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Adopting Pets During COVID

September 21, 2020

The Town of Oyster Bay is urging its residents to utilize the Town Clerk’s Office to license their dogs after a wave of new adoptions took place as COVID-19 impacted the region since March. According to a statement put out by the township, once a dog is four months old, the owner is required by Town Code to obtain a dog license and verification tag. The license is valid for one year.

Oyster Bay Town does not charge a fee for licensing any guide dog, hearing dog, service dog, war dog, detection dog, police dog, or therapy dog.

Town Clerk Richard LaMarca said that there have been large increases in the adoption rates of pets for companionship, especially dogs. He encouraged residents to license their dogs to ensure their safety and identification in case they get lost.

“Each year, hundreds of beloved family dogs are lost because these animals do not have identification tags and cannot be identified and returned to their owners,” said LaMarca. “A dog license allows everyone to know your dog has a home, and also signals that your dog is up-to-date on its rabies shot.”

While adopting a new pet can save it from life in a shelter and give a loving animal a forever home, it’s also good for humans, especially in stressful times.

A report on pet adoption during COVID-19 said that studies show that “where there is a bond between human and animal, the presence of a non-human companion — especially a dog — decreases psychological arousal and stress, and creates physiological changes that make us feel better.”

Other towns around Long Island have changed their pet adoption procedures to allow potential owners to see shelter animals virtually. When COVID-19 first locked down the region, many towns also sought people to foster their shelter animals.

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