A pet license is an insurance policy.

I frequently tell people that pet licenses are an insurance policy.  Animal Control Officers are frequently dispatched to injured animal calls.  The Officer has to make a decision as to whether the injuries are within the allotted cost of their organization’s budget.  If the animal is wearing a current license, that makes the officer’s decision easier.

Additionally, many animal shelters choose to increase the holding period for animals wearing licenses.  Although you can’t expect a license to be a free ride home for your loose pet, it usually affords you a free call home for your pet.