The proliferation of the pandemic pup

Valerie Williamson and puppy Alfie (credit: V. Williamson)

For many, the pandemic has proved to be a wonderful time to welcome a new dog to the home. And for good reason: the extra companionship is a welcome distraction during these isolating times; and for so many who have been homebound this past year, this has been the perfect opportunity for training and supervising a new dog.

Demand for dogs has soared during the pandemic, so much that aspiring owners may have to apply repeatedly for shelter dogs before securing one. This was the case for former Piedmont resident Valerie Williamson, who after six months of searching and applying for dogs finally turned to Craigslist where she and her husband John were able to adopt a French bulldog puppy.

Williamson understands why so many people are eager to adopt dogs, saying, “coronavirus creates this extraordinary opportunity with pets.” 

Piedmont resident Sarah Pearson, another recent dog owner, said, “we’ve thought about getting a puppy over the years, but we love to travel and always seemed to be busy with other things.” Now that Sarah and her family welcomed home an Australian Labradoodle, she commented, “We feel so lucky. It’s great to spend a lot of time outside and we’re absolutely in the moment. It’s a great distraction from the news!” 

Tips for new Piedmont dog owners

On top of vaccinations, veterinary care, and numerous other logistics of owning a dog, there are a couple things you need to know about dog ownership in Piedmont: 

  1. Dog licenses are required for all dogs in Piedmont. They are required to be licensed at 4 months of age or within 10 days of ownership or bringing the animal into the City of Piedmont. 
  2. To let your dog off leash in any off leash recreation area in Piedmont, you must have an Off-Leash Permit. This applies to both residents and non-residents. There are off-leash areas in Blair Park, Dracena Park, Linda Park, and Piedmont Park. All areas are designated by signs.
How to acquire dog licenses and off-leash permits:
  • Dog licenses and off-leash permits can be acquired in person or by mail. 
    • In person: Visit the Piedmont Police Department on Wednesdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m or schedule an appointment by calling 510-420-3006. Please do not bring your dog to the police department.
    • By mail*: Fill out this form to mail and include a current rabies vaccination certificate from your veterinarian, spay/neuter certificate, and check payable to the City of Piedmont to: Piedmont Police Department – Dog Registration, 403 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611

*For off-leash permits, non-residents must also include proof of a current dog license from their city of residence.

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