License programs for dogs and cats are a means of ensuring that guardians are reunited with their pets should they become lost. Licensing fees also help fund local animal control programs and in some jurisdictions, low-cost spay/neuter programs. Requiring companion dogs and cats to be licensed also provides a measure of public safety since inoculation against rabies is often a prerequisite to obtaining a license.
The ASPCA supports and encourages license programs for all companion dogs and cats, including those used for breeding, show, sport, work and service. The ASPCA strongly supports fee differentials for intact vs. spayed or neutered pets. The differential should be sufficient to encourage the surgery, as it is a primary means to reduce the overpopulation of dogs and cats. The ASPCA believes that license laws should exclude feral cat colonies. Because feral cats are not companions, or pets, in the usual sense of the word, license laws cannot be meaningfully enforced on them and should not be used as a means to rid areas of these cats.