One of the biggest fears that dog owners face is what happens to your pooch if they get out of your yard and go missing. New technology is going to be used, beginning with this year's Kent County Dog Licenses, that will make it easier to find a dog's owner.

In the past, if you found a dog wandering around in your neighborhood, you would look at their collar (if they were wearing one) and hope to find an identification tag with the owner's name and address. Unfortunately not every pet owner has one of these tags made up for their pet. At times the only tags on the collar might be the rabies tag and the dog license.

If you call the vet's office that issued the rabies tag, they can usually track down the owner. Calling the Kent Count Animal Shelter was also an option, as they could figure out the owner by the dog license number. The other option would be if the dog were micro-chipped, but that requires a trip to a vet to have it scanned.

What Happens If You Find a Dog After Hours or on the Weekends?

If you happened to find a stray canine at night or the on the weekends, calling a veterinarian's office or the Animal Shelter would usually go to voicemail. That makes it tough when you can't house the animal for a long period of time while waiting to find the owner. Newly designed licenses in Kent County will now make finding the owner a little easier.

New Licenses to Feature a QR Code

Starting this year, Kent County is teaming up with PetHub. The new licenses will feature a QR code on them. If someone finds a stray dog, they can scan that QR code -- and it will immediately supply information about the dog and owner.

How Do the New Dog Licenses Work?

All you need is a smartphone. Most of our smartphones now have a built-in QR code reader. Just open up your camera and take a picture of the QR code on the back of the dog tag. That will open up a website with information that is provided by the dog's owner. The information can contain not only contact information, but information about the dog, and even a picture.

Dog licenses in Kent County are $26 for an unsterilized dog or $17 for a spayed or neutered dog. Senior Citizens 62 years old or older receive a price break on the cost of a dog license. Michigan law requires that all dogs over the age of four months are licensed and all new dogs are required to be licensed within 30 days.

For more information, check out the Kent County Website.

Here is a story that 13 On Your Side did describing the new licenses...

The Kent County Animal Shelter is located at 740 Fuller Avenue NE in Grand Rapids...


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