The Benefits of 365 Day Pet Licensing
The majority of Pet Licensing Organizations (PLOs) in North America employ one of two licensing schedules: a calendar year licensing schedule with licenses expiring at the end of each standard year, or a rabies expiration licensing schedule, with licenses expiring at the time the vaccination is due for renewal. However, there is an increasing trend of PLO’s switching to a 365 day licensing model due to its various benefits and the increase in technology to accommodate implementation.
What is a 365 day licensing model, you may ask? This model sees that a licence expires 365 days from the date of purchase, rather than to the traditional year-end date (typically December 31st). If a pet owner was to get a new dog and license it on August 15th, 2018, their license would be valid until August 14th, 2019.
So, why are cities, counties and shelters switching to this new model?
There are two primary beneficiaries of utilizing a 365 day licensing model: PLO staff and the pet owners themselves.
Looking first from a pet owner perspective, a 365 day licensing model ensures a full year of value and convenience for pet owners: in other words , if a new pet is purchased, or a pet owner learns of licensing and does so for the first time, this model ensures that they are never paying for a reduced year license and feeling short-changed with having to renew only a few months later.
There are three primary benefits for PLOs as well, including:
- The new ability for full-year promotion and marketing of the licensing program - which makes campaigning license sales year-round more viable. This continuous promotion inherently produces further education and awareness around the need to license in a given jurisdiction, which is a contributing factor to an increase in compliance.
- Secondly, 365 day licensing creates a more uniformly distributed influx of license sales. This, in turn, produces fewer customer service issues as inquiries from pet owners and in-person license sales are more evenly dispersed throughout the year and no longer create a strain on front desk staff at any particular time of year. Over time, no more “busy season” for licensing!
- Lastly, this more uniform distribution also produces a more steady revenue stream for the PLO throughout the fiscal year of operations, rather than the typical surge during the months leading up to the year-end.
With so many benefits to implementing a 365 day licensing model for all stakeholders, why aren’t more PLO’s making the change?
- Firstly, it requires a large investment of time to switch their existing licensing program and software to accommodate more complex data tracking and payment schedules. This includes needing more advanced technology to support the management of variable renewal notices and tag fulfillment as each pet owner's expiration date will now differ from one another.
- PLOs may also be restricted in the amount of promotion they can engage in around a new pet licensing schedule as their resources may be limited.
- Further, there may be concern that implementation will disrupt the current operations and hold up the overall licensing process. With the zillion things going on at the shelter or the front desk of City Hall, this concern - at face value - may be warranted
- Next, PLOs may worry that after the time and resources are put forth to implement 365 day licensing, pet owners will still continue to license nearing the year’s end.
- Finally, it may require an update to the governing ordinance or by-law which again, requires time and effort
Making It Work
DocuPet streamlines the entire process for a PLO and mitigates the risks outlined above. DocuPet provides updated software at no cost, a comprehensive marketing plan to promote licensing year-round, and a sophisticated technology to target renewal reminders to expiring licenses.
Take the instance of one of our current partners. We can look to the graph above to see how DocuPet has transitioned this particular partner from a calendar year licensing model to a 365 day licensing model. DocuPet began their operations after the historical renewal season and aggressively marketed the program to pet owners to further increase license sales past the typical influx observed in December.
Looking at the green line, which is the first year of operations, you can see an abrupt increase in license sales from the end of November to the first of January. However, you can also see that license sales continuously increased past January, as DocuPet expanded compliance within the PLO’s jurisdiction through marketing and outreach.
Further, the second year of operations depicted by the purple line, shows a much more constant trend beginning to even out the original spike in license sales. As license sales begin to smooth out, you can also see an overall increase in licenses purchased since the first year of operations.
Lastly, looking forward to the current year of operations shown by the black line on the graph, we can see a much more constant pattern beginning to develop even through “off-season” months in Spring and Summer.
Not only have license sales created a more smooth linear trend in DocuPet’s third year of operations, but they have also continued to surpass each year’s previous sales, increasing the PLO’s overall licensing compliance.
Interested in switching to a 365 day licensing model?
Learn more about how DocuPet can streamline the process of implementing a 365 day licensing model.