The "Ruff" Costs of the SB Dog Registration Program

As you may have seen in your most recent at home delivery of The Other Paper, there was a colorful insert from the City with updates on several items; one of them being a reminder that it is “Time to register your furry friends before the April 1, 2021 deadline.”(Click here to learn how to register) This approaching deadline is a great opportunity to communicate about these fees and how they are utilized once they are received.


All dogs and cats 6 months or older are to be registered every year. Why?  To ensure that the necessary vaccination are current for the protection of South Burlington citizens and to comply with state law.  In fact, $5 of each registration goes directly to the state to support their two funds; spay/neuter and rabies programs. The remaining funds are collected to help off-set expenses in the general fund budget of the Clerk’s Office who are required to facilitate this program; accounting for staff time, marketing, mailings and other associated costs.


On June 3, 2019 the City Council increased the dog fees by $4.00 to be dedicated for the creation and maintenance of the city’s dog parks. With an annual average of dog registrations of around 1200, this means the specialty fund account will garner around $4,800 each year.  This account is not part of general fund operations, so can be spent each year, or left to roll over and accrue funds for bigger purchase or projects. Last year $4,677 was recorded into this account.  This will help support the ongoing maintenance of our current dog parks (already established Farrell Park and the soon to be built Wheeler Dog Park), while the capital improvement plan supports the design, development and construction costs of any new dog park facilities in the future as proposed by the City’s Dog Park Committee and approved by the City Council. This year’s current CIP proposes $25,000 to support the remaining costs to build the Wheeler Dog Park.  With sighting, design completed, this project has moved into the permitting phase with construction starting this spring.