certain cases.

"I've been living in the city with my dog since I graduated from college, and I never knew that this mandate existed. Had I known, I would definitely have done it sooner," said one woman interviewed walking her dog in The Boston Common. 

While the city may not do much to educate the pet-owning public about this law, it is important for dog owners to seek out the information themselves and ensure that they and their pets are up to date on licensing and registration to avoid any problems.

In order to obtain a dog license, an application must be filled out and sent along with a current rabies certificate to City Hall. The cost for spayed/neutered dogs is $6, while the cost for those that are not spayed or neutered is $17. For owners of pit bulls and pit bull mixes, the cost is $50 and requires additional paperwork. 

For more info: Visit the Animal Care & Control section of the City of Boston's website. 

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