New pet for Christmas? Here’s what you need to know

Dec 19, 2023

Did Santa bring you a new puppy or kitten for Christmas? Here are some important things to remember when caring for your new pet.

Welcome your pet with love and patience: Give your friend time to acclimate to the new environment, including new smells, sights, and sounds. Introduce them to new experiences slowly and be patient as they learn the new routine. Consider working with a trainer to address behaviors before they become a problem.

Leash your pet: Always leash your pet in public. It is against City ordinances for dogs to be at large in the city limits, and for cats that have not been altered or vaccinated to be at large. It is also against City ordinances to chain or tether your dog unless a person is holding the restraint.

License your pet: All dogs and cats that live within the city limits are required to have an annual city license. The City’s pet license requirement helps keep rabies under control by enforcing the rabies vaccination requirements. The cost of a license is $5 for animals that are spayed or neutered or $20 for unaltered animals. For residents age 65 and older, the license is free if the pet is spayed or neutered. Free licenses are limited to one per person. Licenses may be obtained online, by phone, email, mail, or at the shelter. Visit for more information.

Take care after your pet: You may not allow an animal to damage private property other than the owner’s property. Pick up after your pet by immediately removing any waste on public or private property and properly disposing of it. Free-roaming cats that cause a nuisance while off their owner’s property can be impounded and their owner can be fined.

Establish a relationship with a veterinarian: Vets are in high demand these days. Don’t wait until you have an emergency to take your pet to a vet. If your pet hasn’t been spayed or neutered, there are low-cost options out there if you are able to wait. Pro tip: if you adopt from a shelter, the animal will already be spayed, neutered, and vaccinated.

Learn more about Georgetown’s animal-related ordinances at

Here are some additional tips to consider this New Year to ensure pets are safe:

  • When making an emergency kit for your family, consider your pet’s needs.
  • Take a current photo of you and your pet together in case you get separated during a disaster.
  • Keep your pet’s microchip registration info up to date.
  • Put your name and contact information on your pet’s ID tag.

Learn more at

About the Georgetown Animal Shelter

The City of Georgetown Animal Shelter is located at 110 W.L. Walden Drive. The shelter is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday and Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The shelter offers animal control and adoption services, citywide dog and cat licensing, and adoption events. For more information, visit

Print Friendly, PDF & Email