UPLAND - Upland residents have until the end of the month to get their dogs licensed without facing penalties.

The city's dog amnesty program will run through Feb. 28 and will allow residents to license their pets before the city starts canvassing neighborhoods and charging penalties.

"Our primary objection is always the safety of our animals and our residents," said Roberta Knighten, the city's community services director. "That's really why we encourage everyone to license their pets because we know they've had a rabies vaccine."

The city is recruiting two animal shelter attendants and volunteers to canvass neighborhoods for unlicensed dogs starting March 1.

City officials projected a gain of $10,000 in revenue from the program, but so far they have received about $20,000.

Knighten said she expects the city could see as much as $25,000 once the amnesty program is over.

"I would encourage people to take advantage of that opportunity because in March we'll start a canvassing program. We will have canvassers going out door knocking and anyone found with an unlicensed dog will be required to have a license and there are penalties involved."

Animal services has seen a significant increase in the amount of licenses purchased by Upland residents since the amnesty program started, said Jon Knowlton, the city's animal services supervisor.

Knowlton said there were 734 licenses sold in January compared to 364 in January 2012.

Knowlton said it is important for dogs to be vaccinated for rabies, especially because several bats in the area have tested positive for rabies.

"When a bat has rabies, it will flop on the ground and dogs may play with it and contract rabies," Knowlton said. "Rabies is deadly. Once the symptoms start, there is no cure for it."

A licensed pet is also easier to reunite with their owners should they get loose, he said.

Upland Animal Services provides low-cost vaccinations for Upland pets from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays outside the shelter, 1275 San Bernardino Road.

Rabies vaccinations are $40.


Reach Sandra via email, call her at 909-483-8555, or find her on Twitter @UplandNow.