Council takes lead on dog licence renewals with new text service

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has begun to send Dog Licence reminders directly to residents via mobile phone text alerts in a move that will provide dog owners with the opportunity to renew their licence directly online and that will see cost-savings being made in the process.

The first reminder texts were issued to some dog owners whose licences were due for renewal in February.

Council has traditionally issued First and Second reminder letters to almost 20,000 dog owners across the borough.

The new text message reminders could see the administrative costs of issuing reminders slashed by over £20,000 per year - a saving not to be sniffed at.

It is anticipated that over the course of 2020/21 the majority of dog owners will see the benefits of moving towards the new licence reminder texts and will be encouraged to update their account details by logging on to the online dog licencing portal, council.direct.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Maureen Morrow, said:

“These new licence reminders, arriving directly to the pet owner’s mobile phone, will hopefully encourage them to go online and renew their licence straight away.

“Council has been working to embrace innovative methods of communicating with all of our residents and this development sees us fulfilling one of our key targets this year under the Digital Transformation of Council services.

“I hope that ratepayers embrace these new dog licence reminders and see the benefits it can bring.”

Dog Licence holders are also encouraged to sign up to the Green Dog Walkers (GDW) scheme which includes a free lead, torch and collar light, and a fresh supply of ‘doggie bags’.

The GDW initiative, which has been running in Mid and East Antrim since 2018, includes residents taking a pledge to clean up after their pet and encourage others to do the same in order to ‘leave only paw prints’.

For more information on getting or renewing a dog licence go to: www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/dogs

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